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How to activate a Visible eSIM

The process isn't too complicated, and mostly involves the Visible mobile app.

Published onJuly 7, 2023

Verizon’s budget Visible carrier brand provides unlimited data at a cheaper price than its parent company. If you’ve bought a Visible plan and you’re looking to activate an eSIM-based phone for service, here’s how to do it.


To activate a Visible eSIM:

  1. Connect a compatible Android device or iPhone to Wi-Fi and open the Visible app.
  2. If you're activating a new eSIM you'll be guided through the activation process, though some steps take place outside the app.
  3. If you're porting an eSIM from one device to another, go Account > Your devices > Switching to eSIM is SIMple > Switch now in the app. You'll need your new phone's IMEI number.


How to activate a Visible eSIM

Compatible devices

Google Pixel 7 Pro vs Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max backs
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Unlike some other carriers, Visible supports both Android and iPhone eSIMs. Be sure to check the official compatibility list before trying to activate.

In general, though, supported Android devices are limited to recent Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy flagships, such as the Pixel 7 and the Galaxy S22 5G. Every iPhone released since 2018’s iPhone XS and XR is compatible.

All phones must be unlocked. If you’re transferring from another carrier, your number will be ported after the eSIM is activated.

Activating on Android

  • Open the Visible app. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi first.
  • Check off everything in the checklist and tap Go to activation.
  • The eSIM will start downloading, but once it’s done, it still needs to turned on outside of the Visible app. On a Google phone, go to Settings > Network and Internet > Advanced > Add Operator. If you have a Samsung device, go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager > Add Mobile plan.
  • Toggle on the Visible eSIM.
  • Return to the Visible app and tap Check Status. At this point you’ll be connected to the Visible network, a process that can take up to 15 minutes.

Activating on iPhone

  • Open the Visible app. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi first.
  • Check off everything in the checklist and tap Go to activation.
  • You’ll see a spinning circle as setup gets underway. This should take less than 5 minutes, but can take longer and still complete.
  • When you’re prompted to go to the Install Cellular Plan screen, tap Continue.
  • At the Add Cellular Plan screen, tap Continue again.
  • When Waiting for Activation appears, tap Dismiss.
  • At some point, a Phone is Activated pop-up should appear. You’ll automatically be switched back to the Visible app if necessary.
  • Wait about 15 minutes or so while the connection process completes. You’ll know service is ready when the Visible name appears in your iPhone’s status bar.

How to transfer a Visible eSIM to a new phone

While switching eSIMs between phones can be more inconvenient that physical SIM cards, the process isn’t too complicated.

  • Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi, then open the Visible app on your new device.
  • Select Your devices, then Switching to eSIM is SIMple.
  • Tap Switch now and follow prompts. You may be asked to enter your new phone’s IMEI number.
  • Before the transfer starts, an authentication code will be sent to your email address and your Visible text number, so be sure at least one of those is accessible.