A SIM card is an essential component of a phone if you want to use the mobile network services of any carrier, providing access to data, calls, and SMS. When upgrading to a new phone, you’ll need to transfer your physical SIM card or eSIM from your old phone to continue using these services. When it comes to traditional SIM cards, swapping SIM cards involves physically removing the card from the old device and inserting it into the new one. On the other hand, eSIM makes the process much smoother as it is done through software.
However, many people are unsure about what happens when they put their SIM cards into another phone. Swapping SIM cards can be a significant worry, especially if you are trying to do it for the first time or after a long period without doing so. Common worries include the fear of losing photos, contacts, and other files stored on their devices.
To address these concerns, this article will thoroughly explain everything you should expect when swapping your SIM card. Let’s delve right in to clarify this concern!
What is the difference between a physical SIM card and eSIM?
A SIM card is a small, removable card used in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to access mobile network services offered by carriers. SIM cards store essential information related to your identity, phone number, carrier plan, and other details necessary for accessing network services like voice calls, text messages, and mobile data.
On the other hand, an eSIM (embedded SIM) is a virtual SIM that is built into the hardware of a device, allowing you to access similar services as you would with physical SIM cards. However, with eSIM, you can activate cellular service without having to insert a physical SIM card. You can also switch carriers or add new plans without the need for a physical card swap.
If I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen?
When you insert a SIM card into another phone, here are the things you should expect, depending on your situation;
- If the other phone is unlocked and compatible with the same carrier: Your phone number, carrier plan, and network services should work as they did on your old device.
- If the new phone is locked to a different carrier: Your SIM card may not work if the new phone is locked to a different carrier. In this case, you must contact your current carrier to unlock your phone before inserting the SIM card.
- If the other phone is incompatible with your SIM card size: There are three different SIM card sizes, standard, micro, and nano. Make sure the SIM card matches the size of the SIM card tray.
- If the other phone is an eSIM-compatible device: If both your current and new phones support eSIM functionality, you can digitally transfer your eSIM profile to the new device.
- Potential charges: You may also have to pay some extra charges for switching devices, depending on your carrier.
When is it necessary to take my SIM card out?
Some common situations that may require you to take your SIM card out include the following;
When your SIM card goes wrong
If you experience unusual issues such as network connectivity, unable to make calls, or no access to mobile data, the problem could be with your SIM card. These issues could be fixed by simply removing and reinserting the SIM card can. You may have to replace the card if it is physically damaged.
When upgrading to a new phone/new carrier
If you’re upgrading to a new phone or switching to a different carrier, you’ll need to take out your current SIM card from your old device and insert it into the new one (if compatible). If both devices support eSIM, you can transfer your eSIM profile digitally or obtain a new eSIM from your new carrier.
When you travel abroad
If you choose to use local SIM cards in your travel destination, you can use their local SIM cards to avoid expensive roaming charges. In such cases, you would need to remove your local SIM card and insert a new one.
8 Facts about switching SIM cards
Here are some of the common questions people ask about switching SIM cards.
Will photos in the gallery get deleted if I put my SIM card in another phone?
No, your photos will not get deleted if you simply switch your SIM card to another phone. Photos are typically stored on the internal storage of your phone or on a microSD card (if your phone has one).
Can you just swap SIM cards between phones?
In most cases, yes, you can swap SIM cards between phones, especially if both devices use the same SIM card size. You should also ensure the new device is unlocked or locked to the same carrier of your SIM card.
What information does a SIM card store?
The information stored on your SIM card includes your phone number, contacts, a few text messages, and other cellular network data. Fortunately, modern smartphones have enough storage, so you can easily transfer most of this information to your phone’s storage.
What will happen if I insert my SIM card into someone else’s phone?
If you put your SIM card in someone else’s phone that is compatible with your carrier, you will be able to use your phone number and access your carrier’s services, such as mobile data, calls, and SMS, on that device. Also, you should be aware of inserting SIM cards into another person’s phone, since people can get access to your personal information.
Does taking out a SIM card delete everything?
Taking out a SIM card from your phone does not delete any data or settings on your device. The SIM card primarily stores carrier-related information and does not contain your personal data.
Can I still use WhatsApp while using my SIM card in another phone?
Yes, you can still use WhatsApp even if you put your SIM card in another phone. WhatsApp is tied to your phone number, not the SIM card. All you need is an active data plan or access to WiFi on your new phone.
If I put my SIM card in another phone, will it change my number?
No, even if you put your SIM card in another phone, your phone number will remain the same and that will work in another phone. The SIM card is linked to your phone number and carrier account, so your number will not change.
If I put my SIM card in another phone, will it keep the contacts?
If your contacts are saved on your SIM card, you can access them on the new phone when you insert it. However, contacts are typically stored on your phone’s internal storage, cloud accounts. So, you may have to sign into your cloud account on your new device to restore the contacts.
You will never have to take out physical SIM cards if you choose eSIM
With eSIM, there is no need to insert physical SIM cards into mobile devices. Differ from traditional physical SIM cards, eSIMs are built into the device’s hardware during manufacturing. This means that the SIM card information is stored electronically within the device’s hardware and can be activated or changed through software.
One of the primary benefits of using eSIM is that it “NEVER” requires you to take out physical SIM cards when switching devices. This makes it extremely convenient for users who frequently switch phones or need to use multiple devices with different phone numbers or carrier plans. Besides the convenience, eSIMs also have several other benefits over traditional SIM cards.
Let’s explore some of these benefits;
- Multiple Profiles: With eSIM, you can have multiple profiles on a single device. Most of the eSIM-compatible devices support up to 8 different eSIM profiles. This allows users to have multiple phone numbers or carrier plans on a single device and easily switch between them without the need for physical SIM card changes.
- Enhanced Security: Since the eSIM information is embedded in the device’s hardware, it is more resistant to tampering or unauthorized access in the event that you lose your phone.
- Environmental Friendliness: eSIMs contribute to environmental sustainability. By eliminating the need for physical SIM cards, the production, distribution, and disposal of plastic SIM cards are significantly reduced. If you care about the environment, you should definitely switch to eSIM.
- Easy Setup: With eSIM, you don’t have to insert a physical SIM card. Instead, you activate it through software settings provided by your carrier. This simplifies the activation process, allowing users to quickly start using their devices with the desired carrier plan.
- Remote Provisioning: Another advantage of eSIM is the ability for carriers to remotely provision and manage the eSIM profiles. This means you can switch carriers or add new plans without needing to visit a physical store or wait for a new SIM card to arrive like you would need to with physical SIM cards.
At this point, you should feel confident about swapping your physical SIM card or eSIM from your old device to the new one. As discussed in the article, swapping SIM cards doesn’t affect files on your phone’s storage, including photos, videos, and more. The only information affected is the contacts saved on the SIM card.
It is also crucial to note that eSIMs are much easier to swap than physical SIM cards. Since they are digital, you can easily swap them with just a few taps. Additionally, eSIMs offer several other benefits, including easy setup, enhanced security, and eco-friendliness, making them superior to physical SIM cards.
Lastly, eSIMs provide access to affordable data plans, such as those offered by eSIM Europe. Be sure to check out eSIM Europe’s data plans the next time you travel to Europe.
Frequently Asked Questions about putting SIM cards in another phone
Here are some other commonly asked questions about swapping SIM cards between devices.
Does switching SIM cards delete anything?
No, switching SIM cards does not delete any data from your phone. The SIM card primarily stores carrier-related information and does not contain your personal data like photos, contacts, or apps. Your data is typically stored on your phone’s internal storage or in cloud services. So it will remain intact even when you remove your SIM card.
Will I get service if I put my SIM card in another phone?
Yes, if you put your SIM card in another compatible phone, you should get service from your carrier. The SIM card contains your phone number and carrier details, which allow you to access network services like calls, texts, and mobile internet. As long as the new phone is unlocked or compatible with your carrier, your service should work seamlessly.
Why won’t my SIM card work on another phone?
Your SIM card may not work in another phone due to various reasons. Some of the common reasons include the following;
- The new phone is locked to a different carrier, and your SIM is not compatible.
- The new phone may require a different SIM card size (standard, micro, or nano) than what you have.
- There might be a physical issue with the SIM card or the phone’s SIM card slot.
What is stored on a SIM card?
A SIM card stores essential information related to your identity, phone number, carrier plan details, and some basic network settings. It also contains authentication keys that allow you to access your carrier’s services and connect to the mobile network. That’s why you need one in your device to access mobile network services.
Does your SIM card store all your information?
No, your SIM card does not store all your personal information or data. It primarily holds carrier-related information and is limited in storage capacity. Some people also store a few contacts and text messages on their SIM cards. However, all your personal data, such as photos, contacts, messages, and apps, are typically stored on your phone’s internal memory or external storage (like a microSD card) and not on the SIM card.
Does your SIM card store anything?
Yes, your SIM card stores important information required for your phone to connect to the mobile network and access carrier services. Such information includes your phone number, carrier information, and authentication keys. But as stated earlier, it doesn’t store any personal files and photos or videos.