How to Check if eSim is Activated in iPhone, Updated

how to check if esim is activated in iPhone
Credit: eSim Europe

eSIM, described by the GSMA as “the SIM for the next generation of connected consumer devices,” has made communication way easier. The eSim has also made it easier for travellers to swap between local and foreign carriers without physically replacing their SIM cards. If you’re using an iPhone, having access to an eSIM is undoubtedly important. So, if you’re wondering how to check if eSIM is activated on your iPhone, this article is for you.

What is an eSim?

An eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identity Module) digital sim card that allows customers to have several phone numbers and carrier profiles on a single device. 

The GSMA had proposed the possibility of a software-based SIM in 2010, but it was officially released in 2016. Since then, eSIM has begun to replace traditional SIM cards in areas such as cellular telephony. Because eSIM technology is built into your smartphone, it is more efficient and ecologically friendly than its predecessor.

eSIM compatibility with iPhones

In 2017, Apple introduced eSIM support with the Apple Watch Series 3, followed by the iPhone in 2018.

However, it is important to know that not all iPhones support eSIM. This technology was first introduced with the iPhone XS,  iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR and has been built into all subsequent models.

These models allow you to have both a physical SIM and an eSIM on your phone at the same time but do not support the duo eSIM function. Therefore, it is impossible for iPhones to use two digital chips at the same time.

Also, your phone must be running iOS 12.1 or later to utilize an eSIM, and your carrier must support the eSIM service.

How to Activate eSIM on iPhone

Activating eSIM on an iPhone can be done using two methods. These processes are very easy and short, and to assist you, here is a simple guide on how to go about it:

Activating an eSIM after Purchase

  • Purchase or obtain your selected carrier’s eSIM. The method of delivery will be determined by the carrier you use.
  • To continue, navigate to the “Settings” menu and then to the “Cellular” menu.
  • To proceed, click the “Add Cellular Data” option. 
  • Scan the QR code provided by your wireless provider and wait for the eSIM to be installed.
  • After you’ve installed your eSIM, change the name so you know which service you’re using.
  • If you are travelling with an eSIM, select the “Cellular Data Only” option.

Activating an eSIM Using Quick Transfer

Some carriers allow you to transfer your SIM card from your old iPhone to your new iPhone without contacting them. This can be done using the Quick Transfer feature. 

  • Go to “Settings” and then to “Cellular.”
  • Once there, select “Add Cellular Plan” to proceed with the process.
  • If a list of numbers does not appear, press “Transfer From Another iPhone” to proceed with the operation.
  • People must be using both iPhones at the same time. You must confirm the transfer on your previous device by tapping the “Transfer” option or entering a verification code.
  • The former SIM or eSIM card will be deactivated from the old device after this is completed.

It is important to know that this function is only available on phones running iOS 16 or later. Contact your carrier to transfer your eSIM if you don’t have access to your current iPhone.

How to Check if eSIM is Activated in iPhone

Activating an eSIM is very easy, but if you want to be certain it has been activated, here is how to check if eSIM is activated in an iPhone:

  • On your iPhone, launch the ‘Settings’ app.
  • Tap on ‘Cellular’ or ‘Mobile Data,’ depending on the language settings on your device.
  • A list of available plans can be found in the Cellular or Mobile Data option. If your eSIM is active, it will show up in this list with a label like “Secondary” or “Cellular Plan 2.”
  • Tap on the plan name to see additional information about your eSIM. You can verify the carrier name, phone number, and other eSIM-related information here.

Your eSIM will not appear in the list of available plans if it is not running. In this scenario, you may need to contact your carrier or complete the carrier’s eSIM activation process.

How to Switch Between Physical SIM and eSIM

After you’ve activated your eSIM on your iPhone, you may effortlessly switch between the eSIM and physical SIM. This is particularly helpful when travelling because you may use the eSIM for local access while switching to your regular physical SIM for calls and messaging. Follow these procedures to switch between an eSIM and a physical SIM:

  • On your iPhone, launch the ‘Settings’ app.
  • Tap on ‘Cellular’ or ‘Mobile Data,’ depending on the language settings on your device.
  • Tap on the data plan you would like to use (eSIM or physical SIM) from the list of available plans.
  • Toggle ‘Cellular Data’ for the chosen plan.
  • To change the plan for voice calls and texts, scroll down and select ‘Default Voice Line’ or ‘Primary Line.’ Then, select your preferred plan (eSIM or real SIM).

What Happens if eSIM is not Activated?

Follow these steps:

  • Look for any digits under EID in Settings > General > About. Contact Apple Support if there are no numbers.
  • Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to launch Control Center after completing each step below. Check to see if your carrier is listed in the status bar. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  • Turn on and off airplane Mode.
  • Check Settings > Cellular to see if the number you’re attempting to activate is listed. If so, switch off the queue and then turn it back on again.
  • Start your device or devices again.

If you are still unable to activate your eSIM, contact your carrier.

Can eSIM Expire?

Your data package has an expiration date, but your eSIM does not.  

An eSIM is a digital replica of a physical SIM card that is inserted into your phone. That single eSIM will work indefinitely as long as you top it up with data packages.

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