How to Add eSIM to iPhone?

Apple introduced eSIM (eSIM stands for embedded subscriber identification module) support in iPhones in 2018 when the company unveiled the iPhone XS and XR. In iPad, eSIM debuted the same year with the introduction of the third-generation iPad Pro. Although eSIM is a relatively new concept and not everyone knows how to use it, Apple is now ready to ditch old physical SIM cards in favor of more modern and safer embedded SIM. The latest iPhone 14 lineup (iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max) no longer support physical SIM cards in the United States, and future iPhones will bring the same treatment to other countries.

If you have a relatively modern iPhone and want to try eSIM, here is how to add eSIM to your iPhone.

What is eSIM iPhone?

As mentioned above, eSIM stands for embedded subscriber identification module. It is a small (really small) chip inside your iPhone that can connect to your carrier’s network without a physical SIM card. All you need to use eSIM iPhone is a QR code from your cellular data provider.

Here are some of the benefits eSIM provides:

  • Less space inside the smartphone. The eSIM chip is many times smaller than the standard nano SIM module. Therefore, manufacturers can use the area for bigger batteries, extra sensors, better waterproofing, etc.
  • Safer. No one can pull an eSIM out of your iPhone and steal your data (especially if you do not protect your SIM card with a PIN).
  • Multiple eSIM. The eSIM chip can store numerous data plans so that you can switch between them on the go. This makes eSIM the perfect choice for travelers. Moreover, the iPhone 13 lineup and newer support dual eSIM, allowing you to keep two data plans on all the time.
  • More convenient. Everything is stored inside your iPhone so that you can stop worrying about losing your physical SIM. Also, modern iPhones support easy eSIM transfer from device to device and allow resetting an iPhone without deleting the saved data plans.

What iPhones Support eSIM?

Here is the answer to the “What iPhones support eSIM” question:

  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2020
  • iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2022
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Older iPhones only work with physical SIM cards (nano or micro).

What iPads Support eSIM?

iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular models support eSIM starting with the third-gen iPad Pro and newer:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (all models)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third-gen and newer)
  • iPad Air 3, iPad Air 4, and iPad Air 5
  • iPad mini 5 and iPad mini 6
  • iPad 7, iPad 8, iPad 9, and iPad 10

How to Add eSIM to iPhone?

Note that activating an eSIM does not require an active internet connection (Wi-Fi or cellular). Your iPhone or iPad gets all the necessary information from the QR code, physical SIM (if you convert to an eSIM), or another device (if you transfer an eSIM).

Before you add eSIM to iPhone, it is worth noting that not all carriers offer eSIM. Contact your data provider and ask if you can swap your physical SIM for an eSIM. Finally, some countries do not allow eSIM at all (China). Check the eligibility before you travel with an eSIM to another country.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Cellular.
  2. Tap Add eSIM. add esim to iphone
  3. If you have the QR code from your carrier, select Scan a QR Code. how to add esim to iphone
  4. Some carriers provide details for manual input. If you have strange numbers instead of a QR code, tap Scan a QR Code > Enter details manually. iphone add esim
  5. Select the corresponding option if you want to transfer an eSIM from another device.
  6. Alternatively, tap the Convert to eSIM button if your carrier supports the feature. Converting a physical SIM to eSIM will deactivate the former.
  7. Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the procedure.

You can add more eSIMs (data plans) if you want. Repeat the steps above to add another eSIM to your iPhone. Note that only one eSIM can operate in iPhones released before the iPhone 13 lineup. The iPhone 13 and newer support two simultaneous eSIMs.

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