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How to convert your SIM card to an eSIM

Are you tired of old tech? Here's how to move to eSIM.

Published onApril 23, 2024

Are you thinking of making the switch from a physical SIM to an eSIM? The good news is that you may be able to simply convert your SIM card to an eSIM from your device. We’ll walk you through the process, but first, feel free to read our eSIM vs physical SIM comparison to learn all the pros and cons.


You can convert your SIM card to an eSIM if your phone and carrier support this feature. On iOS, go to Settings > Cellular > Convert to eSIM > Convert Cellular Plan > Convert to eSIM. On Android, you can go to Settings > Network & internet > SIMs, tap on your main line, and select Convert to eSIM.

These methods might not work for everyone, though. Keep reading to learn more details.


Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14, an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.3.1, and a Samsung Galaxy S24 running Android 14. Some steps may differ depending on your device and software version.

Requirements to convert SIM to eSIM

Google Fi Wireless logo on smartphone with notebook SIM card and SIM ejector Stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We should first mention that not everyone will be able to convert a SIM to an eSIM straight from their phones. Here are some requirements you need to consider first:

  • Your phone needs to support eSIM. You can easily find this in the spec sheet or manual.
  • Your carrier needs to support eSIM technology. While this is very common in the US, some carriers in certain markets still don’t support eSIM.
  • Your carrier also needs to support the ability to convert a SIM to an eSIM.

How to convert your SIM card to an eSIM on an iPhone

If you have an iPhone, converting your physical SIM into an eSIM is usually much simpler. This is because all Apple devices since the iPhone XS model support eSIM, and carriers usually better support iPhone features. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Cellular.
  3. If your carrier supports this feature, you should see a Convert to eSIM option. Select it.
  4. Tap on Convert Cellular Plan.
  5. Confirm by hitting Convert to eSIM again.

Let the process run. Your physical SIM should deactivate, and your eSIM will take over. You can now remove the physical SIM card, and restart your device.

How to convert your SIM card to an eSIM on Android

Sadly, Android users are still having a more challenging time trying to convert physical SIM cards into eSIM ones. This is because most devices don’t even have this feature. Google has apparently been working on adding this feature, and it was last spotted in Android 14 QPR 2 Beta 3. Some people have claimed success using it, but your mileage may vary. If you want to try it, here is how to do it.

How to convert your SIM card to an eSIM on Android 14:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Tap on SIMs.
  4. Select your SIM.
  5. Scroll all the way to the bottom. If this method works for you, you should see a Convert to eSIM option all the way at the bottom. Select it and follow the on-screen instructions.

That said, manufacturers can add this feature on their own. Samsung owners can actually convert physical SIMs to eSIMs in the settings. Of course, the carrier still needs to support it. Give it a try.

How to convert your SIM card to an eSIM on Samsung devices:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Connections.
  3. Select SIM card manager.
  4. Select your SIM.
  5. Tap on Convert to eSIM.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions until the process is done.

Activate a new eSIM and deactivate the physical SIM

If you can’t convert your physical SIM to eSIM directly from your device, you can still have your carrier help you out. Of course, that is given that your carrier supports eSIM technology. Essentially, you can do things the old-fashioned way, which means activating your line on a new eSIM. This would essentially deactivate your old physical SIM card.

We have a guide on activating eSIM on Android devices. Contact your carrier and tell them you want to switch to using an eSIM. It might send you a QR code. If they do, follow the instructions in the linked posts. Otherwise, the carrier may push the eSIM to your device. The carrier support team will walk you through the process, but essentially, you will give them your information, including your IMEI number, and then you will receive a notification. Tap on it and follow the on-screen instructions.


Converting a physical SIM card into an eSIM is possible, but a bit tricky in the current state of the market. Your carrier needs to support eSIM, as well as eSIM conversion. Additionally, your device needs to have the ability to convert SIM to eSIM.

Charging a fee for converting physical SIM cards into eSIM is not a common practice. That said, some carriers may charge a small fee, but they are very rare. Also, carriers often charge an activation fee, so you might have to pay this to activate a new phone, but this is regardless of whether you’re using physical SIM or eSIM.

You can check the spec sheet or manual to find out if your phone supports eSIM. We also have a complete guide showing you how to determine if your phone is eSIM compatible, if you would rather not browse around for the information.

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