How to set up an eSIM on Google Pixel?

In this guide, we'll explain how to set up an eSIM on Google Pixel.

This should only take five minutes.

First, let's make sure you have everything you need.

What you need to set up an eSIM on Google Pixel:

  • You must have purchased an eSIM plan - you can do this now
  • A QR code or activation code- you should have received a QR code after making the purchase
  • Internet connection 
  • A Google Pixel which is compatible with eSIM 

Is my Google Pixel compatible with eSIM?

Only the following devices are compatible with eSIM - check this before you buy:

  • Google Pixel 2 (only phones bought with Google Fi service)
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3 (not including phones bought in Australia, Taiwan or Japan. Phones bought with US or Canadian carriers other than Spring and Google Fi don't work with eSIM)
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a (not including phones bought in Japan or with Verizon service)
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 6 (coming soon)

When should I install my eSIM for travel?

Don't set up your eSIM too early. eSIMs have a limited number of days attached to each data plan. Don't start the plan too soon or it won't last for your trip.

We recommend setting up the data plan the same day that you travel.

This could be before you leave, when you're still at home. Or once you've arrived in your destination. This is up to you - just remember you need WiFi connection to complete the set-up.

You might prefer to set up the eSIM earlier than this, so that you're in less of a rush. But remember that once the eSIM is set-up you cannot pause the plan so the days of validity will start counting down.

To work out the earliest date you can set up your eSIM, just subtract the length of the plan from the last day you'll need it.

For example, if you have a 15 day eSIM and you'll need it until the 15th July, you can set it up from the 1st July onwards - even if you're still at home on this date.

How to set up an eSIM on your Google Pixel

There are two ways to set up an eSIM on your Google Pixel:

  • With a QR code
  • With an activation code

We will take a look at both methods now:

Install an eSIM with a QR code for Google Pixel

These four steps should take just two minutes:

  1. Go to Settings > Networking & Internet > Advanced Mobile Operators
  2. Click on “More” and “Add operator”
  3. On some models, you must select "Don't have a SIM card"
  4. Scan the QR code (your Pixel's camera will turn on automatically)
  5. Download and install the eSIM

Install an eSIM with an activation code for Google Pixel

If you have an activation code rather than a QR code, the process is straightforward. Just follow the steps above but instead of scanning the QR code press “Use Activation Code”. Now just enter the relevant data to start downloading the eSIM.

How to activate an eSIM on your Google Pixel

Important: only activate the eSIM once you have arrived in your destination.

  1. Go to: Settings > Network & internet
  2. Select Mobile Network
  3. Select the eSIM you want to use.
  4. Click Use SIM at the top of the screen
  5. Turn on Mobile Data
  6. Turn on Data Roaming