Phone Plans

How to Reactivate eSIM?

Kyle Reyes
March 31, 2023

This article will discuss how to reactivate an eSIM account on phones that have multiple accounts within the same device. You can deactivate your eSIM though the settings, and if done accidentally, it can cause some serious distress. We’re here to help!

How to Reactivate eSIM

The activation (and reactivation) process of an eSIM profile on your mobile device varies a bit based on the model, but these are the general steps to follow: 

  • Jump into the Mobile Data tab of Settings
  • Find the eSIM profile you want to reactivate
  • Switch it on! 

Switching Active eSIM

One of the biggest changes when going from a single-account phone to a dual-account phone with an activated eSIM is figuring out which account is the default for all your various activities. By creating contact groups, you can assign, for instance, all your personal contacts to come in through your personal number and all your work contacts to come in through your work number. You can do the same with texting, and also set the line you want for mobile data usage. This requires a bit more work upfront, but you should take the time to get all your settings squared away so you can operate your phone without issue!

How to Reactivate eSIM Phones

Let’s talk about how to activate and reactivate the eSIM on your device. Well, eSIM or physical SIM depending on which one you activate second. The process is just about the same either way. The main differences come from the model of your device, and we’ll get into the specifics of reactivating eSIM on Apple and Android phones right away. 

How to Reactivate eSIM on an Apple Device

All of the newer models of Apple devices are eSIM compatible. Lots of carriers offer physical SIM and eSIM options when you activate your phone on their service, and while the specifics vary based on the carrier the major steps are all the same. Let’s jump into how to reactivate eSIM on your Apple device. 

In order to set up a second account you need to have two active cards, so your second activated card will either be an eSIM or a physical SIM. If it is a physical SIM, you first open up the SIM tray, place it in, and slide it back into the slot! From there, make sure to label your plans. These are the tags labeled in the Apple settings: 

  • Business
  • Cellular Data
  • Personal 
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Travel

You can pick and choose which category works best for the number and you can change it whenever in your settings! You can set a primary and secondary number and configure the settings to use your cellular data best, and decide which of your numbers send messages to numbers outside of your contact groups. Contact groups let you assign groups to your accounts, so you can separate business and personal contacts or however you like. That is a great way to lessen the flip-flopping between multiple numbers, as you can use cellular data on one number while sending calls and texts on another!

How to Reactivate a eSIM Android Phone

Similar to Apple phones, eSIM-compatible Android phones have an eSIM card and a physical SIM tray. Android phones have a hybrid tray that has two slots where one of them can hold a SIM card or a micro SD card that increases your phone’s memory (as long as you don’t need it for a third SIM card).

Once you have both your accounts ready, you can go into the phone’s settings and activate the second card after your phone detects it automatically. From there, you can choose from the categories, again similar to the categories available at Apple. There are a few extra categories available, like text messages, heart, and home. Once you have set up the SIM card you have an extra option when making calls, texts, and using data. In the drop down menu as well as when you are sending a text or making a call you have the option to change the SIM card, and in your setting you can decide which ones are default for certain activities. 

Which Should You Purchase?

That’s all up to you! Both Apple and Android have some amazing options for phones, and if you are purchasing a new phone we recommend making a list of some of your favorites from each provider and picking out the one that you will be most comfortable using. There are enough eSIM phone choices that there are great options no matter where you are looking.

One downside of purchasing eSIM-compatible phones is that it is mainly the newer models that have the new trays and are able to support two SIM cards, so older, more affordable phones are oftentimes out of the question. If you are being supplied with a work phone, you can ask if you are receiving an eSIM-compatible device, and whether or not you can use it for your personal phone as well. 

There are lots of new phones that have eSIM compatibility and there are affordable ones, too! 

What is an eSIM Phone?

ESIM phones allow users to hold multiple accounts and numbers on one device. Having a work phone and a personal phone is a classic way for people to separate their work from their non-work lives, especially if they, say, need to have their work phone online at all times and be able to answer it outside of work hours. A work phone with a separate ringtone lets employees know when they are getting a work call. 

That being said, carrying around two phones all the time is less than ideal. Regarding pocket space alone, two phones can be more than a bit inconvenient. As phones have become more and more complex, the first eSIM phones gained popularity

Who uses eSIM Phones?

Anyone with access to multiple numbers or plans could use an eSIM phone. With a phone like this, you have an additional setting, normally in your drop-down menu, that lets you switch what the active SIM card is on your phone. While only one SIM card is active at a time in your user interface, you will receive text and call notifications from each number whenever it is relevant. Business people and travelers are those who most benefit from two accounts on eSIM phones. 

What is an eSIM?

Embedded SIM cards connect to mobile plans the same way that physical SIM cards do. They are very similar in how they function within the device, and both store account-specific information that keeps your phone up and running. This section will discuss how SIM cards work, eSIM mobile plans, and the pros and cons of eSIM cards. 

Information Your SIM Card Stores

Your SIM card has a lot of specific data on it. Here’s some of the most important information stored on your SIM card:

  • Authentication Key: A string of numbers on your SIM (unique to you) that authenticates it on the network in which it is currently running 
  • Advice of Charge: An estimation of the mobile services cost for your phone
  • Local Area Identity: Identifying code that combines with your phone number and mobile country code
  • Mobile Country Code: This well-named piece of information shows the country from which you are calling
  • Service Provider Name: Put simply, it’s the name of the company from which you get your service
  • Service Dialing Number: Numbers you can dial to get information related to your mobile account
  • Unblocking Code: This is the code you need to open your phone if you put in the wrong PIN one too many times
  • Short Message Service Center: The process that delivers your text message
  • Voice-Added Services: Additional services you’ve purchased for your phone
  • Integrated Circuit Card ID: A unique number for your SIMm that helps identify it. No two SIM cards have the same number. If that ever happens, it would lead to a lot of confusion. A lot.

This varies from phone to phone, but your IMEI number might also sit snugly in your SIM card. SIM cards generally store anywhere from 8 KB to 256 KB. The information they store is small compared to a lot of the other data we use, but it is very important. 

Accessing Your SIM Card’s Storage

There are a few different ways to access your SIM card’s storage if you ever need to. You can buy a SIM card reader, a device that allows you to output the data from the card onto a computer, or you can go into your settings to find it within the phone. 

On an iPhone, you can go into your settings and poke around until you see the info on your SIM card. On an Android, you can go through a similar process to find the information in your phone’s settings. 

What Happens When You Take Out Your SIM Card?

Not much! Your phone turns from a smartphone to a smart device, but all the data is still there. You lose connection to your mobile data, but your phone won’t crash, factory reset, or anything scary like that. You’ll still have all your contacts, pictures, and data. While your phone will lose access to your number, it should sync back up when you put your SIM card back into your phone. 

Pros and Cons of eSIM Phones

Embedded SIM cards are growing in popularity, but physical SIM cards will likely remain in circulation for la while. There are not too many differences between eSIMs and physical SIMs, and eSIM cards offer a lot of advantages over SIM cards, but have a different set of disadvantages as well. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of eSIMs. 


  • Easier to switch networks. Phones with eSIM cards are designed to switch instantly from one carrier to another, an advantage over physical SIMs, where you need to order a new SIM card from the new carrier and switch it out with the old one. 
  • No chance of accidental damage. SIM cards are teeny tiny, and there is always a chance for a mishap whenever you have to eject your SIM card. 
  • Store multiple networks on the same eSIM card. Many eSIMs can store multiple virtual SIM cards, letting you switch easily between networks if you run through areas with unreliable networks or travel to different countries. 
  • Dual-SIM devices often use eSIM cards. Dual-SIM devices are growing in popularity, letting you easily store multiple numbers on the same device and switch between them. 
  • Saves space. Last but not least, eSIMs take up less space than physical SIM cards, opening up the possibility for new phone models to be sleeker and more powerful. 


  • More difficult to swap devices. Switching devices with a physical SIM card is as easy as moving the SIM from one to the next. It has all your information stored on it, so you have to transfer your contacts, pop in the SIM, and you are good to go. Swapping devices with eSIM cards is more involved and challenging. 
Deciding which phone is right for you is hard! There are so many phones on the market right now that it is quite challenging to pick out one above all the rest. 

Our Top 6 eSIM Phones 2023

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on how to reactivate eSIM phones, let’s dive into the best of the best if you’re looking for an eSIM-compatible device in 2023.

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Series

Price: $1,000

The S22 series from Samsung Galaxy are all eSIM compatible and have a fantastic suite of bells and whistles. It has a tremendous processor, a ton of memory, and a killer camera. The price tag is a big hurdle, but a phone like this will treat you well if you are able to budget out the money for it. 

The features on the S22 are some of the best out there. It has a ton of features that come with new phones, and it can output some of the best pictures on the market. We do, however, want to mention the previous model, the S21. 

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Series

Price: $625

The S21 series is amazing. It has the base suite of features as the S22 with a weaker camera and processor. We are big fans of finding a more affordable phone depending on the best phone for you. 

Camera, resolution, processing power, and battery life are the major improvements in new phone lines. After that, there are not too many differences between the last couple phone series released by the major companies.

3. Google Pixel 7

Price: $600

The Google Pixel 7 is a fantastic new phone with a lot of storage and access to the latest and greatest that Google is able to put on the table. This is an amazing phone for users of all kinds, and it has a great camera and some fantastic features when it comes to photo taking and photo editing. This is another excellent choice for an eSIM phone if you are looking for a new phone that is more affordable than the flagship from Samsung or Apple. 

This is the phone for you if you are happy with a phone that’s been figuring out its look over the last few generations and landed on something fantastic. That said, the oldest Google Pixel with eSIM capability goes way back to the 3a. Let’s check it out. 

4. Google Pixel 3a

Price (Refurbished): $100

The price on this one changes a lot depending on the sale you get and the place you look to purchase it. Right now on Amazon, the Google Pixel 3a is around $100 and is a very affordable way to get yourself an eSIM-compatible phone. 

5. iPhone 13

Price:  $730

Apple’s iPhone 13 series is a fantastic choice for an eSIM phone. iPhones are so prevalent, and access to iMessage allows for quick and efficient communication with all Apple devices. They have a fantastic UI, and it is really easy to add on a second SIM card through the settings of the phone. On top of its eSIM compatibility, the iPhone 13 series all have fantastic cameras, processors, and screens so if you are someone who likes to game or watch videos or something like that on your phone this is a fantastic way to do that.

6. iPhone SE (3rd Gen)

Price: $450

Last but not least, the iPhone SE (3rd Gen) is an affordable option that nets you a great new Apple device with eSIM capability. This model comes without the bells and whistles that many of the other new phones have, but you can rest assured that it is a new phone and is not refurbished, while coming at an astonishingly low price point in relation to the other phones on Apple’s roster. 

Any Questions?

Any questions about how to reactivate eSIM? If you do, feel free to drop us a line! We’re excited to follow the development of eSIM phone plans and see how new phones are developed once they no longer have SIM drives.

Kyle Reyes
Kyles Reyes is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in the wireless industry, phone plan comparisons & advice.
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