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Convert physical SIM to eSIM: How to do it?

Learn how to convert your physical SIM to an eSIM by just following these simple steps. You can do it on iPhone, Samsung and Android!

Manuel M.

January 12, 2024

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In today’s digital era, technology is constantly evolving to make our lives as convenient. One example is that you no longer need to send a letter to a family member in another country. All you need to do now is send an email. Another big step in this direction is the transformation of the traditional SIM card to the eSIM. But can you actually convert from a physical SIM to an eSIM? Today we’re going to dive into the specifics of how you can achieve this. Let’s dive in.

Can I convert my existing SIM to eSIM?

The traditional plastic SIM card

The short answer is yes. You can definitely convert your existing SIM to an eSIM. As the eSIM has gained support and popularity, more and more cellular providers offer these services to users. Additionally, manufacturers have also adapted the digital SIM on their devices. A couple of the most recent phones that do not come with a slot for physical SIMs anymore are the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15.

Why convert physical SIM to eSIM?

There are many benefits and advantages when you go digital.

Benefits of eSIM Over Physical SIM

  • Flexibility: eSIMs eliminate the need for a physical card, providing more space within your device and enabling manufacturers to design slimmer, more efficient gadgets.
  • Easy Setup: Activating an eSIM is effortless, usually requiring a simple QR code scan and then just follow the steps on the screen.
  • Global Connectivity: With eSIM, switching between carriers becomes effortless, making it an ideal choice for frequent travelers.
  • No risk of damage: Given that this SIM is digital, you won’t risk breaking it or losing it.

eSIM Disadvantages

Just like we mentioned the pros, let’s take a look at the cons. These digital SIM cards also have drawbacks like incompatibility with older phone models.

Do I have to go in-store to make this change?

Once you’ve confirmed that you can switch your SIM card for a digital SIM, then you have to find out if you simply do this online or if the carrier requires you to come to the branch.

Most providers in the USA, like US Mobile and T-Mobile, offer the USA travel eSIM through a QR code. Just a quick scan, and you’re good to go! Others, like Verizon, require activation through their official app. On the other hand, with Freedom Mobile in Canada, you can get your digital SIM through their online portal. When it comes to getting an eSIM in Europe, it might vary a bit. Getting a Portugal eSIM or similar will be different depending on the local carrier. The best way is to contact your provider’s customer service.

How to Convert SIM to eSIM?

Now, let’s get into the thick of it. Changing from a regular SIM card to an eSIM overall is the same for many phone models, however, let’s take a look at the steps of how you can actually get the new eSIM on your phone.

Convert SIM to eSIM: iPhone

  1. Open your iPhone’s settings App.
  2. Tap on “Cellular” and then “Add Cellular Plan.”
  3. Scan the QR code provided by your carrier, or enter the details manually.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

Physical SIM to eSIM: Samsung

  1. Navigate to “Settings” on your Samsung device.
  2. Select “Connections” and then “SIM card manager.”
  3. Choose “Add mobile plan” and follow the prompts to scan the QR code or input the necessary information.

Convert SIM to eSIM: Android

  1. Go to “Settings” on your Android device.
  2. Look for “Network & Internet” or a similar option.
  3. Select “Mobile network” and then “Advanced.”
  4. Choose “Carrier” and follow the instructions to add an eSIM.

Is there a fee for switching from a regular SIM to an eSIM?

One of the most important doubts that you may have is if you have to pay for this change. Overall, the majority of providers do not charge when you convert from the traditional SIM card to the eSIM. However, if you are charged a fee, it regularly is not much, just from $5 up to $10 at most.

Confirm this information with your cellular carrier before you complete the process, and inquire if the charge will come on the next bill or if you can pay on the spot.

Can I use an eSIM and a physical SIM at the same time?

Definitely! Many devices support Dual SIM functionality, allowing you to have both an eSIM and a physical SIM card active simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for international travelers or those who need separate numbers for personal and business use.

Given that roaming is expensive, you can get a digital SIM from international providers like Holafly while you travel. As we mentioned previously, the benefits are that you can use them. If you’re looking for a reliable eSIM option for travel, consider Holafly. They offer hassle-free, global eSIM solutions to keep you connected wherever you go.

Perks of the eSIM

The new digital SIMs bring convenience and peace of mind to your life because you don’t need to stress about losing it or breaking it. Moreover, most of the time, you don’t even have to worry about how to get one. With operators like Holafly, you can buy your eSIM anywhere, anytime! You also get:

  • Unlimited data
  • Data sharing
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Just buy, scan, and connect!
  • Get it from anywhere
  • User-friendly app
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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you convert your SIM to eSIM?

When you switch your SIM to eSIM, the physical card is replaced by a digital chip embedded in your device. This allows for easy switching between carriers and eliminates the need for a physical card.

How do I switch between my SIM and eSIM?

Most devices with dual SIM support allow you to toggle between your SIM and eSIM through the device settings. Simply go to the network settings and choose your preferred active SIM. Make sure you set it correctly to avoid surprise charges.

What’s the difference between the SIM and the eSIM?

The SIM chip is the traditional plastic chip that we’ve been using for decades. On the other hand, the eSIM is the digital version that comes embedded in your phone or device, and you can switch carrier profiles easily. Much more convenient, especially for travel!