Why is my eSIM not working and how to fix it?

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If you have an eSIM not working, chances are there are some doubts on why this is happening. What are the issues with not letting the eSIM work on your device? What are the solutions for fixing these, and how hard is it for people to complete the process? 

For those with doubts about the eSIM not working, keep reading as you will get all the information you need about this!


How to activate an eSIM on a mobile?

When activating an eSIM, it’s important to know carriers might have a different method to complete this process. In most cases, a QR code will be enough for people to activate an eSIM.

For international eSIM carriers, the process starts with the purchase, and a few seconds later, a QR code will be sent to activate the digital SIM card. To do this, the process is quite simple:

  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Go to “Mobile/Cellular Data”.
  • Press on “Add New Plan” and scan the QR code.
  • Once this is done, the eSIM will be activated.

This process is the same for Android and iOS devices. But before trying to complete it, always remember to check how your carriers activate eSIMs!

eSIM not working on iPhone. Source: Unsplash.

Why is my eSIM not working on my phone?

If your eSIM is not working, there are different reasons to consider. First, people need to make sure their device is eSIM compatible. If your device is compatible, then there are several reasons why this can happen. So, let’s see the main reasons why an eSIM not working on mobiles or other devices.

eSIM is not working on an iOS or Android device

For people who have an eSIM not working on Android or iOS devices, here are some things to remember:

  1. All devices must be unlocked. All eSIMs that are not from your local carrier will not work if your phone is not unlocked.
  2. Verify the installation process was completed and that the eSIM shows up on the Mobile Data menu.
  3. Verify local networks before traveling to see if your eSIM will work on the place you are visiting.
  4. Check your device allows the usage of an eSIM and a SIM card.

If you need further assistance, it’s always recommended to call your carrier or eSIM provider to ask for help.

Check the data plan of your eSIM card

If you already completed the installation of an eSIM on your device, it’s important to check the data plan is working. Most eSIMs for traveling include a data plan, so users need to know how to check it.

For both Android and iOS devices, the process is the following:

  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Press the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu.
  • Check your eSIM and the information about the data plan.

Some companies, such as Holafly, allow people to check their data plan in an easier way thanks to their app, which people can use to buy eSIMs for travel, too.

Restart your device and check the coverage

Restarting a device is a handy solution for some issues. On Android and iOS devices, this solution is helpful when an eSIM not working and doesn’t allow people to stay connected to an internet network.

If the reset doesn’t help, then a network reset is another solution to consider. To do this, these are the steps to follow:

  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Press on “General”.
  • Press the “Transfers or Reset” button and choose the “Reset” option.
  • Finally, press the “Restart Network Settings”, and it will be done.

If, previously, there were some changes to APNs, VPNs, and other networks, these have to be added again to the device. Lastly, consider that in poor coverage areas, eSIMs will not work.

Lastly, make sure that if you buy an eSIM from an international company, it provides coverage in most of the places you will visit.

Keep your mobile updated

Keeping your mobile updated is a must for it to properly work. If the operative system is not updated, chances are some things won’t work, and that includes eSIMs not working. Here are the steps to follow to keep your mobile updated:

  • iOS devices: Create a backup of your information on iCloud. Press on “Settings”, then on “General” and then on “Software Update”. If there are updates available, wait until it is installed and you are good to go!
  • Android devices: Create a backup on your device. Go to “Settings”, then on “System” and finally on “System Update”. If there’s an update available, install it, and it’s all done.

Reboot your mobile

If your device is not properly working, chances are you need to do a hard reset on it. If you do this, everything on your device will be erased, and that includes issues when an eSIM not working is on the way. 

For Android and iOS, this is what users need to do:

  • For iOS: Go to “Settings”, then go to “General” press on “Transfers or Restore iPhone” and press on “Restabilize” to reboot your device.
  • For Android: Go to “Settings”, then go to “System” and press on “Additional Adjustments”. Press on “Factory Reset” and reboot the device. 

eSIM was not properly installed

If the eSIM not working was not properly installed, the data plan won’t work until the digital SIM card is re-installed. People can easily check this by going to “Settings”, and then to “Mobile or Cellular Data” and check if the eSIM is installed.

If the eSIM is properly installed, people will see it there. By clicking on it, some details will show up, but if this is not the case, then people have to go through the activation process all over.

It’s important for people to have a stable WiFi connection when activating an eSIM and to check how to activate it based on the carrier they are using.

not working esim
eSIM not working on Samsung. Source: Unsplash.

Are there other reasons why an eSIM can’t work?

Lost eSIM

Even though eSIMs can’t get “lost” because of how it works, customers might have an issue with their device, and the eSIM can get lost or erased accidentally, so they will need to ask for a new one.

eSIM being activated on a different device

When it comes to using an eSIM, travelers need to keep in mind that eSIMs only work on one device at a time. Therefore, it is important to activate it on the device that will actually be used during the trip.

eSIM was erased mistakenly

For those who don’t have much knowledge about how eSIMs work, an issue related to erasing the eSIM can happen at any given. Therefore, this will make the eSIM unable to be used, and clients will need to get a new one.

Uncompleted eSIM activation

If the eSIM activation process is not completed, it won’t work. That’s why people need to complete the whole process before using one.

APN has to be adjusted

Some carriers allow their buyers to change their APNs when needed. This is not something all companies allow people to do, so keep this in mind. To check that the APN is properly adjusted and working, people have to go to the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu, press on “More Options,” and finally on “Mobile Network” to check the APN.

There, the user can write the new name of the access point. If this option doesn’t appear, the company doesn’t allow people to modify the APN, and the reason why the eSIM not working is different.


When does an eSIM expire?

eSIMs can either expire or not. These will expire if they were bought to work for a certain amount of time, for example. If you are traveling and buying an international eSIM, the user might have bought an eSIM for a week, a month, or more.
On the other hand, local eSIMs don’t expire. These will work as long as people have access to a local cellular data plan. So, if by any chance it “expires,” the customer will need to contact customer support from their cellular operator.

How to manually activate an eSIM?

Most eSIMs are activated manually. Therefore, people need two things: a working cell phone and an internet connection to complete the process.
The process for both Android and iOS devices is mostly the same. The customer needs to scan a QR code with an internet connection for the eSIM to be activated. For iOS users, companies like Holafly make things easier as they can use Holafly’s official app to complete the activation process there.
Overall, the process is quite simple as people must scan the QR code they received. And the eSIM will start working immediately. If it’s an international eSIM, people probably need to activate the roaming option to avoid the eSIM not working.

Would it be possible to fix a “broken” eSIM?

When talking about eSIMs, it is important to say that these can’t “break”. This technology doesn’t break because it is embedded in the device, so there’s no chance of that!

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