[2 Ways] How to Transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone 15/14/13

An eSIM only iPhone is great, but how can you migrate from a physical SIM to an eSIM when you buy the iPhone 14/15? This guide will give you an answer. Just try the two ways in this guide to transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone.


By Demi / Updated on February 5, 2024

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About eSIM on iPhone

Since iPhone XS/XS Max/XR and later, Apple comes with a physical SIM card port as well as two internal eSIM (Embedded-SIM) cards. What’s more, the iPhone 15 in the USA have removed the SIM card slot and replaced the SIM with an eSIM. 

So what is eSIM on iPhone? In short, it is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without a physical SIM card. Furthermore, you can install more than one eSIMs on an iPhone and use two phone numbers at the same time.

So here comes the question - how can you transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone when you buy the iPhone 15 in US, or you’d like to switch to eSIM?

transfer SIM to eSIM iphone

You can complete the SIM to eSIM transfer task with the help of eSIM Quick Transfer or carrier activation. Keep reading this guide to get the detailed instructions.

🚩 Warm Tip: Before converting the current physical SIM card to eSIM, it is recommended to backup important contacts using the tool mentioned in the Bonus part. Just in case unexpected errors happen during the conversion.

Way 1. Transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone 15/14/13 via eSIM Quick Transfer

eSIM Quick Transfer is available for AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, C Spire, or U.S. Cellular. If you purchased an iPhone 15 model in the US, you can make use of eSIM Quick Transfer to finish the transfer process during iPhone setup. For other iPhone models, you can let iPhone transfer SIM to eSIM after setup with it.

Option 1. Convert SIM to eSIM during setup

Make sure both of your old iPhone and new iPhone 15 are close with each other and connect them to a stable Wi-Fi network. Now, let’s transfer SIM to eSIM.

Step 1. Set up iPhone 15 until you get to the Set Up eSIM screen > Tap Transfer from another iPhone.

Step 2. Select the line you want to transfer to your new iPhone > When prompted, tap Transfer SIM.

During the initial setup, only one line can be transferred. Other lines can be transferred later from the Settings app.

transfer SIM

Step 3. Enter the code shown on iPhone 15 on your old iPhone > Double-click the side button on your old iPhone to confirm the transfer.

Step 4. Wait for the activation to finish > Tap Continue on your iPhone 15 and complete the setup process.

Option 1. Convert SIM to eSIM after setup

If you have more than one SIMs, you can follow the instructions listed below to transfer physical SIM to eSIM from iPhone to new iPhone 15 or convert SIM to eSIM on the same iPhone.

How to transfer SIM to eSIM from old iPhone to new iPhone 15/14/13
Step 1. On your new iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan.

Step 2. On the old iPhone, choose the cellular plan > Check for instructions on your old iPhone and click Transfer.


Step 3. When you see Finish Setting Up Your Carrier’s Cellular Plan on your new iPhone, tap it. Finally, you will be directed to your carrier's webpage to transfer your eSIM.

How to convert SIM to eSIM on the same iPhone
Step 1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular > Tap Convert to eSIM.

If you don’t see Convert to eSIM, your carrier doesn’t support this option. Contact your carrier for help.

Step 2. From the prompt window, tap Convert Cellular Plan.

convert cellular plan

Step 3. Tap Convert to eSIM and wait for your eSIM to activate. When it is finished, remove the physical SIM from your iPhone and restart your iPhone.

Way 2. Transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone 15 via carrier activation

Your iPhone 15 might come pre-installed with a new eSIM if you bought it via your carrier rather than Apple or another store. For your iPhone to automatically provide your eSIM, connect your iPhone 15 to a Wi-Fi network so that it can communicate with your carrier's activation servers. Now, follow the steps below to transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone via carrier activation.

Step 1. Set up your new iPhone 15, when prompted, connect iPhone 15 to a Wi-Fi network.

Step 2. Wait for the iPhone 15 activation process to complete > When you see Cellular Setup Complete window, tap Continue to finish the setup process and eSIM has been added on your iPhone.

eSIM carrier activation

Can’t see “Cellular Setup Complete” page?
If the “Cellular Setup Complete” page doesn’t appear, your carrier may fail to support automatic eSIM activation. Chances are that your eSIM activation information may be typically provided as a QR code by your carrier, and you can follow the steps below to get your eSIM up and running.

Step 1. Setup and get to Set up cellular screen on your new iPhone 15 > Select Use QR code.

Step 2. Follow the instructions to point your iPhone camera at the QR code, and wait for the iPhone 15 eSIM activation process to complete.

Step 3. Select Continue to finish the setup process when you see Cellular Setup Complete.

set up cellular with QR code

How to check if eSIM is activated in iPhone
To learn if your iPhone is eSIM compatible and carrier unlocked, you can go to Settings General About > Scroll down to Carrier lock section, which should say NO SIM restrictions.

Bonus: Transfer from SIM to eSIM without contacts lose

Although you can transfer eSIM to new iPhone from old iPhone, contacts on old iPhone are at risk of data loss. Therefore, before transferring SIM to eSIM to new iPhone 15, you'd better have a clear backup of your contacts.

So here FoneTool is recommended. With the help of this powerful backup tool, you can preview and select contacts from old iPhone to backup to computer, and then restore the backup to new iPhone after finishing the conversion task with no data loss.

FoneTool supports most iPhone models, including the latest iPhone 15 series, and it is fully compatible with iOS 17/16/15. Free download and install FoneTool on your computer and follow the steps below to backup and restore contacts.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Run FoneTool> Connect your old iPhone to computer via USB cable.

Step 2. Click Phone Backup option > Choose Selective Backup > Check Contacts icon to view and select the contacts you want to backup > Click OK to confirm.

preview and select contacts

Step 3. Select the storage path to save your contacts > Click Start Backup button to make it.

start backup contacts

When it is complete, you can transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone. After that, you can connect new iPhone to computer, check the backup task on the Backup History screen. Here you can restore the backup files to the new iPhone.

view contacts backup


The steps above will help you transfer SIM to eSIM on iPhone successfully. You can fulfill the transfer task during and after iPhone setup process. Besides, when you switch to new iPhone, it is highly suggested to transfer everything to new iPhone. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.