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How to activate or transfer eSIM on an iPhone or Android?

An eSIM is embedded inside your device, which is a digital SIM. This article explains how to activate or transfer eSIM on an iPhone or Android.

Looking to activate or transfer eSIM on a new phone? Let's learn how to do it in this article with operators like Airtel, Jio, VI, etc.

How to activate or transfer eSIM on an iPhone or Android?

What is eSIM?

An eSIM stands for "Embedded Subscriber Identity Module" and is embedded inside your device. eSIM enables a more seamless device setup experience without the need to insert or replace a physical SIM card. Using this feature, users can store multiple eSIM profiles on a device simultaneously and conveniently switch between them. eSIM is safe to use just like physical sim cards eSIM can be programmed to request verification from an operator when someone tries to change the user profiles. With an eSIM, devices will work like a dual-SIM phone, a combination of a physical SIM and an eSIM.

How to convert and activate physical SIM to eSIM?

First, make sure your device has an eSIM facility. For devices that support it, Jio, Vi, and Airtel offer the ability to convert your physical SIM to an eSIM. eSIM is activated either by scanning the QR code provided by the preferred carrier or by entering parameters manually. The eSIM supports all the regular networks, such as 4G and 5G, much like the regular physical SIM.

> Steps to convert your Physical SIM to eSIM for: Airtel , Jio , VI!

Note: The eSIM activation would take around 2 hours. Please scan the QR Code immediately once received. Your existing SIM will continue to work during this period. The QR code is unique and it is applicable for just one-time use on one device only. Once scanned, please ensure you complete the process of adding the carrier.

How to transfer an active eSIM from old iPhone to new iPhone?

After setting up your new device, you can manually transfer an active eSIM from one to another. To do this, follow these steps:

Note: The Apple ID on your new device needs to match the one used on your old device.

> Go to the Home screen. Tap on Settings.
> Select Cellular.
> Select Add Cellular Plan.
> Select your eSIM number.
> Select Add Cellular Plan.
> Select OK.
> On your old iPhone: Select Transfer. If the transfer was successfully completed, your new iPhone will restart.
> Go to the Home screen. Select Settings.
> Select Cellular.
> If this screen appears, the eSIM transfer is successfully completed and you can start using your data plan. If this screen does not appear, go to the next screen.
> If this screen appears, the transfer was not successfully completed. You can follow these steps to transfer your eSIM. Under Cellular Plans, choose the phone number with the red ! icon.
> Select the notification to finish your cellular plan set up.
> Select Continue.
> Select Begin transfer.

Finally, the eSIM will be transferred and be ready for use.

* Note: For Android or Pixel devices, the process is different. Refer to the documentation of the particular device.


1. How to remove or disable eSIM? 

Removing or disabling eSIM is quite simple. All you have to do is:

> Go to the settings of your eSIM card.
> Choose the ‘Delete’ option to permanently delete your eSIM profile.

2. Can an eSIM be transferred?

After setting up your new device, you can manually transfer an active eSIM from another device.

3. What happens to eSIM when you change phone?

If the new device has eSIM functionality, then you can follow the preferred process based on the device and carrier to transfer your eSIM from old device to new device. The earlier phone's eSIM will get deactivated and the new phone's eSIM will get activated.

4. Do All Networks Support eSIM?

Not all networks support eSIMs yet, but they will soon. In India, Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) support the eSIM facility.                                  

That's all! Do let me know in the comments if you find any issues.

An Engineer by passion and Technology Enthusiast.

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