How to Use an eSIM when Traveling Abroad with Your iPhone 14

eSIM offers you many advantages when you travel abroad. It's more secure than a physical SIM because your iPhone can't be removed if it's lost or stolen. With eSIM, you don't have to pick up a physical SIM card (which can also be lost), move it, or wait for it to arrive in the mail.

What is eSIM?

eSIM is an industry-standard digital SIM supported by carriers around the world. eSIM is available on iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and later. iPhone 14 models purchased in the United States don't have a physical SIM tray and only eSIM is supported.

Set up eSIM on iPhone

To set up your eSIM, usually just turn on your new iPhone and follow the onscreen instructions. 

If your carrier supports eSIM Carrier Activation or eSIM Quick Transfer, you can enable eSIM when you set up your iPhone. With eSIM Carrier Activation, your carrier assigns an eSIM to your iPhone at the time of purchase. With eSIM Quick Transfer, you transfer the SIM from your old iPhone to your new iPhone without contacting your carrier. In both methods, turn on your iPhone and follow the instructions to activate your eSIM during the setup process.

You can also use these options to add an eSIM later or transfer an eSIM. If these options aren't available, contact your carrier to activate your eSIM with a QR code or your carrier's iPhone app.

If you purchased an iPhone 14 model in the U.S., your iPhone is activated with an eSIM. To activate your eSIM with eSIM Carrier Activation, eSIM Quick Transfer, or a different method, turn on your iPhone and follow the instructions.

If you contacted your carrier for an eSIM after you set up your iPhone, and your carrier set up an eSIM Carrier Activation, follow these steps: 

  1. When it appears, tap the notification that says Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Install.
  2. In the Settings app, tap Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Install.
  3. Tap Continue at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Check your device's cellular connection by making a call with your iPhone. If you can't make a call, contact your carrier.
  5. If the plan you activated will replace the plan on your physical SIM, remove your physical SIM. Next, restart your iPhone.

Convert a physical SIM to an eSIM on the same iPhone

You can convert a physical SIM to an eSIM on the same iPhone if your carrier supports it. Follow these steps:
  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular.
  • Tap Convert to eSIM.
  • If you don't see Convert to eSIM, your carrier doesn't support it. Contact your carrier to move your phone number from your physical SIM to the eSIM using eSIM Carrier Activation or scanning a QR code.
  • Tap Convert Cellular Plan.
  • Tap Convert to eSIM.
  • Wait for your eSIM to activate. When the cellular plan on your iPhone is activated, your previous SIM card is disabled.
  • Remove the physical SIM from your iPhone. Next, restart your iPhone.

Enter the eSIM information manually, if necessary

  • Contact your carrier to get the eSIM information you need to enter.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Cellular or Mobile Data.
  • Tap Add Cellular Plan.
  • Tap Enter Details Manually at the bottom of the iPhone screen.

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