How to activate an eSIM on every major US carrier

This is how you enter the world of digital SIM cards


eSim cards haven’t gone mainstream yet, but since Apple has removed the SIM card slot from the iPhone 14, physical SIM cards are likely to see 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 the best Android phones are compatible with eSIM, so read on if you’re ready to make the switch.

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This guide will walk you through activating an eSIM with 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, see our comparison of SIM card types.


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

After purchasing an eSIM tariff, you need to activate your eSIM. This is how it is done by each of the three major airlines. After activating your eSIM, download it to your Android phone.

Despite their growing popularity, eSIMs are not widely promoted by network operators. While the instructions below work, you may encounter issues activating your eSIM. In this case, contact your network operator’s customer service or go to a physical store to complete the activation.

How to activate an eSIM with Verizon

There are two ways to activate an eSIM with 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.
  • Contact Verizon Customer Support 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. Locate your device and click on it Administer.
  4. click Options & Settings.
  5. Choose Get a new eSIM.
  6. Follow the instructions to complete your eSIM setup.

How to activate an eSIM at T-Mobile

  1. Sign in to your T-Mobile account.
  2. Find your device and select the phone number.
  3. Give her EID number.
  4. Scan the QR code.

How to download your eSIM on your Android phone

Now that you’ve activated your eSIM, it’s time to download it to your Android phone. Before you begin, make sure you meet the following criteria:

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

You need to enter your Android phone 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. Beat Network & Internet.

  3. Tap the plus button next to it SIMs. Don’t tap those SIMs button to activate your eSIM.
  4. Beat Download a SIM card instead at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Beat Next.
  6. Scan your QR code.

  7. Once your code is confirmed, tap Finished to complete your eSIM activation.

Is an eSIM the right decision for you?

eSIMs offer numerous advantages over regular SIM cards, but the inability to swap out a physical card is a disadvantage for some people. But if you don’t care what type of SIM card 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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