[2024 Updated] Safely Switching SIM Cards between iPhones

Can you switch SIM cards between iPhones? This guide will tell you all the info you must know about switching SIM cards between iPhones.


By Lena / Updated on May 15, 2024

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Want to switch SIM cards between iPhones?


Can I switch SIM cards between iPhones?

I got 2 iPhones. An iPhone 11 and an iPhone SE (2016). Can I take the SIM cards (I have one SIM card and one data sim card) and move between both phones (as I like) without any problem with FaceTime & iMessage?

- Question from Reddit

Switching SIM cards

SIM card is the key to getting network connectivity. Without a SIM card, you cannot get cellular internet, make phone calls, send messages, etc. When you have two iPhones, you may want to switch SIM cards between them.

Can you switch SIM cards between iPhones? What to do before switching SIM cards? How to switch SIM cards between iPhones? Here in this guide, I’ll tell you all the details about switching SIM cards between iPhones.

Can you switch SIM cards between iPhones?

The answer is YES. In most cases, it is easy to switch SIM cards between iPhones. But there are some points you should pay attention to. You should be aware of what happens when you switch SIM cards between iPhones.

Please make sure the SIM card is compatible with your iPhone. Otherwise, the network operations will not operate properly. All current iPhones use nano-SIM card.
The cellular network and cellular packages will be put into use on another iPhone.
Contacts or any other data stored in the SIM card can be transferred to the target device.
It will not affect Apple ID and iPhone settings. However, iMessage and FaceTime will be deleted after the SIM card is removed. Therefore, you need to reactive them with the new SIM card.
You can continue using WhatsApp and it will not delete any messages.

Preparation before switching SIM cards between iPhones

Here's what you need to be aware of and prepare for before switching SIM cards between iPhones.

Make sure your iPhone is not locked

If you want to use a SIM card from a different provider, please make your the device is not locked to a particular carrier. You can go to Settings app > General > About and find Network Provider Lock to see the carrier lock status.

Network Provider Lock

This won’t be a problem if you purchased your iPhone from Apple. However, if you purchased your iPhone from a carrier, then there is a high probability that it is locked.

When an iPhone is locked to a particular service provider, it will not be able to use a SIM from a different provider. You can contact the provider or use a third-party network unlocking service to unlock it.

Backup important data

Although switching SIM cards between iPhones will not do harm to your data, it’s best to make a backup. The SIM card may be physically damaged during replacement and you may lose your contacts. To ensure you will not lose anything after the switching, you'd better back up your iPhone before proceeding.

Usually, you can back up your contacts or other data via iCloud. Simply go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud to turn on the sync. In this way, your data will be uploaded to iCloud. Or you can create a full iCloud backup.

iCloud sync

However, iCloud only offers 5GB of free storage space, which may not be enough to backup all important data. In this case, you can choose to backup your iPhone to computer with FoneTool.

FoneTool is one professional iPhone data management tool for Windows PC. It can help you backup selected contacts, messages, photos, etc. The backup files can be restored to any iPhone and it will not erase any existing data.

Backup contacts with FoneTool

You can click the download button to get FoneTool and backup data. Or you can refer to this backup iPhone contacts guide to get more info.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Transfer contacts if needed

You cannot save iPhone contacts to SIM card. If your contacts are not saved in SIM card but you want to use the contacts on another iPhone, you may need to transfer contacts. In this case, you can use FoneTool for iOS to transfer data between two iPhones wirelessly.

You can preview and select the contacts you want to transfer. The transfer does not require a Wi-Fi connection and will not consume cellular data. You can go to App Store to get it.

Transfer contacts

? You can AirDrop contacts from iPhone to iPhone. However, only one contact can be transferred at a time.

How to switch SIM cards between iPhones

Let’s start to see how to switch SIM cards between iPhones. You will need a SIM card ejection tool to remove the SIM card tray. Usually, you will find one in the initial package. If you can't find one, then you can also use a paper clip or anything like that.

Step 1. Turn off your iPhone

This can help protect the tiny processor of the SIM card. You can go to Settings > General and tap Shut Down to make it.

Step 2. Take out the SIM card tray

Find the SIM card tray. It is like a small oblong shape with a hole next to it. For iPhone 12 and later models, you can find the tray on the left side. Other models are on the right side.

Then you can insert the SIM-eject tool or a paper clip into the hole beside the tray. Push inward toward your iPhone, but don't force it.

When SIM card tray pops out, carefully remove it.

Eject SIM card

Step 3. Change SIM cards

Now you can change the SIM card. Place the SIM card in the correct position and insert the card tray. It should close with a click. After that, you can turn on your iPhone and use it as usual.

? If needed, you can go to Settings > Tap Contacts > Choose Import SIM Contacts to add contacts to iPhone.

Import SIM Contacts

FAQs about switching SIM cards between iPhones

Here are some frequently asked questions about switching SIM cards between iPhones.

Q: What happens if I switch SIM cards between iPhones?

When switching SIM cards between iPhones, you will not lose any data that are not stored on the SIM card. The contacts stored in the SIM card will be transferred to another iPhone along with cellular network.

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

When you put the SIM card in another iPhone, it will only come with your number, the contacts (stored in the SIM card) and maybe some messages. The rest of the data will remain on the previous iPhone. The cellular network will be put into use on another iPhone.

Q: Can I buy a new iPhone and just switch the SIM card?

Of course you can. You can put the current SIM card into your new iPhone. If you have a new SIM card, you can use both of them.

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

The answer is No. It only takes away the contacts stored on it and it will not remove any other data on your iPhone. Almost everything important is saved to your device.

Q: Do all SIM cards fit all iPhones?

The SIM card used in iPhone is the same type of SIM card as other phones. Up to now, Apple uses nano-SIM card.

Q: Do you need to reset iPhone before change SIM card?

The answer is No. You do not need to reset your iPhone. You can turn off your iPhone before change SIM card.

Final words

That’s all about switching SIM cards between iPhones. It’s easy to switch SIM cards between two iPhones but you may meet some difficulties during the process. Regardless of why you want to switch SIM card, you should have a clear understanding of what happens when you switch SIM cards so that you can make it seamlessly.

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.