How to transfer your cellular data plan from your old iPad to your new iPadSource: Joseph Keller/iMore

If you're picking up a new Cellular iPad to replace a current one, you have some options for transferring over your plan, depending on what kind of SIM card your iPad uses. But whether it's an embedded SIM or nano-SIM, Apple tries to make the process as painless as possible.

Here's how you can go about moving your iPad cellular data plan over to your new cellular iPad.

How to transfer a data plan between iPads with eSIMs or Apple SIMs

These instructions apply to the 9.7-inch, 10.2-inch, 10.5-inch, and second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as well as the first- and second-generation11-inch and third- and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with eSIM.

  1. Open Settings on your new cellular iPad.
  2. Tap Cellular Data.
  3. Tap on the carrier you used with your old iPad.

    Open Settings, tap Cellular Data, tap carrierSource: iMore

  4. Tap Transfer Service in the window that pops up.
  5. Follow your carrier's directions to finalize the transfer of the data plan. The exact process will depend on the carrier.

    Tap Transfer Service, follow instructionsSource: iMore

It may take a little time for your iPad's cellular data plan to transfer, but when it does, you'll be ready to go to use cellular data on your iPad.

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How to transfer a data plan from one iPad with a SIM card to another

If you're transferring a physical SIM or nano-SIM card from your old iPad to another, here's how.

  1. Turn off both your old iPad and you new iPad.
  2. Open the SIM tray on your old iPad by using the SIM removal tool that came with your iPad.
  3. Remove the SIM tray from your iPad.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the SIM tray.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for your new iPad, though, depending on the model, it might not come with a new SIM card of its own.
  6. Discard the SIM card that may have come with your new iPad.
  7. Place the SIM card from your previous iPad into the SIM tray of your new iPad.
  8. Insert the SIM tray back into your new iPad, taking care to completely close the tray.
  9. Turn on both iPads. Activation may take a few minutes.

If the SIM cards of the two iPads are of different sizes, you'll need to contact your carrier to get a new nano-SIM to put into your new iPad. Once you get it, you'll follow the steps above, including removing the SIM from your old iPad. You just won't be moving that old SIM into your new iPad.


If you'd like to know more or ask something about moving a cellular data plan over from one iPad to another, let us know in the comments.

Updated April 2020: Updated through iPadOS 13.4.



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