3 Simple Methods for Activating eSIM on an iPhone

Activating eSIM on an iPhone

You can switch between multiple mobile providers, plans, and numbers with just a few clicks on an eSIM-enabled iPhone. src

iPhones’ eSIM experience is as good as it gets

Apple was the first major tech company to introduce eSIM technology on a mass scale. Today, anyone running iOS 12.1.1 or later on their iPhones can take advantage of eSIM plans.

With eSIM, you can enjoy advantages like switching between different carriers or plans with a few taps on your screen, activating a new number instantaneously. You can access multiple mobile numbers and their profiles by clicking a few buttons, and so much more.

With eSIM, you don’t need to juggle multiple phones for work, private use, and other purposes. You can store and easily access multiple eSIMs on your iPhone without having to handle physical cards.

How to set up eSIM on your iPhone

The first thing you need to know about using eSIM on iPhone is the specifications for eSIM-enabled iPhones. eSIM is supported by default on recent releases of Apple devices such as iPhones 11, SE (second generation), XS, XS Max, and XR. Apple Watch LTE models and some iPad Pro models also support eSIM.

If you don’t own either of these models, you can still activate eSIM on any iOS device that runs iOS 12.1.1 or higher versions. Also, your iPhone has to be unlocked (contract plans are the antithesis of eSIM plans) to take full advantage of what an eSIM can do. Note also that the first versions of iOS 12 – 12.0 and 12.0.1 – are not eSIM-compatible.

If your iPhone meets the above requirements, then you can activate eSIM through the steps outlined below. There are many different methods for activating eSIM on iPhones. We’ll tell you about 3 of the simplest methods.

Method 1: Using a QR code

  • 1. Visit an eSIM provider’s website and purchase your desired eSIM plan. You’ll receive a confirmation email from the carrier containing information about your purchase and how to activate your eSIM plan, most likely including your unique QR code.
  • 2. Next, tap on your iPhone’s “Settings” app and then scroll down to the “Mobile” or “Cellular” (depending on where you bought your iPhone) menu.
  • 3. Select “Add Cellular Plan”. On the new window select the option for scanning QR code.

Scan QR Code.

Scan QR Code. src

  • 4. If you received an Activation Code in your confirmation email, you may be asked to enter it.
  • 5. Next, label your new plan to differentiate it from other plans. Your main SIM plan will be labeled ‘Primary” by default, but you can change it, for instance, to “Home” or “Office”. These labels will make it easier to identify the specific number you want to activate at a certain time and what number received a call or text message.
  • 6. After saving your label, close and reopen the Settings app and then go to “Cellular”. You’ll find the saved eSIM profile with the label you gave it. Simply tap on the label to activate the plan. Alternatively, you can activate the eSIM profile directly from your Control Panel.

Method 2: Using a carrier’s app

  • 1. If you don’t have it already, install your carrier’s self-service app on your iPhone.
  • 2. Run the app and buy an eSIM plan from your dashboard.
  • 3. The app will automatically recognize that your phone’s specs support eSIM. After buying, you’ll receive prompts for setting up the plan through the app. Follow these directions and set up your new plan using an appropriate label.
  • 4. Relaunch the Settings app, navigate to ‘Cellular’, and tap on the saved eSIM profile to activate it.

Method 3: Manual activation

  • 1. Tap the “Settings” app and then select “Cellular”.
  • 2. Navigate to the “Add Cellular Plans” option, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select “Enter Details Manually”.
  • 3. Fill out fields with the corresponding details of the eSIM plan such as the phone number, eSIM carrier, etc. You may be asked to key in the Activation Code you were given through the plan’s confirmation email. You can also apply a label to the plan profile here.
  • 4. Finally, relaunch the settings app, select “Cellular, and then tap on the eSIM profile you want to activate. You can also activate the saved eSIM profile directly on the Control Center.

Summing Up

You can purchase and activate various eSIM plans with just a few clicks. You can choose from different methods of activation depending on the information you’re provided with and your preferences. Once you’ve saved an eSIM plan provided, you can then activate it anytime by simply tapping on its label on the Control Panel.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.