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What to do when your eSIM doesn't work?

Whatever you do, don't delete your eSIM!

· 3 min read

Travel eSIMs becoming an increasingly popular option for travelers to stay connected due to its convenience and affordability. However, as with all technology, it is possible for eSIMs to encounter issues. If you have just purchased an eSIM and you can't get it to work, here are a few steps to help you troubleshoot your eSIM.


1. Check if your eSIM has been installed

The first thing that you should do is to check if your eSIM has been successfully installed and activated.

To confirm if your eSIM has been installed, go to your device settings. On Android, you will be looking for your SIM manager; and on iOS, navigate to your 'Mobile Service' section in your phone settings.

Check if you can see your eSIM listed on the list of SIMs in your phone settings. As long as the eSIM is listed there, it means that the eSIM has been successfully installed. Don't worry even if you see a 'No Number' labeled for that eSIM — that is to be expected if the eSIM that you purchased was a data-only eSIM that does not include minutes or texts.

2. Check your phone data settings and if your eSIM has been activated

Now, if your eSIM has been successfully installed, check your device settings. Make sure your travel eSIM has been selected as the eSIM that will be selected for mobile data. You will also need to confirm that Data Roaming for that eSIM has been enabled. If you are using an iOS device, double check that Data Switching has been disabled.

If your phone settings are correct, check if your eSIM has been activated. The process of activation could vary depending on the eSIM you got — some eSIMs will automatically activate upon connection to the network; while others may require you to manually activate your eSIM.

If your eSIM requires a manual activation, double check if you have already done so. If you are using a Nomad eSIM, you can check your eSIM's activation status from your Manage page on the Nomad app or Nomad web store.

3. Toggle your phone settings

If your eSIM has been installed and activated but you still appear to have issues connecting to the cellular network, there are a few things to do.

Just like how the first thing to do is to restart your computer when you face issues with it, it isn't all that different for eSIMs.

Try toggling the following settings when you encounter issue with the network:

  1. Switching "Data Roaming" OFF and ON again.
  2. Turning "Airplane Mode" ON and OFF again.
  3. Turning the eSIM itself OFF and ON again.
  4. Restarting your phone.

But whatever you do, do NOT delete your eSIM. Unlike physical SIMs where you might think of removing the SIM card and putting it into another phone to try to see if it works, you can't do teh same for eSIMs.

The QR code for your eSIM installation is a one-time use. Once you have installed it on your phone, you cannot reuse that code. That essentially means that if you have deleted your eSIM, you will not be able to reinstall it.

4. Check your APN Settings

If restarting your phone still doesn't work, consider checking your APN settings of your eSIM. Go to your eSIM on your device setting and check that the APN settings are configured correctly for your eSIM — your installation kit should contain information about the correct APN settings, so you can use that as reference.

You can also select the option to manually select your network instead of using an automatic network selection. Choose between the list of available networks to find the one that works best for your eSIM.

5. Contact Customer Support

If you’re still facing issues with connectivity after trying the various troubleshooting methods, contact customer support. When you reach out to customer support, please provide screenshots that indicate you are no longer receiving service along with details of your eSIM, so that the issue can be better diagnosed and resolved.

Get a Nomad eSIM to help you stay connected on your next trip

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.10/GB.

The networks that Nomad's eSIMs use for each plan are stated on the plan details on the web store and apps, so you can check which networks are supported before buying your plan. Data sharing and tethering is also supported on Nomad's eSIM plans.