How to sell an iPad with a carrier plan

How to transfer your cellular data plan from your old iPad to your new iPad
How to transfer your cellular data plan from your old iPad to your new iPad (Image credit: iMore)

If you're getting ready to sell a cellular iPad, or just want to move it to a new carrier, you might be wondering about what steps you need to take to make sure your device is ready to go. In particular, you could be looking for some information about unlocking your device. The good news is that your iPad probably doesn't need to be unlocked. The U.S. carriers (mostly) don't SIM lock cellular iPads in the same way that most of them lock down iPhones.

There are a couple of things you need to do before your cellular iPad is ready to go. Here's what to know about how to sell an iPad with a carrier plan.

Cancel the line

Whether you added your iPad to an existing data plan or created an account with your carrier specifically for that device, you'll, of course, need to cancel the iPad's line. This is generally done by contacting your carrier and asking them to cancel the line, though many carriers offer tools to do just that through their websites.

A note about AT&T (because of course)

When I said, "U.S. carriers (mostly) don't SIM lock cellular iPads," I was thinking about AT&T. If you've purchased a cellular iPad from the carrier, the SIM in that iPad will indeed be locked. It should only be the eSIM or Apple SIM in the iPad that gets locked, though, not the tablet itself. If you have an older iPad with a removable Apple SIM, you should be able to put a new nano-SIM in the tablet and be good to go with no additional steps.

If you've got a more recent iPad, like a second- or third-generation iPad Pro with an embedded Apple SIM or eSIM (unremovable SIMs), you should be able to do the same thing: cancel your AT&T line for the iPad, then place a new physical nano-SIM for a new carrier into the iPad. But if you want to unlock the eSIM, you'll have to go through the normal procedure by heading to AT&T's device unlock site.

Ready to sell

If the cellular line for your iPad has been canceled, you should be ready to start the selling process. Just make sure you've backed up your iPad and erased the data before you do.


If you still have questions about how to sell an iPad with a carrier plan, let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.