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After recently making the switch to an eSIM plan on my iPhone, I can personally assure you how simple the activation process is!

Although each carrier can vary slightly with their eSIM setup, most have standard steps you'll need to follow. There just may be some small additional steps that your carrier will make clear during the activation.

Ready to get started? Find out how to get your eSIM plan live on your iPhone below.

Before you activate your eSIM

Before we get down to the brass tacks of activating an eSIM on your iPhone, there are a few things you'll need to check:

  1. eSIM-compatible iPhone: eSIM is available on most of the newer iPhone models, including the iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone SE (2nd Gen), which offer dual SIM functionality. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 series are eSIM only.
  2. Carrier support: Many low-cost carriers do support eSIM, but it's always good to check which carriers are available.
  3. Activation details: Depending on your carrier, you'll either receive a QR code or activation details to set up your eSIM. Make sure you have this information handy.

How to activate an eSIM on an iPhone

Activating eSIM is easier than you might think. Once you've chosen your carrier and plan, just follow these steps to set up your eSIM:

  1. Navigate to settings: Open your iPhone settings and scroll down to find "Cellular" or "Mobile Data."
  2. Activate eSIM: Tap on "Add Cellular Plan." Your camera app will open, allowing you to scan a QR code or enter eSIM information manually provided by your carrier.
  3. Confirm activation: Once you've scanned the QR code or entered the details, your iPhone will verify the information with your carrier. After the confirmation code or activation code is sent, you'll be all setup!
  4. Select default line: Choose a primary phone line. Dual SIM works by allowing your phone to operate on two separate lines. Each SIM slot can have different cellular plans or even a different network. This is ideal if you want a dedicated work line or travel internationally and want to avoid data roaming. The latest iPhones even support dual eSIM.

MVNOs that support eSIM on iPhone

If you want to save money on your cell phone plan, combining MNVOs with eSIM is the perfect combination!

MVNOs offer much more affordable plans than going direct to one of the big three. The good news? Many MVNOs now support eSIM carrier activation. Here are a few worth considering:

  1. Mint Mobile: Offering diverse plans at seriously competitive prices, Mint Mobile supports eSIM carrier activation and provides excellent coverage on the T-Mobile network.
  2. Boost Mobile: Known for its flexibility to connect to different networks depending on coverage in your area, Boost Mobile fully supports eSIM.
  3. US Mobile: Caters to users by letting you build your own plan tailored to your needs with eSIM capabilities for easy plan activation.
  4. Tello: Tello's user-friendly approach extends to eSIMs, making it a great option for those who want control over their usage and expenses.

Activating eSIM on iPhone FAQs


Activating an eSIM on your iPhone is a quick and easy way to slash your cell phone bill. With its seamless activation process and compatibility with various MVNOs, you can choose a budget-friendly plan that suits your needs.

Make sure you have the prerequisites in place, follow the step-by-step guide, and explore MVNOs that support eSIM activation – you'll be well on your way to enjoying top-notch connectivity without the hefty price tag.

iPhone eSIM FAQs

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