woman ipad esim

How to set up an eSIM on iPhone XR, XS and iPad Pro

You have heard about eSIM and you want to use all the benefits that this new technology offers you in your mobile, because here I will tell you how to configure an eSim in your iPhone Xr, Xs or iPad Pro.

Before we proceed, I want tell you two important points…

What is an eSim?

First, explain in detail the meaning of an eSIM, what is an eSIM?: an eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a mobile data plan from your operator without having to use a classic card.

In other words, you have the same functions as a SIM card but this one is virtual, so you don’t have to put it in any slot.

Dual SIM card

Second, both the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max offer a dual SIM, which means that you can use a nano SIM (the classic) and an eSIM (virtual card) on their devices. The same goes for the iPads.

Knowing this, let’s continue.

How to set up an eSim on iPhone (XR and XS)

What do I require?

  • An iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR with an iOS12.1 or later installed.
  • A QR code or app from an eSim-compatible carrier.

What do I need to do?

There are three ways to set up and activate your eSIM. Keep in mind that some devices already have the double Sim, explained in previous paragraphs, so activate this type of SIM card would be to activate a second mobile data plan.

Time needed: 2 minutes.

  1. Scan a QR code (provided by the operator)

    Go to settings, then to Mobile data, Add mobile data plan, scan the QR code, provided by the mobile operator eSIM:
    – Open your Camera app and scan your QR code.
    – When the Cellular Plan Detected notification appears, tap it.
    – Tap Continue.

  2. Add mobile data plan

    Go to settings, then to Mobile data, Add mobile data plan, scan the QR code, provided by the mobile operator eSIM.
    If you are asked for a confirmation code to activate the eSim, make sure your operator has also provided it. If not, please contact their customer service area.

  3. Use an operator’s app

    Go to your operator’s App Store, download it and use it to purchase a mobile data plan.

  4. Do it manually

    Click Enter Manual Details at the bottom of the iPhone screen.

To be noted!

  • Using the Double Sim: If you want to use the double sim benefit, i.e. use two numbers on the same computer, you have to make sure you have an unlocked iPhone so you can use two numbers from different companies.
  • Use multiple eSIM: It is important to indicate that you cannot use more than one eSim at a time but you can store them in your mobile and use them one at a time. To change from eSim you must go to Settings, Mobile data, then choose the plan you want to use, click on Activate this line.
  • Rename numbers: This is to differentiate your two numbers, either from a classic Sim and another eSim or two eSim. If, for example, one number is personal and the other is for your company, you can put these labels on it. To change the name you can go to Settings, Mobile data, click on the number, then on the Data plan label and select a new one or enter a custom label.
  • Delete your eSIM: Just go to Settings, Mobile data, click on the plan you want to delete, click on Delete your mobile data plan. Please note that in order to cancel your mobile data plan, you need to contact your operator, so you can avoid being charged in vain.

You can find more information about Using Dual SIM with an eSIM on Apple’s support page.

iphone dual sim screen
Some iPhones can operate with two lines (Dual SIM). Source: Apple support page.

How to set up an eSIM on iPad

The first thing is to have an iPad that supports eSIM, namely: an iPad Pro 2018 or later, or an iPad Air 2019. Keep in mind that your device must be not only a Wi-Fi model, but also a Cellular model. So here’s how to set up a mobile data plan with an eSim.

What do I need?

  • An iPad Pro 2018 or later or an iPad Air (always in its WIFI + Cellular options) with an iOS12.1 or later installed.
  • A QR code or an app from an eSIM compatible phone operator.

What do I need to do?

Similar to the above-mentioned iPhones, you can scan a QR code from your carrier, use your carrier’s app on the iPad to set up your eSIM, or do it manually.

Scan a QR code (provided by the operator)

Go to Settings, Mobile Data, Add Mobile Data Plan, use the iPad to scan the QR code. Here you might also be asked for a confirmation code to activate the eSim, this you have to ask your operator if you don’t have it.

Use an operator’s app

Here you also have to download the App Store app and use it to buy a mobile data plan.

Do it manually

Go to Settings, Mobile Data, and Set Up Mobile Data if you are adding a first plan. If you’re adding another plan, go to Settings, Mobile data, and Add a new plan.

The next step is to Select an operator, if you don’t find the one you want, contact them and ask for it in their customer service. Choose the plan and create an account or add the iPad to an existing plan, then confirm.

To be noted!

  • Deactivate your plan: If your plan is prepaid, simply do not renew it at the end of the month. If it is postpaid, go to Settings, Mobile data, choose the name of the operator and choose not to renew it. If you get a negative message, contact your operator and ask them to deactivate it.
  • Transfer your plan from one iPad to another: On the new iPad, go to Settings, Mobile Data, Set Up Mobile Data. Click the Transfer button and the operator you want to use. If you don’t see the button, you’ll need to contact your carrier.

You can find more information about eSIMs and dual SIMs on Apple’s help portal. Remember that you can also use an eSIM card in an apple watch.

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