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How to transfer an eSIM from Android to another?

Virtual SIM cards are becoming more common and versatile. If you want to switch phones, learn how to transfer your eSIM between Android.

Leoneska Ruiz

October 3, 2023

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The embedded SIM card technology is growing increasingly, and many phones are compatible. That is why eSIM transfer between Android phones will be standard, either because we change the device or for any other reason. Android does not have a native application or function to make the transfer, and there is some uncertainty among users. In this guide, we will explain the alternative for this situation.

Even though the long-awaited eSIM switching feature has not yet arrived on Android, other ways exist to move your service from one phone to another. Before trying to do so, there are several points that you should know and confirm to avoid losing your eSIM or having to buy a new one. With the information we will give you, you will not be left incommunicado when transferring your virtual SIM card!

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What do I need to transfer my eSIM? 

Transfer eSIM between Android
Android Phones. Source: Unsplash.

Of course, before attempting to transfer your plan and service from one phone to another, you must check if you have everything needed quickly. Generally speaking, before you even try to transfer your plan and service from one phone to another, you should consider:

  • You have to ensure that the new phone is eSIM compatible. To do this, you can check it in the settings, or if you don’t have it handy, use Holafly’s list of compatible phones.
  • You should check with your mobile operator to see if they have the virtual SIM card transfer feature. In some cases, the installation has to be done by them, and in others, they only allow you to install the eSIM on one phone.
  • For the installation process, the new phone needs an Internet connection. Doing it from home and with a secure WiFi network is recommended.

We can also help you by answering what an eSIM is and how they works in phones.

Ways to transfer your eSIM card

Until the eSIM switching feature is officially announced in Android, we only have two alternatives to transfer our virtual SIM card to a new phone.

The first option is to do it through your carrier or service provider. In many cases, the process can be done from their website or App, as with Verizon. You provide the necessary information about the new phone, such as the IMEI, and then you can install it. Some carriers require you to go to their physical locations to transfer.

The second alternative is to have the installation QR or eSIM information that you have on your old phone. Simply remove the virtual SIM card from your old phone and install it in your new phone in the same way as the old one. You must confirm that your provider allows you to use the same QR code for another installation.

>You might want to know how to transfer your eSIM from an iPhone to an Android mobile<

Transfer an eSIM card from the operators

To transfer an eSIM from Android to Android through your operator, you must contact them directly. As mentioned above, you should check if they allow you to move the eSIM and if they must do the process. You may be asked to go to a physical location or remotely. The method may vary depending on your provider, but here is a general overview:

  1. Contact your carrier. Let them know you want to transfer your eSIM to a new Android device.
  2. Provide your carrier with the necessary information. This may include your account number, phone number, and the IMEI number of your new device.
  3. Follow your carrier’s instructions. They may need you to complete a form, provide additional information, or visit a store to complete the transfer.

Transfer an eSIM card manually

We could perform the installation ourselves if we have the information about our virtual SIM card or the installation QR code we used the first time. For this, on Android OS phones, there are two methods, one direct and almost automatic, which is through a QR code, and another that requires us to put specific information about our service.

QR code method

To install and place our eSIM on Android phones as the main one, we must go to our device’s settings. You must be connected to a WiFi network to have internet and the QR code in a place you can scan. It can be on another screen if you received it in an email or physical if you received it from your operator.

  1. Go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager > Add eSIM
  2. Select the Scan QR from the service provider option. 
  3. At this point, the camera app will open to scan the QR code.
  4. Then, you must confirm that you want to add the eSIM
  5. Wait a few minutes for the installation to finish. Then, you can name the eSIM and select it as your primary service.

You may also be interested in some of the best eSIM for Asia travel.

Manually enter the eSIM card information

The manual process is quite similar to using the QR code. The difference is that the information, such as address and activation code, you will have to write it yourself. You must be careful and accurate with the numbers and letters because if they differ, your virtual SIM card will not install or show an error. Also, this information is provided by email or in physical form, depending on your provider.

  1. Go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager > Add eSIM
  2. Select the Enter activation code option instead of the Scan QR code
  3. At this point, you will be prompted for information such as activation code or address.
  4. Confirm that you want to add the eSIM with the following information
  1. Wait a few minutes for the installation to finish. Then, you can name the eSIM and select it as your primary service.

FAQ about transfer eSIM between Android 

Can I transfer my virtual SIM card from an iPhone to an Android phone?

There are no direct applications or functions to transfer your virtual SIM card between iPhone and Android. However, there are other alternatives that you can use to do so, although you should consider some conditions. Holafly has a guide explaining these requirements and steps to transfer between OS.

Is there an application or function similar to Quick Transfer on Android?

There are no applications or functions similar to Quick Transfer on iPhone. However, Google has mentioned that it is in development and may soon be available on Android 14 or later. We have to wait for this OS to present this novelty.

What can I do if my operator does not allow eSIM transfer?

It is a standard policy that operators do not allow the transfer or that the activation QR can be used only once. In this case, the only option is to contract a new virtual SIM card service. Holafly is an online store that offers prepaid eSIM packages for more than 160 destinations worldwide, easy to buy and with unlimited data.