MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

Activating an eSIM is a much easier and quicker process than a traditional SIM card.

In this guide, I'll walk you through how to activate your eSIM. Although they can vary slightly depending on the low-cost carrier you've chosen, there are some standard steps to follow.

After personally switching to an eSIM plan, I can assure you you'll be up and running within minutes.

Before you activate your eSIM

Whether you're setting up an eSIM on iOS or Android, there are a few essentials to put in place for a smooth installation process. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Unlocked compatible device: To ensure a hassle-free eSIM installation, you'll need an unlocked eSIM-compatible iPhone or Android device.
  2. Stable internet connection: A stable Wi-Fi network connection is essential to activate your eSIM. Make sure you're connected to the internet throughout the installation process.
  3. Dual SIM: Many new phones have dual SIM capabilities.Some phones take both a physical SIM and an eSIM. A dual SIM works like two separate phone lines. Decide ahead of time which SIM slot you'd like to be your primary line.

How to activate an eSIM on an iPhone

Apple has made activating an eSIM on an iPhone a doddle:

  1. eSIM activation code: Get an eSIM activation card or QR code from your chosen carrier.
  2. Access settings: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  3. Cellular: Tap on "Cellular" and then tap "Add Cellular Plan."
  4. Scan QR code: Use your iPhone's camera app to scan the QR code given by your eSIM carrier.
  5. Confirmation: Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the eSIM carrier activation.

How to activate an eSIM on an Android phone

For Android users, activating an eSIM might vary slightly based on your device's manufacturer and software version:

  1. Carrier QR code: Obtain an eSIM activation QR code or details from your chosen carrier.
  2. Access settings: Open "Settings".
  3. Network & Internet: Tap "Network & Internet" and then "Mobile network."
  4. Advanced: Look for an "Advanced" or "Carrier" option, then tap on "Add carrier."
  5. Scan or enter details: Follow the prompts to scan the QR code or manually input the provided details.
  6. Activation: Complete the setup as directed to activate eSIM.

Which MVNOs support eSIMs?

MVNOs are an excellent option for cost-conscious consumers who still want reliable service.

These cheap eSIM carriers operate on at least one of the major networks, allowing them to offer affordable plans without sacrificing quality coverage.

For example, Mint Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network, so you get the same dependable service at a fraction of the price.

eSIM activation FAQs


Activating a prepaid eSIM is easy and provides a more convenient and flexible way to switch carriers whenever you want.

Whether you love an iPhone or you're an Android fan, the steps are simple, and with a low-cost carrier plan, you could save up to $700 a year on your bill.

Related Content

Phone plans guides
10 best 5G eSIM plans: Same coverage 3x cheaper!
15 min read
Jun 14, 2024
Best eSIM carriers in 2024
14 min read
Apr 24, 2024
Best eSIM plans in 2024
14 min read
Apr 25, 2024
10 best eSIM plans for Apple Watch: Same coverage 3x cheaper!
4 min read
Jun 17, 2024
Best eSIM Plans for iPads for 2024
8 min read
Jan 06, 2024
Best free eSIM: Same coverage 3x cheaper!
12 min read
Jun 13, 2024
Best prepaid eSIM plans for iPhone in 2024
13 min read
Apr 27, 2024
Best value AT&T eSIM plans in 2024
9 min read
Jan 14, 2024
How much could you save?
Calculate your savings now
Same coverage - cut your bill by up to $600/yr
Shocked monkey
Find a cheaper plan in seconds
Switch in minutes