How to Switch Sim Cards on the iPhone

Sometimes, you just need to start over. If you are switching out SIM cards for a new carrier or because your old one stopped working or transferring a SIM card from an old smartphone, then this guide will show you how to switch out SIM cards for all models of the iPhone. Switching out the SIM card is easy when you know where to look, but each model is different. Fear not! We've got you covered. Read on to learn all about how to switch SIM cards on your iPhone.

Related: How to Know If Your iPhone Is Unlocked, Plus What That Means 

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Before we get started, you're going to want to find a paper clip. That's the easiest way to eject your SIM card without risking any damage. Next, locate your SIM card tray on your model iPhone using the following diagrams:

iPhone XR

iPhone X, XS, XS Max

iPhone 4 through 8 Plus

iPhone 3GS and Original iPhone

To eject your SIM card:

  • Unwind one end of the paper clip so that it's pointed out straight. Insert this end into the hold beside your SIM card tray.
  • Push in gently until the tray releases.
  • Before you remove your SIM card, take a look at where the notch is on your card; your new SIM card will need to face the same way.
  • Gently place your new SIM card into the tray in the correct position and pop the tray back into place!

You can save your old SIM card or throw it away. Before throwing away an old SIM card that has any personal data stored, make sure to destroy it by damaging the bronze foil on the back of the card. You can do this easily by scraping a sharp edge over the foil. 

Top image credit: Aquarius Studio / Shutterstock.com

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Tamlin Day's picture

Tamlin Day is a feature web writer at iPhone Life. He has a degree in Media and Communications from Maharishi University of Management and his work has been published in the Rio Review and Breathe Free Press.