So, you plan on putting your SIM card in another phone, and wondering what happens afterward? Short answer – nothing unexpected. We already explained what is a SIM card and what is a SIM card used for. Having read that, you should already know the majority of events that will unfold. But, knowing that its a key part of any mobile phone or tablet, it doesn’t hurt to get a full answer. With that said, let’s answer the question, if I put my SIM card in another phone, what will happen?
1. It might not fit at all
If you didn’t know, there are multiple SIM card sizes. The users who upgrade from an older phone to the newest flagship often face this problem. Your old micro-SIM card or mini-SIM card just cannot fit into the nano-SIM card slot the flagship requires. That leaves you with two options:
- Contact the carrier and wait for a full-size SIM card to arrive. Then, punch out the SIM card in size your phone needs.
- If the situation is urgent, try DIY. You can cut the bigger SIM card down to size because the plastic around the chip is only there to insulate it, and thus has no other functionality.
2. You might be unable to use it
Even if the SIM card fits and you can turn the phone on, it doesn’t mean everything is fine. Unless your new phone is unlocked or bought from the same carrier, it might be locked. That means it will require you to use a SIM card from the mobile service carrier you bought it from.
It’s a shady practice. In some countries, carriers have to unlock your phone by law, but they circumvent this intentionally to maintain market dominance and retain customers. Third-party companies and mobile repair shops can unlock your phone for a fee. For complete freedom, we recommend using an unlocked phone and a prepaid SIM card.
3. You will be asked for a PIN
You might have forgotten about PIN/PUK numbers on your phone because it never asked you after the first time. Or, you might have manually disabled it in the past. Well, it’s back on the new one, as theft protection. You need to find the full-size SIM card, scratch the protective film, and enter the code printed underneath.
4. You might have to re-confirm your identity
After you insert a SIM card into another phone, your old applications won’t follow, which means you will have to reinstall them. And if they rely on your mobile number to work, they will detect a device change, prompting you for confirmation of identity. The same applies to online services such as a bank or subscription services.
6. Networking capabilities unlock
By putting a new SIM card in, you unlock the capability of accessing a 3G, 4G, and soon, 5G network. That allows you to access the Internet, call, text, and use certain messaging apps. But, your phone needs to be configured to access the Internet first. One of the following will happen:
- The carrier will send you an SMS with a link to tap on, and the information will be automatically added.
- The carrier will send you an SMS with required information such as proxy name, IP address, and port, and instructions on how to add them.
- You must visit the carrier’s official website for information or call their customer service.
7. Contacts and messages will be lost
This doesn’t apply if you saved this type of data on your SIM before you removed it, and import them afterward. We recommend using a Google backup for this purpose. Oh, and call logs will be lost too, so use a separate backup application if they’re important.
8. Your files won’t carry over
This is probably the biggest concern of people wondering – if I put my SIM card on another phone what will happen? It applies to your photos, videos, music, documents, applications, e-books, and other types of data stored on the internal memory of your old phone. If they were stored on an SD card, you can easily insert it into your new phone and regain access.
9. Your old phone will be limited in functionality
Assuming it’s a smartphone, you will still be able to use Wi-Fi, Camera, File Manager, and some applications that don’t rely on mobile data and phone numbers. That means you cannot text, call, store contacts, access 3G, 4G, or 5G Internet, or use your mobile phone as a hotspot.