Seeing someone exchanging two SIM cards is not rare. In fact, phone manufacturers designed their devices to allow for this, giving you a chance to switch between phone numbers or even carriers. The obvious downside is that you can only use one SIM card at a time since they often share the built-in network antennae. But, unless one of your SIM cards is not working, you’ll have no problems making a switch between them. With that said, here’s how to change a SIM card.
Steps to switch a SIM card
We already wrote a step-by-step tutorial on how to insert a SIM card. Obviously, if you want to perform a SIM card exchange, you’ll either have to replace the old one or insert the new one next to it. Let’s explain 4 possible ways you can do the deed.
1. Single SIM
You won’t encounter this type unless you own an older phone. For those that do, here’s how.
- Use the tutorial we mentioned to get to the SIM card.
- Now, place the tip of your finger onto the SIM card.
- Slowly pull it out of the SIM slot.
Pull in the opposite direction of how it was inserted into the slot.
- Take out the new SIM card from the package (full-size SIM card).
It doesn’t matter if it’s prepaid or a postpaid SIM card.
- Punch out the next available SIM card size.
- Still too big? Remove the plastic rim around it until it fits the required size.
- Place the new SIM card in the place of an old one.
- Plug the battery again.
- Return the back cover.
- Turn the phone on.
- You’ll be asked to enter the PIN.
If you can’t find it, use the PUK code to reset/change the PIN code.
- Don’t throw the old SIM card away, put it in another phone instead.
2. Double SIM
A lot of older phones also use a double SIM slot, allowing you to put two mini-SIM or micro-SIM cards, or one of each. This time, you have two options:
- Swap the SIM cards like you would a single SIM.
- Put the second SIM card into the empty slot without removing the first one.
If you encounter the “one of each SIM card size” scenario, simply add or remove the plastic ring to make them both fit.
3. Hybrid SIM slot
This is the most common scenario you’ll encounter nowadays. Instead of a soldered SIM slot, you’ll have to open a SIM card tray using a SIM card removal tool. Then, you have the ability to insert two nano-SIM cards or a nano-SIM card and an SD card. Using a hybrid SIM adapter, you can even put two nano-SIM cards and one SD card if you wish. The point is, SIM card swapping might not be required here either – you can just add the second SIM next to it.
4. Hybrid SIM on newer Apple iPhone
With this one, you’ll encounter the traditional hybrid SIM slot mentioned above. But this time, there’s an additional option available, an embedded-SIM card, which is soldered onto the motherboard and thus not removable. However, that SIM card can be reprogrammed countless times, requiring you to use software to change SIM cards (and thus carriers) instead of doing it physically.
Instructions for swapping from SIM1 to SIM2
Now that you know the physical side, here’s how it works inside of an operating system. The steps ahead will be extremely important to those that encounter types #2, #3, or #4.
- Open Settings in your app drawer.
- Select the Network & Internet option on the menu.
- Go to SIM cards.
- Enable SIM2 by taping on the switch icon to move it to the ON position.
If your network wasn’t recognized automatically, you’ll have to search for it.
- Tap on Settings and select Network & Internet again.
- This time, select the Mobile network.
- You can now switch between SIM1 and SIM2 using the tabs on the top.
- If the carrier is recognized but the network isn’t, tap on Advanced.
- Flick the switch to ON position next to the Automatically select network option.
- If the carrier isn’t automatically recognized, you’ll have a sole option, to tap on Search networks.
iPhones and iPads
- Tap on Settings from the app drawer.
- Select the Cellular option.
- Select Cellular Plans by tapping on it.
The option might be titled Mobile Data or Cellular Data.
- You’ll now see one or more mobile carriers available to you.
- Tap on the one you want to activate to make it Primary.
You might be prompted to accept the change. Tap on Turn On This Line.
- Verify that a checkmark appeared next to it.