How to activate eSIM on your iPhone

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By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer

How to activate eSIM on your iPhone

One iPhone with two (or more) different cellular data plans, maybe each for a different country? It’s way easier than you might think, and there’s no need to visit your cell phone provider — you can install and activate eSIM data plans on your iPhone all by yourself within a couple of minutes.

aloSIM makes it easy to add new eSIM cellular plans that can make it easier to travel and do business, and having the freedom to add new lines as needed, on the go, is a game-changer. But if you’ve never installed an eSIM or activated an eSIM before, you might be wondering where the heck to start. We’ve got you!

Here at aloSIM, we make it easy to purchase the right eSIM data package, install your eSIM (digital SIM card), and activate your eSIM on your your compatible iPhone.

If you’re brand-new to using eSIM for your iPhone, here are the three steps to putting instant data on any eSIM compatible device:

1. Buy an eSIM data package

2. Install your eSIM (digital SIM card)

3. Activate your eSIM data package (This is what we’re talking about today)

What does it mean to activate eSIM?

Every prepaid eSIM data package works for a certain period of time, whether it’s seven days, 10 days, 30 days, or even longer. When you activate eSIM data packages, that means you’re starting the clock on your data package’s expiration period.

If you’ve purchased a data package that’s going to be active for 30 days, that means the clock starts on those 30 days as soon as the package is activated. (That’s why it’s important not to activate your data package until you’re in the correct country, ready to use the data.)

When should I activate eSIM?

Before you activate your eSIM data package, let’s check a few things first …

(A) Have you installed your eSIM on your iPhone?

(B) Are you already in the correct country or region for your eSIM?

(C) Are you ready to start using your data?

If you answered a hearty „YES!“ to all three questions, congratulations! You’re ready to activate your eSIM data package.

How to activate eSIM on an iPhone

Now that we have the iPhone eSIM installation all finished, it’s just a matter of activating your eSIM and starting that data flow.

1. On your iPhone (or iPad), go to „Settings“

2. Tap „Cellular“

3. Under „Cellular Plans,“ select your eSIM from aloSIM.

4. For your eSIM, toggle „Turn On This Line“ to ON

5. For your eSIM, toggle „Data Roaming“ ON

(This step isn’t necessary for the folks running the latest iOS, but it can’t hurt to toggle it on anyway, just in case)

Now your eSIM is activated, but don’t go anywhere yet! There are a couple of other settings to complete …

Choose your eSIM as your data source 

This step is important, because you need to make sure you’re using aloSIM for data … not your Primary SIM!

1. On your iPhone (or iPad), go to „Settings“

2. Tap „Cellular“

3. Type „Cellular Data“

4. Check off your aloSIM eSIM

5. Make sure „Allow Cellular Data Switching“ is toggled OFF

Avoid data roaming charges

Even though you’ve already selected your eSIM as your iPhone’s source of mobile data, there’s one final setting to check. If you have a Primary SIM, and you’ll be travelling outside of your regular coverage area, you need to make sure your iPhone can’t ever, under any circumstances, use it for data. (After all, that’s your eSIM’s job!)

1. On your iPhone (or iPad), go to „Settings“

2. Tap „Cellular“

3. Under „Cellular Plans,“ select your Primary SIM

4. Toggle „Data Roaming“ OFF

5. Make sure you aren’t enrolled in a carrier travel plan

If you want to keep your regular phone number active while using your eSIM for all data, then this is all you need to do. Your phone number will continue to be available for calling and texting, but your regular carrier may charge you for individual calls and texts that occur while you’re traveling internationally.

If you have used a carrier travel plan on a previous trip (where you paid a flat fee each day for the ability to call, text, and use data on vacation), be sure to contact your carrier and remove this plan from your account. Otherwise, it may automatically renew once they detect your phone has left the country.

5. (OPTIONAL) If you don’t want to use your regular phone number while traveling internationally (to avoid calling and texting fees completely), you can toggle „Turn On This Line“ OFF. This disables your primary SIM (including your phone number) until you toggle it back on. Some aloSIM customers prefer to do this to avoid calling and texting fees, and they use our sister app, Hushed, for low-cost calling and texting instead.

Curious about how eSIM technology could work for you? Need help to activate eSIM on your iPhone? Please reach out to the aloSIM Support team anytime to ask questions.