How to activate an eSIM on all major US carriers

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Here’s how to enter the world of digital SIM cards.


eSim cards have not yet become widespread, but thanks to Apple removing the SIM card slot from the iPhone 14, physical SIM cards are probably going through their last days. While none of the Android manufacturers have followed suit, it is possible to activate and use an eSIM on all major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile). All best android phones are eSIM compatible, so read on if you’re ready for the switch.

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This guide will walk you through activating an eSIM on the three major US carriers. We also show you how to download your new eSIM to your Android phone. If you’re not sure what an eSIM is, read our SIM card types comparison.


How to activate an eSIM on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile

After purchasing an eSIM plan, you will need to activate your eSIM. Here’s how it’s done at each of the three major carriers. After you activate your eSIM, you will download it to your Android phone.

Despite their growing popularity, eSIMs are not widely advertised by carriers. Although the following instructions work, you may encounter problems activating your eSIM. In this case, contact your operator’s customer service or go to a physical store to complete your activation.

How to activate an eSIM on Verizon

There are two ways to activate an eSIM on Verizon:

  • Use the My Verizon app to activate your eSIM. You can use this whether you bring your own device or switch to an eSIM on an existing one.
  • Please contact Verizon Customer Service at (800) 922-0204 to activate your eSIM.

How to activate an eSIM on AT&T

  1. Sign in to your AT&T account.
  2. Click my devices.
  3. Find your device and click Manage.
  4. Click Options and settings.
  5. Select Get a new eSIM.
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your eSIM setup.

How to activate an eSIM on T-Mobile

  1. Sign in to your T mobile account.
  2. Find your device and select the phone number.
  3. enter your EID number.
  4. Scan the QR code.

How to download your eSIM to your Android phone

After activating your eSIM, it’s time to download it to your Android phone. Make sure you meet the following criteria before you begin:

  • Your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network
  • You received an email from your operator with a QR activation code.

You will need to go into your Android phone’s settings to activate your device. This is in a slightly different location for each device. We’ve included instructions for a Google Pixel 6 running Android 13, but the steps should be similar for all Android devices.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Play Network and Internet.

  3. tap on the plus button next to SIM. don’t touch the SIM Button to activate your eSIM.
  4. Play Download a SIM instead at the bottom of your screen.

  5. Play next.
  6. Scan your QR code.

  7. Once your code has been confirmed, tap Done to complete the activation of your eSIM.

Is an eSIM the right decision for you?

eSIMs offer many advantages over regular SIM cards, but the inability to change a physical card is a drawback for some people. But if you don’t care what kind of SIM you have, check out our roundup of the best prepaid phone plans to save a few extra bucks on your phone bill.

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