How to Use Dual SIM on iPhone Xs Max, Xs, and iPhone XR

How to Set Up and Use Dual SIM with iPhone Xs or Xs Max

One of the biggest highlights of the 2018 iPhones is the dual-SIM support. This long-awaited feature means a lot to the users who want to have more flexibility in choosing or switching carriers. Had there been no resistance from carriers, Apple would have introduced digital SIM on the iPhone much earlier. Anyway, better late than never! Let’s check out how to use dual SIM on the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, or iPhone XR.

As mentioned above, the dual SIM offers several advantages. For instance, you can keep one number especially for your business and another number for personal calls. Even though you aren’t running a business, you would like to have the privilege of two phone numbers.

Times when you are traveling abroad, you can easily add a local data plan to save plenty of bucks. Even better, it also offers you the freedom to get separate voice and data plans for a more simplified experience.

What’s eSIM?

Before diving into the process of setting up Dual SIM on the iPhones 2018, I would like to talk about eSIM briefly.

“e” stands for an embedded SIM. Unlike the physical SIM, eSIM is built right into the device. It’s a tiny chip that lets you verify your identity with a carrier.

eSIM had already been available on the latest iPad and Apple Watch. Now, the tech giant has decided to bring it on the iPhones as well.

Things You Need to Know:

  • Once you enable the eSIM, your iPhone will be restricted to use only one cellular data network at a time
  • Keep in mind, if one of your numbers is busy, incoming calls on the other number will automatically go to voicemail. It will happen only if you have enabled it for your carrier
  • Apple is to add the dual SIM support for the compatible iPhones later this year through iOS 12 software updates
  • You will be able to use two different carriers only on your unlocked iPhone
  • As of now, Apple’s eSIM is supported only in 10 countries including Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S
  • Besides; carriers need to offer compatibility with the digital SIM. Right now, only AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon support it in the USA
  • For China and Hong Kong, Apple will launch a special version of iPhone Xs and Xs Max to let users insert two physical SIM cards

How to Use Dual SIM on iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, or iPhone XR

Quick navigation:

How to Setup Cellular Plan with eSIM on iPhone Xs, Xs Max, or XR

Getting started with a cellular plan using eSIM is dead simple as it involves only a few steps.

Step #1. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on Cellular.

Step #2. Now, tap on Add Cellular Plan.

Step #3. Next, use your iPhone’s camera to scan the QR code offered by your carrier.

In certain cases, you will receive a confirmation from the carrier. Enter it to activate the eSIM on your iPhone Xs.


  • There is also an option to enter your plan information manually. To do so, tap Enter Details Manually at the bottom. Then, follow the instructions to complete the process
  • To activate your cellular plan with a carrier app, first off download its app from the App Store. Then, choose a preferred cellular plan from the app

How to Switch eSIMs on iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and iPhone XR

Though you are allowed to store more than one eSim in your iPhone, you will be able to use only one at a time.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone.

Step #2. Now, tap on CellularCellular Plans.

Step #3. Next, tap on the plan you want to use.

Step #4. Next up, tap on Turn On This Line.

Once your second plan comes into effect, you can label plans based on your requirements. For instance, you will be able to label one plan Business and the other plan Personal. Read on…

How to Label your Cellular Plans

You can select which phone number to use for making or receiving calls and messages. Moreover, there is also an option to specify a number for cellular data and even assign a number to your contacts.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone → Cellular.

Step #2. Now, tap on the number which label you wish to change.

Step #3. Next, tap on Cellular Plan Label and choose a new label or enter a custom label.


Another notable thing is the option to set your default number and choose which number is to be used only for cellular data.

Use Primary as your default line: Upon selecting this option, the voice, SMS, Data, iMessage, and FaceTime will use Primary by default. The Secondary will be used for just voice and SMS.

Use Secondary as your default line: Concerning functionality, it’s exactly opposite to the first option. That means, If you happen to select this one, the voice, SMS, Data, iMessage, and FaceTime will use Secondary by default. The Primary will be used for voice and SMS.

Use Secondary for cellular data only: It’s self-explanatory and lets you use the Secondary line for cellular data only.

Set Your Default Number on iPhone Xs or Xs Max


How to Manage Cellular Settings

Apple offers you desired freedom to manage cellular settings for each of your plans.

Step #1. Open Settings → Tap on Cellular.

Step #2. Now, tap the phone line.

Step #3. Tap each option and customize the option as required.

Manage Cellular Settings on iPhone Xs or Xs Max


How to Make your iPhone remember which number to use for the Calls

For a more simplified experience, the iPhone automatically uses the same number that you had used last time. However, you have the option to set which number to use for your calls with a contact.

Step #1. Head over to the contact and tap on it.

Step #2. Now, tap Preferred Cellular Plan and then select the number you wish to use with that contact.

Make Your iPhone remember which number to use for Calls


Note: If one of your phone numbers is busy, an incoming call on your other number will go to voicemail, only if you have enabled it. One thing worth noting is that you wont receive a missed-call notification from your secondary number.

How to Switch phone numbers for a call

You can change phone numbers before making a call.

Step #1. Tap on the information button in the Phone app.

Tap on I Icon in Phone App on iPhone

Step #2. Tap the current phone number and then select your other number.

Switch phone numbers for a call on iPhone Xs or Xs Plus


Note: When using a keypad, enter the phone number and tap on it. Then, tap on the number you wish to use.

Depending on your need, you can choose which phone line uses iMessage.

How to Choose Which Phone Line Uses iMessage and FaceTime

Step #1. Open Settings → Tap on Messages → Tap on iMessage & FaceTime Line.

Step #2. Now, choose the phone number you want to use.

How to Switch Phone Numbers before Sending SMS/MMS

To ensure you are able to send SMS using the preferred phone number, iOS lets you change it before hitting the send button.

Step #1. Launch Message app on your Phone.

Step #2. Now, tap the New button at the top right corner of the screen.

Step #3. Next, enter your contact’s name and then tap on the current phone number.

Step #4. Finally, choose the number you would like to use.

How to Change Cellular Data Number

At a time, only one number will use cellular data. However, you can switch this option based on your need.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone → Tap on Cellular Cellular Data.

Step #2. Now, you need to select the number you would like t to use cellular data.

Change Cellular Data Number


That’s all, folks!

Your take?

As a user, I can’t help appreciating the dual-SIM support. It’s given the end users more freedom to choose the preferred carrier and move to a new plan with a bit more convenience.

You might want to refer these posts as well:

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