About eSIM on iPhone

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. Learn about setting up an eSIM, transferring your SIM, what to do if you can't set one up, and how to erase an eSIM, if you ever need to.

You can install multiple eSIM profiles on an iPhone that supports eSIM. If your iPhone is unlocked, you can subscribe to several cellular plans.

What you need

eSIM on iPhone is not offered in mainland China. In Hong Kong and Macao, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone SE (2nd generation), and iPhone XS feature eSIM. Learn about using Dual SIM with two nano-SIM cards in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao.

How to set up an eSIM

If you purchased an iPhone 13 model from an Apple Retail Store or Apple Online Store in the United States, your iPhone won't arrive with a SIM card installed. To activate your iPhone, turn it on, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and follow the onscreen instructions.

Otherwise, if you do need to set up an eSIM, you can scan the QR code your carrier gave you, use your carrier's iPhone app, install an assigned plan, enter the information manually, or transfer an eSIM from your previous iPhone:

Scan a QR code

  1. Open the Camera app and scan your QR code.
  2. When the Cellular Plan Detected notification appears, tap it.
  3. Tap Continue, at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap Add Cellular Plan.

If you're asked to enter a confirmation code to activate the eSIM, enter the number that your carrier provided.

Install an assigned cellular plan

With iOS 13 and later, some carriers can assign a cellular plan for you to install. Contact your carrier for more information.

If a plan was assigned to you, follow these steps: 

  1. When a notification appears that says Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed, tap it.
  2. In the Settings app, tap Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed.
  3. Tap Continue, at the bottom of the screen.

If you're asked to "Transfer Cellular Plan" while setting up your iPhone, learn how to transfer your eSIM.

Use a carrier app

  1. Go to the App Store and download your carrier's app.
  2. Use the app to purchase a cellular plan.

Enter the information manually

If necessary, you can manually enter your plan information. To enter your plan information manually, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap either Cellular or Mobile Data.
  3. Tap Add Cellular Plan.
  4. Tap Enter Details Manually, at the bottom of your iPhone screen.

Transfer an eSIM from your previous iPhone

To transfer an eSIM to your new iPhone, you can scan the QR code your carrier gave you, use your carrier's iPhone app, or install an assigned cellular plan. When your cellular plan is activated on your new iPhone, the plan on your previous iPhone will deactivate.

Learn how to transfer your eSIM (during or after setup).

If you can't set up an eSIM

  1. Make sure that carrier or carriers support eSIM.
  2. Open Control Center: Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen. Then make sure that your carrier appears in the status bar. If not, try turning Airplane Mode on and off
  3. Go to Settings > General > About and look for any numbers under EID. If there are no numbers, contact Apple Support.
  4. If you still can't set up your eSIM, contact your carrier.

Erase your eSIM

If you need to erase your eSIM, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap either Cellular or Mobile Data.
  3. Tap the plan you want to erase.
  4. Tap Remove Cellular Plan.

If you erase all content and settings from your iPhone, you can choose to erase your eSIM as well or keep it. If you want to cancel your cellular plan, you still need to contact your carrier.

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