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!
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.
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.
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.