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eSIMs 101: How to delete an eSIM, and what happens when you delete it?

With tips to prevent accidental deletion.

· 4 min read

In today's digital age, our smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. They hold our contacts, photos, messages, and even serve as our primary means of communication. With the advancements in technology, we have seen the birth of eSIMs; and with the convenience it brings, these digital SIM cards have also become an increasingly popular option.

If you are new to the eSIM scene, you might feel anxious about not seeing a physical card, or that you might accidentally misconfigure something that could cause you to get disconnected. Nomad has a series of blogs that will help you to navigate the eSIM scene, and in this latest post, we will discuss how to delete an eSIM, why you should delete an eSIM, and what happens after you delete an eSIM.

Delete eSIM

Check out other posts in our series of How-to-eSIM blogs:

What is eSIM?

If you are here, you probably already know what is eSIM. But for the benefit of those who don't let's have a quick recap.

eSIM stands for "embedded SIM" and refers to a SIM card that is directly built into your smartphone or other devices. eSIMs work just like a traditional SIM card does, except it does not have a physical card, do not require physical swapping, and can be reprogrammed remotely.

eSIMs have revolutionized the way we connect to mobile networks. They store all the necessary information that allows your device to connect to a mobile network, including your mobile number, carrier details, and any other necessary data.

What does it mean to delete an eSIM?

When we talk about deleting an eSIM, we don't really mean deleting the embedded chip that is in your device. Instead, what we really refer to is the deletion of an installed eSIM profile.

When you install an eSIM, your device downloads the necessary information, such as the SIM card details and network settings, from the cellular network. This information is securely stored on your device's internal memory. When you delete an eSIM, this stored data is erased, and your device will no longer be able to connect to a network using that specific eSIM.

It's important to note that deleting an eSIM does not affect any other aspects of your device, such as your apps, contacts, or other settings. Your device will continue to function as usual, with the exception of the removed eSIM profile.

Why would I delete an eSIM?

The primary use case for deleting an eSIM is because you no longer need the eSIM. A common use case for this would be when you get a travel eSIM, and you no longer require it after your trip ends. Another possible scenario where you might want to delete an eSIM would be when you switch providers.

There is nothing wrong with keeping your expired eSIM profile installed. However, you should be mindful that there is a limit in the number of eSIM profiles your device can store (this limit varies from device to device). So, if you were to keep all your unused eSIMs installed, there would ultimately come a time when you have too eSIM profiles and you wouldn't be able to install new ones.

For proper eSIM management, It is recommended that you regularly clean up your eSIM profiles.

How to delete an eSIM?

The process of deleting an eSIM varies slightly depending on the device and operating system you are using. However, the general steps remain similar across most platforms. Let's walk through the process:

  1. First, navigate to your device settings. This can usually be done by tapping on the "Settings" app on your home screen.
  2. Once you're in the settings menu, locate the "Network & Internet" or "Connections" section. The exact name may vary depending on your device.
  3. Within this menu, you should find an option related to your eSIM. It may be labeled as "SIM & network" or "eSIM settings."
  4. Tap on the eSIM option, and you will be presented with the choice to deactivate or delete your eSIM.
  5. Confirm your selection, and voila! Your eSIM profile is deleted from your device.

It's worth mentioning that some devices may require additional steps or authentication, such as entering a PIN or password, to delete an eSIM. This is to ensure the security of your device and prevent unauthorized access.

Can I recover a deleted eSIM?

Accidents happen, and you might find yourself deleting a wrong eSIM. Unfortunately, deleting an eSIM is not like deleting a file - it doesn't go into a recycling bin where you can easily retrieve and restore.

Most eSIMs (including Nomad's) only support a one-time installation. That means to say that if you have already scanned the QR code and downloaded the eSIM profile to your device, attempting to reinstall the eSIM profile by scanning the same QR code will not work. Instead, your best bet in recovering a deleted eSIM will be to contact your carrier.

When it comes to recovering a deleted eSIM, the possibility of success hinges on a few key elements. One crucial factor is your carrier's policies and capabilities. Some carriers have systems in place that allow them to reactivate deleted eSIM profiles, essentially reinstating your connection to the associated network. However, it's important to note that this is not always guaranteed, and the possibility of recovery varies from carrier to carrier.

Preventing Unintentional eSIM Deletion

Now that we know how the process works and the potential consequences, it's crucial to take steps to prevent unintentional eSIM deletion. Let's explore some best practices for eSIM management and discover tools and apps that can help safeguard your eSIMs from accidental deletion.

Best Practices for eSIM Management

When it comes to managing your eSIMs, it's vital to stay organized and be intentional with your actions. Consider naming your eSIM profiles clearly, so that you will clearly know which eSIM you need to delete. This will help you avoid mistakenly deleting the wrong eSIM profile. Additionally, regularly clean up the list of unused eSIM profiles so that you don't end up having too many profiles to manage.