So you got a new phone, which means swapping your SIM card from the old to the new. While it sounds slightly daunting if you’ve never done it before, it’s quite easy. Here’s how.

What is a SIM Card?

In short, SIM stands for Subscriber Identification Module. It’s what connects a phone to a specific carrier and gives it unique identifiers like a phone number. In simpler terms, it’s a small card that allows your phone to get service from a carrier.

There are a few different sizes of SIM Cards available: Standard SIM, Micro SIM, and Nano SIM, each of those progressively smaller than the previous one. While all three are still used in a variety of phones, Nano SIM has been the most popular choice over the last few years.

L to R: Standard, Nano, and Micro SIM

Image Credit: justyle/shutterstock.com

A Word on SIM Card Sizes

Before we get into how to change your SIM Card, we want to touch on SIM card sizes and phone compatibility.

Like we mentioned earlier, there are three sizes. But there are also adapters available, though they only work one way (converting smaller cards to fit larger trays).

So, if your current phone uses a Nano SIM, and your new phone uses Micro SIM, then you can pick up some adapters and use your same card without issue.

Note: Your carrier may provide SIM adapters free of charge.

How to Change Your SIM Card

On Android phones, you can usually find the SIM card slot in one of two places: under (or around) the battery or in a dedicated tray along the side of the phone.

How to Replace a SIM Found Under the Back Plate

If your phone has a removable back plate or user-replaceable battery, then the odds are the SIM slot is somewhere under that back plate.

For these phones, you’ll first need to pull off the back and look for a little tray. Sometimes it will even be labeled—especially on phones with more than one SIM slot. Either way, it should look something like this:

There are a couple of different types of these particular slots. If the phone has a removable battery, you’ll often have to pull the battery and just slide the SIM card into the slot.

Other times, the SIM tray might have a little “door” on it. If it does, slide that door towards the hinge, then lift it open. Drop the SIM card in place and then close the door. Note the notch that matches the SIM card in the lower corner of this particular phone.

Regardless of which type of SIM tray your phone has, you can pop the back on and fire the phone back up (if you had to shut it down to remove the battery).

How to Replace a SIM Around the Edge of the Phone

If your phone doesn’t have a removable back, then you’ll need to examine the outside edges of the phone to find the SIM tray. It’s a small bay with a little hole on one side, like in the following image.

To remove it, you’ll need a SIM removal tool. Most phones come with one in the box, and you can buy them for very cheap, but you can also just use a small paperclip in a pinch.

To eject the SIM card tray, slide the removal tool into the hole and push. The tray might eject easily, or you might have to push with a bit of force. Either way, it should pop out without a ton of pressure. After it pops out a little, pull it out the rest of the way.

When you’ve got the tray out, remove the old SIM (if there is one) and drop the new SIM in place—the tray is notched to match the card (or vice versa), so you can’t put it in backward.

Just pop the tray back in the way it came out (again, you can’t put it in backward so don’t worry), and you’re good to go. Nothing to it!