Instructions: Transfer eSIM to new iPhone

With some phone providers you can move your eSIM directly from the old to the new iPhone.

My new iPhone 15 Pro Max has been here for a while and I finally wanted to set it up and change the SIM. However, when I tried to use the special SIM card tray opener to remove the SIM, the tray was empty.

At first it was a big surprise, but then the epiphany: I have an eSIM. After a year I actually forgot about it.

With some phone providers you can move your eSIM directly from the old to the new iPhone.
With some phone providers you can move your eSIM directly from the old to the new iPhone.

Transfer eSIM from iPhone to iPhone

But good, you can also transfer the eSIM. And it goes like this:

  1. On the new iPhone, tap Settings → Cellular → Configure Cellular
  2. You will now receive a list with a telephone number that you can possibly transfer
  3. If you don't find a suitable one, you can tap on "More options".
  4. Now there are the options “Transfer from nearby iPhone” or “Use QR code”
  5. If you select “Transfer from a nearby iPhone” and have the old iPhone unlocked next to the new one, then a message “Transfer phone number” will open (this is a prerequisite iOS 16 or higher)
  6. You can now initiate the move using “Continue”.

Unfortunately, this didn't work for me because my provider Congstar doesn't yet support an eSIM transfer this way.

The direct transfer of the eSIM from iPhone to iPhone did not go through.
The direct transfer of the eSIM from iPhone to iPhone didn't work for me because Congstar doesn't support the process.

eSIM move via QR code or provider app

So my only option was to go through the provider. At first I thought I would have to go through customer service, but at Congstar you can do this directly via administration if you are logged into the customer area on the site.

So if you're at Congstar like me, you'll find the right instructions here. But other providers are probably similar.

  1. Login to https://www.congstar.de
  2. then in the “My Products” section
  3. Click here on “Details” for the relevant mobile phone number
  4. look here at “SIM & contract details” and click on “SIM cards & eSIM”.
  5. There you will find the button “Swap eSIM/SIM card” – click on it
  6. Now select “Device change”.
  7. Select “eSIM” here and click further
  8. A confirmation code will then be sent to the current iPhone, which you enter in the form displayed
  9. Now you confirm the ordering process again
  10. To activate the eSIM on the new iPhone, open the Congstar app on the new iPhone
  11. Select the appropriate contract in the app
  12. Here you will be shown when the new eSIM is ready (for me it took about 30 minutes)

If you see the message “There is an eSIM profile ready for you” below, click this button.

Important: Click on this button in the Congstar app on the NEW iPhone to activate the eSIM on the new iPhone too!

I was able to activate the eSIM on my new iPhone using the Congstar app and use it to make calls after 30 seconds.
I was able to activate the eSIM on my new iPhone using the Congstar app and use it to make calls after 30 seconds.

The actual activation process requires active WiFi and takes a maximum of 3 minutes. For me it was more like 30 seconds. If everything worked, the message “Mobile radio configuration completed” appears.

So the move was done and from now on my new iPhone 15 Pro Max will ring when I get a call.

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8 comments on “Instructions: Transfer eSIM to new iPhone”

  1. When I switched from the 13 ProMax to the 15 ProMax, it was a snap with the eSIM from Telekom. That's how it should be, uncomplicated.

    1. Hi Lutz! Did you also have to go through the service or were you able to transfer it directly from iPhone to iPhone? It would be exciting because Congstar is essentially Telekom's low-cost brand. Maybe they have some feature limitations.

  2. Hey Jens, no, you didn't have to go through service. Data was transferred from one cell phone to the other, then the new one worked

    1. Ah, look. Then they deliberately don't have that at Congstar, even though they technically could. Simply to have a difference between Telekom and Congstar.

  3. For me, the esim(O2) could be transferred from the 14 Pro to the 15 pro max, but it didn't work. A call to O2 solved the problem within 15 minutes. The error was at O2, according to the service employee.

    1. Hello Horst! Thanks for the feedback. It's always interesting to hear how things are going for others. Or it doesn't work! 😊

  4. My eSim swap from 13pro to 15pro only took 2 minutes in the O5 shop. The employee there told me that you could easily do it at home using the O2 app.

    My girlfriend, got my old one, an XR, tried it at home. The QR code never arrived, neither by post nor by email. Another visit to the shop and various calls to the hotline were unsuccessful. Today, a week later, she is still making calls with her old cell phone.

    1. Hi Andy! Ouch... that's not that great. I hope you or O2 can still manage it. Support is always difficult at the store. :(

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