How to set up an eSIM on iPhone?

Table of Contents

What do I need to set up an eSIM on iPhone?

  • An unlocked iPhone that is compatible with eSIM
  • A QR code or app from an eSIM provider
  • WiFi connection

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 install an eSIM on iPhone: step-by-step

Scan a QR code

1. Make sure your phone is connected to WiFi.

2. From your home screen, go to: Settings > Cellular/Mobile data > Add Data Plan

3. The iPhone camera will open. Scan the QR code, which you can print out or open on another device.

4. Once your phone has recognised the eSIM, you will see a screen called "Data Plan Labels". Click "Secondary" and change the name to "Holafly" so that you can recognize it later.

5. You will be asked which SIM card you want to use for calls, SMS and mobile data. First it will ask you what line you want to use for calls, SMS, Facetime and iMessages. You should choose your primary line for this. But make sure to select the "Holafly" eSIM as the option for mobile data. Make sure you do NOT activate "mobile data switching", as that could mean you face charges from your phone company.

How to activate an eSIM on iPhone: step-by-step

Once you've installed the eSIM, you now need to activate it to use mobile data.

1. Go to: Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data

2. Select the Holafly eSIM (under "Cellular Plans")

3. Click "Turn on this line"

4. Turn on Cellular/Mobile Data and Data Roaming from your settings menu.

Turn on Cellular/Mobile data - Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data 

Turn on Data Roaming - Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options

5. If you don't have internet connection, go to your eSIM profile (Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data > Choose the Holafly eSIM) and make sure that the eSIM is activated and that data roaming is turned on within the eSIM profile as well.

6. You may receive one or more text messages once your eSIM is set up. Depending on the country you are in, these might not be in your language. These are from the local network operator and confirm that the eSIM has been set up correct correctly. 

How many eSIMs can I set up on my iPhone?

You can store many eSIMs on your iPhone. However, you can only use one at a time. To change which eSIM you are using:

1. Go to: Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data

2. Select the eSIM you want to use (under "Cellular Plans")

3. Click "Turn on this line"