Signed up with O2, one of the biggest carriers in Europe? Signing a contract or buying a SIM card is an easy part. Trouble arises when you come home, open up the SIM card package, and start wondering how to turn the SIM card’s functionality on. Well, instead of waiting in line at the store or spending an hour in the queue for the O2 call center, we’re here to help. Keep in mind, unpredictable things can occur, and you might still have to ask for O2’s help. Luckily, the last section is dedicated to ways to get in touch with O2. With that said, how to activate O2 SIM card.
Do I have to activate an O2 physical SIM card?
No. O2 doesn’t have an activation process for prepaid SIM and postpaid SIM cards that are physical. We’re referring to all SIM card sizes except embedded-SIM, although you’ll most likely only encounter nano-SIM or micro-SIM cards. To clarify, you’re good to go as soon as you insert the SIM card and enter the default PIN.
Steps to activate O2 eSIM card
Once again, unlike many others, this carrier makes using eSIM cards user-friendly. This works for both O2 Pay Monthly and O2 Business. Here’s how activation of an O2 eSIM card works:
- Enable your Wi-Fi connection or connect to a hotspot from another smart device.
- Get the SIM card package O2 gave you. Look for the QR code under the flap and above the barcode.
- Explanation. Don’t be alarmed if you didn’t get a package. In some countries, O2 sends a PDF file with your phone number, PIN, PUK, ICCID, SSN, and QR code to the e-mail address you provided.
- Open the Camera app on your smartphone. Take a picture of your screen/the package with the QR code visible.
- After a second or two, a new window will open on your smartphone, asking you to confirm adding a profile.
- Tap on the button in the bottom right corner to continue.
- If nothing happens when you take a picture, do this on your iPhone: Go to Settings > Cellular > Add Data Plan. Take a picture again.
- If you still see no results or use Android, follow the steps we listed in method 7 of our No SIM card inserted error fix guide.
- After a brief loading period, the O2 UK profile will be added. The profile name can be different based on country.
Instructions to activate O2 pay as you go SIM card
We already wrote about pay as you go SIM cards and their benefits. For O2 in particular, topping up your credits automatically activates your SIM card, and extends its “lifespan” for another 6 months. There are 3 main ways to top up an O2 pay as you go SIM card:
Topping up O2 SIM cards by calling works like this:
- Call 4444 from any mobile phone.
- Dial +441753 552 277 from any mobile phone, even if abroad.
- Call *111*# from your mobile phone. Answer the call, dial 4444#, and enter the code you received.
- Call 03456 062 277 from a landline.
- Dial 08456 062 277 from a landline.
2. Use vouchers or E-Top Up cards
Any voucher or cash machine that has a green top-up logo works with O2 pay as you go SIM cards. Here’s how to get your O2 credits using an E-Top Up card:
- Call 248 from your mobile phone.
- Enter the 19-digit number on the card’s backside.
- Scratch the silver foil to unveil a 5-digit PIN, then enter it.
- You’ll get an SMS confirmation if you did everything right.
3. Use My O2 app or website
Pay Monthly or Business O2 users have their accounts generated when they buy a SIM or sign a contract. For that reason, they can use the My O2 Sign In page. The users of pay as you go SIM card need to Register an O2 Account first. Both can also download the My O2 app for Android.
How do I swap O2 SIM cards?
Decided to swap SIM cards between two O2 phone numbers? We’ll assume you already got the new one from the carrier. Also, you can’t switch between pay as you go SIM and other types of SIM services. With that acknowledged, follow these steps to swap two O2 SIM cards:
- Don’t turn the phone off or remove the old SIM card yet. Also, keep it nearby.
- Text SWAP to 20220, or sign in with your O2 account online or the app.
- Find the Swap your SIM section under Manage your account (app) or My Account (web) and confirm your username and password again.
- In both cases, you’ll receive a verification code.
- Once you enter it, and it gets confirmed, you can enter the details of your new SIM card.
- Important. Never remove the pre-populated numbers. For example, in the UK, a SIM card number can start with 94411, even though it doesn’t appear on the new SIM.
- After 1 to 24 hours, the old SIM card will lose connectivity. Insert the new one, enter the PIN, and start using it.
Help! I can’t enable my O2 SIM card
Don’t panic, even if none of the methods we listed work. Prepare your 13-digit SIM Serial Number (SSN) which is printed on the package your SIM card came in. Or, it could be listed in the e-mail O2 sent you. With that done, here are 4 more ways to contact O2:
- From an O2 mobile phone, call 4445 (pay as you go) or 202 (postpaid/prepaid).
- From a landline, dial 0344 8090222.
- If you are abroad, call +44 7860 980 202.
- Visit O2’s Contact Us page and talk to a representative.