Earlier days it was common to see people keep two phones to use dual SIM cards. However, this is no more needed with the latest iPhone models and you can use two nano SIM cards in a single iPhone. This will be super useful when traveling abroad as you do not need to purchase or bring another phone for temporary use. Perhaps you may also want two SIM cards to separate your personal and professional life but not using as you assume it needs two phones. Here is how you can use dual SIM in your iPhone along with the details of how exactly it works when calling and texting.
Inserting Dual SIM Cards in iPhone
Make sure you have two nano SIM cards and the supported iPhone model (list is given at the end of this article).
- Shutdown your phone by going to “Settings > General” and tap on “Shut Down” option.
- Use the small pin that comes with iPhone pack and take your SIM tray out of your iPhone.
- Unlike old iPhone models, all new iPhones support SIM cards in both sides of the tray.
- Keep your existing SIM on one side and place another new SIM on the backside of the SIM tray.
- The SIM tray in iPhone is designed in such a manner that you can only place SIM cards in the predesigned positions due to the cut on the corner of the SIM. So, do not worry about wrong placements as it is not possible with the SIM tray design.
- Insert the tray back in the slot with two SIM cards.
- Now, you can press and hold the right side button to start your iPhone.
Setting Up Dual SIMs in iPhone
Since you have two SIMs on the iPhone, you should select which one is your primary SIM. When your iPhone starts, it will automatically detect two SIM cards and ask you to choose the primary one.
- You will see a prompt showing a new cellular plan has been added with the heading as “Add Cellular Plan”. Tap on “continue” button to proceed further.
- On the next page, select the labels for your primary and secondary SIMs by tapping on each option.
- You can choose from the one of the available names like Business, Cellular Data, Personal, Primary, Secondary or Travel. It is also possible enter a custom label for your SIM cards to understand as per your convenience. Note that the first letter of the label will appear like P for Primary and T for Travel in contact list and other places.
- After choosing the labels for both primary and secondar SIMs, tap on “Continue” button.
- Next step is to select your “Default Line” which will be used for calls and messages to those are NOT in your contact list. For the people in your Contacts app, you can assign primary or secondary SIM anytime in the Contacts app as explained in next section. Tap on “Continue” after selecting your default line.
- On the next page, select default cellular plan to be used with iMessage and FaceTime apps. Select your option and tap “continue”.
- Next, you can select the default cellular data option – choose primary or secondary. If you want to use both, first select “Primary” and then turn on “Allow Cellular Data Switching” option. This will enable switching the line from SIM cards whenever they are available.
That’s all about the setting up dual SIM in iPhone and you should be able to use both SIMs for calling, messaging and FaceTime.
Assign Default Lines in Contact App
As mentioned, the default line you select in the above setup will work when you try to call for those people not in your contact list. For the people in your contact list, it is possible to toggle the default line anytime.
- Open Contacts app and select any person who you recently called.
- iPhone will show “last used:” information before the name with your primary or secondary SIM label.
- Tap on that “last used:” option and change the default line if you want to change.
- Alternatively, tap on “Edit” link to modify the contact item. Again, tap on “Preferred Link” option to change the default line for that contact.
In this way, you can choose which contacts to use primary and which ones to use secondary SIM cellular data. When sending message in Messages app, you can choose from primary or secondary number from the “From” field.
Changing from Cellular Settings Section
It is also possible to check the dual SIM details in “Settings > Cellular” section. Here you can view and change “Cellular Data” and “Default Voice Line” options to primary or secondary. Also, you can view both phone numbers associated with SIM cards and turn cellular on or off for them.
Dual SIM Symbols
Once you finished dual SIM setup in iPhone, you will see different symbols appearing on the top status bar as well as in Control Center.
- You will see the network icon on top right-corner of the iPhone screen shows a mirrored icon. This indicates dual SIM is used on the phone and you have enabled both SIMs to use cellular data.
- Swipe down from top right corner and open Control Center. Here you can see both primary and secondary network names showing with first letter of labels.
Removing Secondary SIM
The problem with inserting another SIM is that iPhone remembers your secondary SIM card number even after you remove the SIM from the tray. As a result, all your contacts will still show the option to switch between primary and secondary numbers. If you no more use secondary number, remove it from the SIM tray and then go to “Settings > Cellular” section. Here, you will see the secondary phone number shows as “No SIM”. Tap on it and iPhone will ask you to update the contacts as cellular plan is no longer available.
Tap “Update Contacts” option to remove the secondary SIM from “Cellular” section and assign all contacts to use primary SIM.
However, this WILL NOT remove the secondary option from each contact in your list. You will always see the option to switch between primary and secondary SIM in Contacts app. In addition, you will see the primary or secondary SIM is used when calling the person. This will be bit of annoying if you want to use secondary SIM only for few days.
Supported iPhone Models for Dual SIM Setup
The dual SIM tray is supported in the following iPhone models. Therefore, make sure to have one of these models and update your iOS to the latest version for the dual SIMs to work as expected.
- iPhone XR and XS Max
- 11 series – iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
- 12 series – iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max
- 13 series – iPhone 13, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
- 14 series – iPhone 14, 14 Pro, 14 Plus and 14 Pro Max
Remember, you should have two nano SIM cards that fit into the tray.