If I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen next?

A hand putting SIM cards and wondering if I put my SIM card in another phone what will happen

In this day and age, where smartphones have become essential to our day-to-day lives, it is pretty common for people to switch phones every once in a while. Whether it’s because your current phone is broken or lost or you simply want to upgrade to a newer model, the thought of changing your phone can be daunting.

With traditional SIM card technology, one must physically remove their SIM card from their old phone and install it in the new one. This can be a concern, especially for those doing it for the first time. Will it work on the new phone? Will we lose our contacts, photos, and other files? If I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen next? These are the questions you might ask yourself before switching your SIM card.

If you are concerned about changing your SIM card from one phone to another, this article will help you understand what happens when you insert your SIM card in another phone and answer some common questions about this topic. Without wasting any more of your time, Let’s jump right in!

Pro-Tip : If you are tired of taking out SIM card, try using eSIM for your next trip! eSIM will help you to save your energy worrying about putting SIM cards to another phone.

What is a SIM card & What is eSIM?

Before diving deep into this topic, it is important to first know the difference between a traditional SIM card and an eSIM.

The term SIM card is an acronym for Subscriber Identity Module, which is a small, removable card that is inserted into a mobile phone or another cellular-enabled device. A SIM card contains a unique identification number that identifies the user to the network, allowing them to make calls, send messages, and use data services. The data stored on your SIM card only includes your user identity, location and phone number, network authorization data, personal security keys, a few contacts and text messages.

eSIM stands for Embedded SIM, which is a digital SIM that is embedded within the device and not a physical card that you can remove from your phone. Most of the devices that have been released in the last five years come with an eSIM option. The eSIM can be activated by scanning a QR code or by downloading an eSIM profile from the carrier, and it can be used on multiple devices with the same account. Also it can be transferred remotely without taking out physical SIM cards.

If I put my sim card in another phone, what will happen?

As mentioned earlier, your SIM card only stores your own number and a few of your contact information, some text messages, and a few other details your carrier may need to identify you on their network. Most SIM cards have space ranging from 8KB to 256KB, which is way too small to store any significant amount of data. Technically, most SIM cards can only hold up to 250 contacts.

Before the smartphone era, users would always be prompted to save their contacts on the phone’s storage every time their SIM cards got full. With advancements in technology, saving contacts is no longer a problem. Contacts can now be saved on the cloud, including Google Drive and iCloud, allowing users to seamlessly sync contacts between their devices. With such technologies, it has become uncommon for people to save contacts on their SIM cards.

Besides your carrier information, contacts and a few text messages, no other data is stored on your SIM card. Its memory capacity is not big enough to store a high-resolution photo captured on the modern smartphone. So, when you put your SIM card in another phone, it will only come with your number and a few contacts and maybe some messages. The rest of the data will remain on the old phone device.

Besides transferring your contacts, here are a few other things you need to know before switching your SIM card from one phone to another;

  • Compatibility: Make sure the new phone is compatible with the carrier’s network and supports the same type or size of SIM card (nano, micro, or standard) as your current phone.
  • Activation: If the new phone is not already activated on the carrier’s network, you may need to follow the activation process, which may sometimes involve contacting your carrier or going through an online activation process.
  • Potential charges: Depending on your carrier and plan, there may be charges associated with switching devices or activating a new SIM card. Be sure to check with your carrier before making any changes.
Various tools like pins and clips to take SIM card out from smartphone

When do I have to take my SIM card out?

Some of the common situations that will require you to take out your SIM from your phone include the following;

  • When your SIM card goes wrong
    Sending and receiving emails with no attachments requires about 10KB to 50KB per email, depending on If your SIM card is functioning normally, you may need to take it out and troubleshoot the issue. This could include cleaning the SIM card or SIM card slot, checking for physical damage, or contacting your carrier for a replacement SIM card. In some cases, the SIM card may need to be removed and reinserted to reset the connection.
  • When you want a new phone / new carrier
    Browsing the web for one hour takes about 20MB to 100MB, depending on the amount of multimedia cIf you plan to upgrade or switch to a new phone or carrier, you may need to remove your SIM from your current phone and insert it into the new phone or activate a new SIM card provided by your new carrier. This process typically involves contacting your carrier to transfer your service and phone number to the new device.
  • When you travel abroad
    When you travel abroad, you may need to swap your current SIM card with a local SIM to avoid roaming charges. Many carriers offer international roaming plans, but these can be expensive, so using a local SIM card may be a more cost-effective option. Be sure to check with your carrier to ensure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network before purchasing a new SIM card.

8 Facts about switching SIM cards

Here are answers to the 8 common questions related to switching SIM cards.

1. Will my photos get deleted if I put my SIM card in another phone?

No, your photos are not stored on the SIM card but rather on the phone’s internal storage or an external memory card. So you won’t lose your photos when you switch the SIM card.

2. Can you just swap SIM cards between phones?

Yes, you can switch SIM cards between phones as long as they are compatible with the same carrier network. Your SIM card should also be compatible with the new phone in terms of size (micro, nano, and standard size).

3. What information do SIM card stores have?

The data that is usually stored on a SIM card includes your phone number, contacts, a few text messages, and other cellular network data. However, in modern smartphones, all this information is stored on the phone’s memory and the cloud. So, you will likely not lose your contacts or text messages when you switch SIM cards.

4. What happens if I put my SIM card in someone else’s phone?

If the new phone is compatible with the same carrier network and the SIM card is active, you should be able to make and receive calls and texts. You can also use data services if your SIM card has an active data plan.

5. Does taking out a SIM card delete everything?

No, taking out a SIM card does not delete everything. Your phone’s data and apps are stored on its internal storage or external memory card. None of this data is stored on the SIM card.

6. Can I still WhatsApp if I put my SIM card in another phone?

Yes, you can still use WhatsApp if you switch your SIM card to another phone, if you can access the phone number associated with your WhatsApp account. You will also need to have an active data plan on your SIM card or a WiFi connection to use WhatsApp.

7. If I put my SIM card in another phone, will my number be the same?

If you insert your SIM card in a new phone, your phone number will stay the same. A SIM card is only associated with one phone number at a time, so it won’t change even when you insert it into another phone.

8. If I insert my sim card in another phone, will it save my contacts?

Your contacts will only be transferred to the new phone if they were saved on the SIM card. But as mentioned earlier, many phones now store contacts on the device’s internal storage or in the cloud. When you switch SIM cards, there is a high chance that your contacts will remain on the old phone. If they are saved on the cloud, you will be able to access them when you sign into your cloud account on the new phone.

eSIM will “NEVER” requires you to take out physical SIM cards

If you are concerned or worried about changing phones every now and then, switching to eSIM is the way to go. With eSIM technology, you won’t have to physically take your SIM card out or insert it into a device. Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are embedded directly into the device’s hardware and can be activated and managed remotely using a software-based activation process.

Another benefit of using eSIMs is that users can switch carriers or plans without the need for a physical SIM card. Most of the newer devices also have the ability to store multiple eSIM profiles on a single device. Users can have profiles for 8 or more eSIMs. However, only two eSIMs can be active at any given moment.

This makes eSIMs particularly useful for people who frequently travel or need to switch between carriers or plans for various reasons. If you are planning to travel soon, your life will be made easier if your phone supports eSIM. Besides the convenience, some of the other benefits of eSIM include the following;

  • Security: eSIM technology can provide enhanced security features, such as embedded SIM profiles that cannot be removed or tampered with. This can help to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access to the device, especially when you lose your device.
  • Eco-friendly: For those who care about the environment, eSIM is the way to go. eSIM technology takes away the need for physical SIM cards to be produced, shipped, and disposed of. This has the potential to reduce waste and lower the carbon footprint associated with SIM card production and distribution.
  • Easy activation: With eSIM technology, users can activate their service plans easily and quickly using a QR code or an app. This means that users can start using their device and service plans right away without the need for a physical SIM card to be delivered or installed.

Amazed by the benefits of eSIM? Have a look at Best eSIM Plans that will upgrade your mobile journey!

Final thoughts

In summary, when you put your SIM card in another phone, the only data that will be transferred is your own phone number and possibly a few text messages and contacts saved on the SIM card. The rest of your data, including photos, videos, and other files, will remain on your old phone. However, if you have your data backed up on the cloud, you can still access it on your new phone by signing in to your cloud account.

To avoid the hassle of physically switching SIM cards every time you get a new phone, upgrading to a phone that supports eSIM is the way to go. With eSIM, you do not need to physically transfer your SIM card from your old phone to the new one. The transfer process is done through software and takes just a few minutes to complete.

For travelers, switching SIM cards is inevitable since you will always want to use local SIM cards to get reasonably priced data, text, and voice plans. If you plan to travel in the near future, consider getting an eSIM from an online store like eSIM Europe and eSIM USA, so that you can enjoy the convenience of not having to switch physical SIM cards whenever you want to use local carriers in a new country.

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12 Replies on If I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen next?

  • Ginger walters says:

    How can I transfer all text messages from one phone to new phone

    • eSIM Europe says:

      Thanks for your comment!
      To transfer text messages from one phone to another, you can try several methods, including cloud backup and using a third-party app.
      To use a cloud backup, you’ll need to enable the backup feature in your phone’s settings, then sign in with the same account on your new phone to restore the backup. 

      If you’re using a third-party app, then you’ll need to install the app on both phones and then use it to send messages.
      The exact steps may vary depending on the type of phone you have and the method you choose. We recommend checking out the details to get started with the process. Good luck!

  • Daniel Pegg says:

    My name is Dan. I had what I thought was a trusted friend take my sim card from my phone and put it in his phone.
    Since then I’ve seen my name come up on other people’s phones and different sites. I’ve also noticed that money has come up missing from my account.. I know that I can’t do anything about it legally. It’s a lesson well learned. Very sad when this person will face his maker.

    • eSIM Europe says:

      Hi Dan,
      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a negative experience with your SIM card. It’s important to keep in mind that when you insert your SIM card into another phone, it transfers all of the data associated with that SIM card, especially your phone number, to the new device. Additionally, any unauthorized access to your SIM card could potentially lead to fraudulent activities.
      To avoid situations like this in the future, we recommend that you never let anyone else use your SIM card or have access to it. If you need to switch phones, it’s best to transfer your SIM card to your new device yourself.
      In terms of the unauthorized access you’ve experienced, it’s important to contact your mobile carrier and report any fraudulent activities immediately. They can help you take appropriate measures to protect your account and prevent further losses.
      I hope this information helps, and please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

  • Trak says:

    my storage on my iphone was at capacity & drastically slowing its function. i joined iCloud & now the storage section has plenty of space, telling me how much i have left on the cloud. if i take out my sim to travel, & put a new sim in my phone, will all my data be stored on the phone again causing it to slow down?
    im happy to not have access to photos but clearly want them in the long run. i just need my phone to work efficiently while travelling.
    how can i resolve this issue?


    • eSIM Europe says:

      Hi Trak,
      Taking out your SIM card and putting in a new one won’t cause your phone to slow down, and your pictures will still be stored in iCloud.
      In terms of your photos, you can keep them in iCloud and access them from any device, regardless of which SIM card is in your iPhone. To ensure that your photos are backed up to iCloud, please make sure that you have turned on the iCloud Photos feature on your iPhone. This will automatically upload your photos to iCloud and make them available on all of your Apple devices. If you’re worried about using up data while traveling, turn off iCloud Drive and only use it when you have Wi-Fi. To help your iPhone run efficiently, close unused apps and disable unnecessary features.
      I hope this information is helpful to you. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.

  • Nihan says:

    Someone stole my simcard and withdrew
    Money so will policy trace The phone used for withdrawals

    • ESIM EUROPE says:

      Hi Nihan,
      I’m truly sorry to hear about your situation. It’s crucial to act swiftly to address this issue. First and foremost, contact your mobile carrier immediately to report the theft and request a SIM card replacement. They can help secure your account and provide guidance on next steps.

      Simultaneously, report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and provide them with all relevant details. They may be able to investigate the unauthorized withdrawals and, if possible, trace the phone used.
      Remember to keep a record of all communications with your mobile carrier and law enforcement for reference. Additionally, review your bank statements and report any unauthorized transactions to your bank promptly.
      Stay vigilant about your personal information and consider enabling additional security features on your accounts, such as two-factor authentication.

      I hope you find resolution soon, and if you have any further questions or need additional guidance, don’t hesitate to ask. Wishing you the best in resolving this matter.

  • Kimberly O'Neal says:

    My old phone Samsung phone has a lot of information on it but has no service I play a lot of games and have not yet got a new cash app card or a PayPal card because it was stolen can I put the SIM card in this phone and will it give me the information of my money thanks so much Kimberly O’Neal

    • ESIM EUROPE says:

      Hi Kimberly,

      I understand your concern about accessing information related to your cash app and PayPal on your old Samsung phone. However, it’s important to note that simply switching the SIM card to another phone won’t automatically give you access to the financial information stored on your apps.

      To access your cash app and PayPal accounts, you typically need to log in with your credentials on the respective apps. If your old phone still functions and you can install these apps, you may be able to log in and access your account information.

      If your concern is about security or if your old phone is compromised, I recommend contacting the customer support of cash app and PayPal immediately. They can provide guidance on securing your accounts, changing passwords, and taking necessary precautions.

      Remember to prioritize the security of your financial information. If you have any specific concerns or questions about the process, feel free to reach out to the customer support of the respective apps or let me know if you need further assistance.

  • michael johnson says:

    Asked me for pin 4-8 numbers from simcard

    • ESIM EUROPE says:

      Hi Michael,

      It seems like you are struggling with putting in pin numbers for the sim card. If you got your sim card from your domestic carrier, you need to contact them for the pin number, since sim card’s pin number is unique number that is designated to each sim card.
      If you are using our eSIM and facing this error, please contact us [email protected] immediately, so that we can help you!

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