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Android phone activation guide for eSIM and SIM

Updated on June 10, 2024

Get your service up and running with an eSIM or SIM card to finish setting up your Android. SIMs allow you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier and hold info like your phone number. A physical SIM card is inserted by a slot in your phone, and an eSIM is activated digitally.

How to set up eSIM on Android

You’ll need to make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi for this.

Transfer your eSIM

  1. Find “SIM card manager”. Go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager

  2. Remove eSIM. Select the eSIM plan that you would like to remove, and disable it by tapping the toggle switch and selecting “Remove”.

  3. Contact your carrier. They’ll send you instructions on how to retrieve the eSIM.

Activate a new eSIM

  1. Find “SIM card manager” on your new phone. Go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager

  2. Depending on your carrier, you can either scan the QR code or install a pre-assigned plan:

    • QR Code. Select “Add mobile plan” > “Add using QR code”. Find that QR code through your carrier account, then scan it.

    • Assigned Cellular Plan. Select “Add mobile plan”. If you have pre-assigned a plan, it will be available.


How to activate SIM card on Android

Your phone should be turned off for this. You can also complete your phone’s setup over Wi-Fi and follow the steps later.

  1. Remove the SIM card from your old phone. Open the SIM card tray by pushing a SIM-eject tool or paperclip into the hole. Pull out the tray and remove the SIM card. Skip this step if you’re not using the SIM card from your last phone.

  2. Insert the SIM card into your new phone. Open the SIM tray using the same method as above. Place the SIM card in the tray and push the tray back in. Note that your SIM card should only be able to fit one way — with the gold-colored contacts down.

  3. Almost there. Your phone will automatically detect cell service, and the network will display in the top left corner of your device when it’s turned on. If you transferred the SIM card from your previous phone, that phone will no longer receive cell service.

  4. Follow on-screen prompts. Turn on your device by holding down the power button until the Samsung logo appears. Follow the on-screen prompts to choose your language, connect to Wi-Fi, install software updates, and copy your data using Samsung Smart Switch*.

*Samsung Smart Switch is an app to seamlessly transfer data like messages, photos, and contacts between devices. You’ll need to have the Smart Switch app downloaded on both phones. Learn how to use Smart Switch for transferring data here.

Still need help?

If at any point during your setup your number or service is unable to be transferred or if you successfully setup your phone but service is unreliable, you can call us for help — or your carrier directly.
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Frequently Asked Questions

And all of the answers

What SIM card do I need?

Phones bought on Back Market don’t come with a SIM card. If you need a new SIM card, you'll need to contact your carrier. To make sure your SIM card/mobile plan is compatible with the phone you’re shopping for, check with your carrier.

Read more.

Will my device be compatible if I switch carriers?

It depends on whether your phone is locked or unlocked. Locked phones can only be used with a specific carrier. Unlocked phones can be used with any network or carrier in the country where you purchased the phone. Just pop the SIM card into the phone, and you’re all set. At Back Market, all our phones are labeled as locked or unlocked. You’ll see this listed in the title of the device on each product details page.

Read more.

Rachel Chou

Written by Rachel ChouContent designer

She reads content, she writes content, she eats content, she drinks content.

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