How to set up an eSIM on Apple Watch

Learn how to set up an eSIM on Apple Watch step-by-step. Know what to prepare and what to do.

Not all Apple Watch models support eSIM. Before starting to set up an eSIM on Apple Watch, it is important to check if your Apple Watch can work with eSIM.

I. Know Apple Watch models that support eSIM 

Apple Watch models that support eSIM are:

  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2

These models allow you to:

  • Make calls, send texts, and perform various functions without your iPhone. 
  • Stream music and use other apps on their own
  • Get emergency assistance even without an iPhone nearby 

Note: If your phone is not of the models listed above, you may use a physical SIM card instead. 

Now, if your phone works with eSIM, learn how to set up eSIM on Apple Watch below.

First review this checklist before starting your setup.

II. What to prepare before setting up your eSIM on Apple Watch?

Here is a quick checklist before you start your eSIM installation process:

1. Check if your Apple Watch supports eSIM

Go to Settings > Cellular > see if the “Add eSIM” / “Add cellular plan” option appears.

2. Ensure your Apple Watch iOS (WatchOS) is up to date

Updating software to the latest version is essential to help fix bugs, enhance security, and warrants a smooth eSIM installation process.

Go to Settings > Software Update >  follow the instructions on the screen to update any version if necessary.

3. Confirm your mobile carrier supports eSIM on Apple Watch


  • Only Series 4 or later Apple Watch models with cellular connectivity support eSIM.
  • The Watch must be running watchOS 7.2 or newer.
Prepare to set up eSIM on Apple watch
Source: Apple

III. How to set up an eSIM on Apple Watch? Detailed Guide

The process of setting up an eSIM on Apple Watch is divided into 02 stages:

  • Pair the Apple Watch to iPhone
  • Add a cellular data plan

Below we illustrate the steps of each stage clearly:

1. Pair the Apple Watch to an iPhone

By pairing, you can control your iPhone’s functions through the Apple Watch. But, you need to maintain a certain distance between two devices to warrant a stable connection.

Times required: 10 minutes

Steps to synchronize your Apple Watch with your iPhone:

  • Ensure your phone is connected to the Internet (via WiFi or cellular data)
  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn it on
  • Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch until the logo Apple appears
  • Bring your iPhone close to your Apple Watch. Select “Continue” when prompted to set up.
  • Center the watch in your iPhone camera screen and wait for pairing confirmation.
  • Complete Apple Watch setup by creating a passcode and choosing apps.
  • Your devices are now synced. Check Apple support if help is needed.
How to set up eSIM on Apple watch - 2 stages
Source: Apple

2. Add a cellular data plan

  • On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and go to the My Watch tab
  • Select Cellular > Set Up Cellular
  • Follow the instruction on screen to log in your carrier account
  • Review and agree to terms and conditions. Activation fee is from $5-$10
  • Wait for a few minutes for the eSIM profile to be downloaded and installed
  • Get a notification announcing service is activated
  • Open the Apple Watch app to verify the new data plan is listed under Cellular

► What you can gain after setting up eSIM on Apple Watch?

Your Apple Watch will work as an extension of your iPhone. It now can make and receive calls and SMS without requiring nearby iPhone connectivity. It will function as if it were your iPhone. 

IV. How to transfer a cellular eSIM plan to a new Apple Watch?

You can transfer the cellular service from your old watch to a new one.

  • Remove the mobile plan from your current Apple Watch. Do it on your Apple Watch app or erase your old Apple Watch
  • Pair a new Apple Watch with your cell phone. Choose Set up Cellular to add a mobile plan.
  • Some carriers let you transfer your existing cellular plan directly from the Watch app. Look for “Transfer plan” option.
  • If you do not see that option, contact your carrier. Your eSIM plan will be transferred your new Apple Watch over the iPhone.

V. Important Notes for Cellular Apple Watch

  • Connectivity without your iPhone: After setting up an eSIM cellular plan on your Apple Watch, it can make calls, texts, music streaming independently without your iPhone nearby.
  • Compatibility requirements: Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) work with iPhone 5s or later. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) works with iPhone 6 or later.
  • Data usage: The data consumption on your Apple Watch is synchronized with the data plan on your iPhone (use the same phone number with the watch).
  • Multiple phone numbers: one Apple Watch can store up to 5 phone numbers. But only one is activated at a time.


How do you know if your Apple Watch supports eSIM?

To know if your Apple Watch supports eSIM, you can look at the Digital Crown to see if there is a red circle. If yes, it supports eSIM. However, that tip alone cannot confirm eSIM compatibility. The most reliable way is to go to Settings u0026gt; Cellular menu u0026gt; see if there is “Add  eSIM”. If yes, your specific Apple Watch model definitively supports eSIM capability

What are the benefits of Apple Watch eSIM?

eSIM on Apple Watch is a digital SIM chip embedded directly in the device’s mainboard, different from physical SIM which can be removed and inserted. It allows your Apple Watch to use the same phone number as your iPhone. Data and calls are synced between the Apple Watch and iPhone. Once activated, the Apple Watch can make and receive calls, texts independently without your iPhone nearby.

Can I switch from this Apple Watch to a different Apple Watch?

You can switch to a different Apple Watch. However, customers will have to cancel the service on the current Apple Watch and re-register.

Can a phone number share service for 2 or more Apple Watches?

No, a phone number can only register a service with one Apple Watch.

Can I make and receive calls with my Smartwatch when roaming abroad?

Roaming abroad is not integrated into the service for Apple Watch. However, you can still use Bluetooth mode on your Apple Watch.

Which iPhone is compatible with Apple Watch (Cellular models)?

Any iPhone released in 2017 or later that supports iOS 16 is compatible with the cellular version of Apple Watch. Check this list of eSIM compatible devices (including Apple Watch) for more details.