How to Change SIM Card on iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/X/8

What to do before changing SIM card? What happens when you change SIM card? How to change SIM card on iPhone? This guide will tell you all the info you must know.


By Lena / Updated on February 5, 2024

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SIM card allows you to get on the cellular carrier so you can get data services and make phone calls. It’s the key to getting online without Wi-Fi. Usually, you do not need to change SIM. However, when you want to travel internationally, you may need to change to a local SIM card to save money. Or you may want to switch mobile carriers to get a better connection.

Change SIM card on iPhone

Here in this guide, we will tell you how to change SIM card on iPhone properly. No matter what you want to change SIM card, you can follow the steps in this article. In addition, we will also discuss what you need to do before changing the SIM card to make sure the change goes smoothly.

These steps apply to all iPhones, including iPhone 15/15 Plus/15 Pro (Max), iPhone 14/14 Plus/14 Pro (Max), iPhone 13/13 Pro (Max)/mini, iPhone 12/12 Pro (Max)/mini, iPhone 11/11 Pro(Max), iPhone X/XR/XS (Max), iPhone 8/7/6, iPhone SE.

What happens when you change SIM card on iPhone?

Will you lose any data after changing SIM card? What happens when you change SIM card on iPhone? Well, in most cases, changing SIM card will not affect the data stored on iPhone. All changes are related to the SIM card.

The cellular network and plan of the SIM card will be put into use on your iPhone. That’s to say, you can make calls or send text messages with the new account.
You may not be able to access the contacts stored in the old SIM card. If you do not want to lose these contacts, you can import them to iPhone in advance.
You will not lose any data that is stored on your iPhone. Your messages, photos, videos, apps, etc. will remain accessible after changing SIM card. Apple does not SIM card to store data.
It will not affect Apple ID and iPhone settings. You can continue using iMessages and FaceTime but you need to reactive them.
You will not lose WhatsApp messages. If needed, you can go to Settings of WhatsApp to change your phone number after changing SIM card.

What to do before changing SIM card on iPhone?

To make sure you can carry out the operation seamlessly, there are some points you should be aware of. Let's take a look at what to do before changing SIM card on iPhone.

Turn off your iPhone

To avoid any software anomalies and protect the tiny processor of the SIM card, it is best to turn off your iPhone before changing SIM card on iPhone. You can go to Settings app > tap General and select Shut Down to turn off your iPhone.

Make sure your iPhone is unlocked

When your iPhone is carrier-locked, you can’t use another SIM card from a different provider. This usually happens if you purchased your iPhone from a carrier. You can go to Settings app > General > About and find Network Provider Lock to see the carrier lock status.

Network Provider Lock

If your iPhone is carrier locked, you may need to contact the carrier to get them to unlock it, explaining that you will be traveling abroad. Or you can use a third-party network unlocking service to unlock it.

Make sure the SIM card is compatible

Most iPhone models today use Nano SIM cards. Please check the SIM card type before purchasing. If the SIM card you want to use is not compatible with your iPhone, you can connect your cellular provider to get a nano-SIM card.

SIM card sizes

Transfer contacts to iPhone

If you have contacts stored in the SIM card, you can go to Settings > Contacts and tap Import SIM Contacts to move contacts to iPhone. In this way, you will not lose your contacts after changing SIM card.

Import SIM Contacts

Backup important data  

Although no iPhone data is directly involved in the process, it is best to back up your data. Usually, you can backup your iPhone with iCloud and iTunes. However, iCloud only offers 5 GB of free storage space, which may not be enough to backup all important iPhone. iTunes only supports full backup and restore, it may take a long time to complete the process.

If do not want to use iCloud or iTunes, you can use a third-party backup tool to backup your iPhone. FoneTool is recommended here. With FoneTool, you can preview and select the data you want to backup.

For example, you can backup contacts only.

Backup contacts

If you lost contacts after changing SIM card, you can simply restore the contacts to iPhone and it will not erase any existing data on the device. You can click the download button to get FoneTool and start to backup iPhone contacts.

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How to change SIM card on iPhone

To change SIM card on iPhone, you will need a SIM card ejector tool and you can find one in the original box your Apple device came in. If you find can’t find it, you can use a paper clip to get the job done. Just pull the long end straight until it sticks out. Or you can use anything that fits into the hole of the SIM card tray.

  • For iPhone 11 and earlier modes, the tray is on the right side of iPhone.
  • For iPhone 12 and later models, the tray is on the left side of iPhone.
  • iPhone 15/14 and iPhone 15/14 purchased in the US has no SIM card tray. They use eSIMs.

Let’s start to see how to change SIM card on iPhone!

Step 1. Remove SIM card tray

Insert the SIM-eject tool or a paper clip into the hole of the SIM card tray and press > Push inward toward your iPhone until the card tray pops out. Please just apply a small amount of pressure to prevent any physical damage.

Remove card tray

Step 2. Place new SIM card

Pull out the card tray > Take out the previous SIM card (You can turn the SIM card tray upside down, the SIM card will fall out directly) > Put the new SIM card in the correct position - make sure to align the notched corners on the card.

Step 3. Insert SIM card tray

Insert the card tray in the correct orientation and that’s it. If the SIM card is active and compatible with your iPhone, then your iPhone should be able to get the SIM card service.

If you do not have the service, you can remove the SIM card and clean it. Then insert it again. Please make sure there is no dirt inside the card tray or on the SIM card.

FAQs about changing SIM card on iPhone

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about changing SIM card on iPhone.

Q: Do I need to back up my iPhone when change SIM card?

It depends on you. In most cases, you will not lose anything after installing a new SIM card. If you have your contacts stored in your SIM card, you can move them to computer as backup.

Q: Do I need to turn iPhone off when changing SIM?

It’s best to turn off iPhone when changing SIM card.

Q: What happens if you take out your SIM card and put it in another iPhone?

The cellular data will be put into use on another iPhone. In addition, it can transfer the contacts stored in the SIM card to another iPhone.

Q: Does removing SIM card remove all data from iPhone?

The answer is No. Removing SIM card will not delete any data on your iPhone. It will only prevent your iPhone from accessing cellular, making calls, sending messages.

Q: Does switching SIM cards transfer everything?

No. It will only transfer contacts stored in the SIM card. Your apps, messages, photos and other data will stay on the iPhone.

Q: What is stored on a SIM card iPhone?

On an iPhone, SIM card is only used to store phone number and billing information.

Final words

That’s all about how to change SIM card on iPhone 15/14/13/12. As long as the SIM card is compatible with your iPhone, then you can easily install it on your iPhone. In most cases, changing the SIM card will not affect the content stored on your iPhone. But if you are still worried about losing some important data, you can make a backup in advance.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.