How to activate an eSIM on every major US carrier

Here’s how to enter the world of digital SIM cards

eSims aren’t mainstream yet, but thanks to Apple’s removal of the SIM card slot from the iPhone 14, physical SIM cards are likely to see their last days. Although none of the Android manufacturers have followed suit, it is possible to activate and use an eSIM on all major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile). All the best Android phones are eSIM compatible, so read on if you’re ready to switch.


This guide walks you through eSIM activation on the three major US carriers. We also show you how to download the new eSIM on your Android phone. If you’re not sure what an eSIM is, read our comparison of SIM types.

How to activate an eSIM on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile

After purchasing an eSIM plan, you will need to activate your eSIM. Here’s how to do it on each of the three major carriers. After activating your eSIM, you will then download it to your Android phone.

Despite its growing popularity, the eSIM is not widely advertised by carriers. While the following instructions are working, you may encounter issues when activating your eSIM. In this case, contact your carrier’s customer support or head to a physical store to complete activation.

How to activate an eSIM on Verizon

There are two ways to activate an eSIM on Verizon:

  • Use the My Verizon app to activate your eSIM. You can use this whether you bring your own device or switch to an eSIM on an existing device.
  • Call Verizon Customer Support at (800) 922-0204 to activate your eSIM.

How to activate an eSIM on AT&T

  1. Log in to your AT&T account.
  2. click my devices.
  3. Find your device and tap Manages.
  4. click Options and Settings.
  5. Choose Get a new eSIM.
  6. Follow the prompts to complete setting up your eSIM.

How to activate an eSIM on T-Mobile

  1. Log in to your T-Mobile account.
  2. Find your device and select the phone number.
  3. Enter Eid number.
  4. Scan the QR code.

How to download an eSIM on your Android phone

After activating your eSIM, it’s time to download it to your Android phone. Make sure you meet the following criteria before getting started:

  • Your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network
  • You have received an email from your carrier with an activation QR code.

You will need to enter your Android phone settings to activate your device. This is in a slightly different location for each device. We have included instructions for your Google Pixel 6 running Android 13, but the steps should be the same for all Android devices.

  1. to open Settings.
  2. Faucet Network and the Internet.

  3. Click on Plus button next to SIM cards. Do not click on a file SIM cards button to activate your eSIM.
  4. Faucet Download a SIM instead at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Faucet next one.
  6. Scan your QR code.

  7. Once you confirm your code, tap he did To complete the activation of your eSIM.

Is an eSIM the Right Decision for You?

An eSIM offers many advantages over regular SIM cards, but the inability to swap a physical card is a drawback for some people. But if you don’t care what type of SIM you have, check out our roundup of the best prepaid phone plans to save a few extra dollars on your phone bill.

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