eSIMs 101: Does a factory reset delete my eSIM?
You can choose to keep your eSIMs!
· 3 min read
Factory resetting your smartphone can be a powerful troubleshooting tool, especially when your device starts acting up. However, if you currently have eSIMs installed in your device, you might be wondering whether it is safe to perform a factory reset on your device, and what will happen to your eSIM after the factory reset. After all, a factory reset entails a data wipe, and that includes your eSIM...or not.
Factory Reset and Data Wipe
A factory reset is a process that restores your smartphone to its original settings, essentially erasing all the data and customized settings you've accumulated on the device. It can be a powerful troubleshooting method when dealing with software issues.
When you initiate a factory reset, the following typically happens:
- All user data is deleted: This includes your apps, photos, contacts, messages, and personal settings.
- Device settings are reset: Your device will be restored to its original factory settings, erasing any customization you've done.
- Apps and system files are reinstalled: Your phone's operating system and built-in apps are reinstalled to ensure the device functions properly.
Now, the big question is: What happens to your eSIM during a factory reset, and is it safe to perform a factory reset if you have eSIMs installed?
Factory Reset and eSIM
Here's the good news: It's perfectly safe to perform a factory reset, and it is mostly up to you whether you want to retain your eSIM profiles when doing a factory reset. When doing a factory reset, most devices will ask if you want to retain your eSIM profiles.
On iOS, you will be able to select the option to 'erase data and keep eSIMs' during your factory reset. On Android devices, you will also be able to select the option to erase your eSIMs (note that this options is unselected by default — so if you leave it unchecked, the eSIMs will not be erased).
If you choose to keep your eSIMs, then your eSIM profiles will be retained after the factory reset, while all the other data in your device would be removed after the factory reset.
On the other hand, if you choose to erase all data, then all your eSIM profiles will be deleted alongside the other information in your device. It is important to note that what gets deleted isn't the actual eSIM, but just the eSIM profiles. The actual eSIM is a hardware component embedded within your device, and is designed to be a permanent part of your smartphone's hardware which can't be deleted by a factory reset. However, the eSIM profiles, which contains the information that is necessary to establish the connection with your network provider will be what gets deleted.
When should you remove your eSIM profile?
Some of the most common use cases for a factory reset would be when you need to solve software issues or when you want to sell your phone.
When you are doing a factory reset to solve software issues, it is likely that you will want to continue using your phone after the reset. In such cases, it is important for you to retain your eSIM profiles so you can continue using it to establish connections with your network operator.
However, if you are doing a factory reset so that you can sell your phone or hand it on to someone else, you would want to remove all your personal information from the device — so it is recommended that you also delete your eSIM profile. Remember, if your eSIM profile is still active and in your device when you sell it off, it means the next person using your phone will be able to use that same profile when using your phone.
What happens when your eSIM profile gets cleaned?
Doing a factory reset and removing your eSIM profile will essentially delete the eSIM profile and remove it from your phone. Your line with your operator isn't terminated, but because the eSIM profile is no longer installed in your phone, your device would not be able to establish connection with the network.
If you did not select the option to retain your eSIM profile and it was accidentally removed, you should contact your network operator. Some network operators allow you to reinstall your eSIM directly from your device by selecting the profile that has been created for your device during the set-up process, but other operators may require you to contact them to get another set of installation kit.
If you are doing a factory reset on your phone because you want to sell your device off, it is recommended that you first speak to your operator to transfer your eSIM profiles to your new device before doing a factory reset on the old one.