[Detailed Guide] How to Transfer SIM to iPhone 13/12

How do you transfer SIM to iPhone 13/12 after you buy it? No matter you’re using physical SIM card or eSIM, you can find methods in this guide.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2023

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Transfer SIM from old iPhone to new iPhone

It’s my first time transferring from iPhone to iPhone. I put them next to each other and it did the transfer, but am I supposed to take the SIM card out of the old one and put it into the new one? The new one has a SIM in it. Thanks for any help.

- Question from Reddit

It must be exciting for you to buy the newest iPhone 13. After you activate and setup the new iPhone, you may want to insert SIM card to ensure network connectivity, to get important contacts on your new iPhone as well. Keep reading, and get methods to transfer eSIM or physical SIM to iPhone 13/12.

Part 1. How to transfer SIM to a new iPhone 13/12

Depending on the different types of SIM you are using on your previous iPhone, you may transfer SIM to new iPhone differently.

How to move physical SIM card to iPhone 13/12

If you’re using a physical SIM card on your previous iPhone, it is simple to insert into iPhone 13. Besides, you need to be noted that you are able to export contacts to SIM card before you transfer them to iPhone 13 so that you won’t lose contacts files.

Step 1. Turn off the previous iPhone, and extract the physical SIM card using a SIM ejector tool.

Step 2. Remove the SIM card to the SIM tray of iPhone 13, and make sure the SIM tray is perfectly locked in place.

Eject SIM Tray

Note: You may need to check the size of the SIM card, since there are three different sizes of SIM card, which are standard, micro, and nano. The size of the SIM card needs to be compatible.

How to transfer an eSIM to the eSIM on iPhone 13/12

As an embedded SIM card in iPhone, eSIM card is using widely among iPhone users. If you’re using eSIM on your previous iPhone, you can approve the eSIM transfer process on the previous iPhone currently using this cellular plan. Follow the steps to transfer eSIM to iPhone 13/12.

Step 1. On your new iPhone 13/12, go to Settings app > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan.

Step 2. Tap an available cellular plan, and tap Add Cellular Plan at the bottom of the screen to confirm.

Add Cellular Plan

Step 3. On your previous iPhone, you will receive a message, asking if you want to transfer your phone number to your new iPhone. Tap Transfer.

Step 4. On your new iPhone, tap the banner “Finish Setting Up Your Carrier’s Cellular Plan”.

• Once the task completes, the cellular plan will no longer be available on your previous iPhone.
• You need to keep both iPhones near each other during the process.

How to import contacts from SIM to iPhone 13

After transferring SIM to iPhone 13, you can import contacts from SIM to iPhone so that you can backup iPhone contacts. On your new iPhone, go to Settings > Contacts > Import SIM Contacts. You can choose the storage path to import your SIM card contacts.

Import SIM Contacts

When it is over, go to Contacts app to have a check.

Part 2. Recommended: transfer contacts to iPhone 13 without SIM

If you transfer SIM to iPhone 13/12 mainly for transfer contacts to the new iPhone, you can backup and transfer contacts at the same time in one click. It’s highly recommended you try FoneTool, a professional backup and transfer tool for iPhone. 

Pros of FoneTool
✓ A selective process. During the process, you can preview and select the wanted files, including contacts, photos, music, videos, and messages.
✓ A fast transfer speed. It won’t take you much time to finish the transfer task. For example, transferring 100 photos just costs 2 seconds.
✓ No data loss. It won’t erase the data on your previous iPhone. Besides, the size of data won’t be compressed.
✓ Wide compatibility. FoneTool works well with iPhones from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14. Even if you are using the US version of iPhone 14 that is equipped with an eSIM, FoneTool can work well with it after you activate iPhone 14 eSIM.

Click the icon below to download FoneTool on your computer, and complete iPhone contacts transfer in two steps.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

>> Backup contacts on previous iPhone

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your old iPhone to computer with USB, tap Trust on your iPhone.

Step 2. On the Home screen, click Phone Backup > Choose Selective Backup > Tap Contacts to preview and select the wanted files > Click OK to confirm.

Preview And Select Contacts

Step 3. Choose a storage path to save the files > click Start Backup.

Click Backup

>> Restore contacts to new iPhone 13/12

Step 1. Disconnect the old iPhone and connect the new iPhone to computer.

Step 2. On the Backup History screen of FoneTool, select the backup and click Restore to transfer contacts to new iPhone.

View Contacts Backup

Tip: Want to transfer all data to your new iPhone 13? The transfer function iPhone to iPhone in FoneTool can make it simple to switch to new iPhone.


That’s all about how to transfer SIM to iPhone 13/12. Hope you can transfer SIM to new iPhone successfully no matter you are using a physical SIM card or an eSIM.

Besides, to avoid data loss, it is suggested to transfer SIM contacts to iPhone and backup your iPhone regularly. If this guide helps you out, share it with more people.