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Home > How To > How to transfer cellular data plan from one iPad to another
How to transfer cellular data plan from one iPad to another

How to transfer cellular data plan from one iPad to another

By  Adan Flannigan 2019-07-04 4010 0

If you have recently chosen the new iPad Wi-FI + Cellular and you have an old iPad with a mobile phone, you may be wondering how to transfer your data plan. Fortunately, Apple has made the process quite simple. However, there are several objections, in particular concerning the different SIM cards used by the different iPad models. Here's what you need to know.

SIM card your device compatible with

Find out what SIM card your device compatible with

SIM card slot 

Before you can share your mobile plans, you need to know which SIM card your iPad compatible with. Some SIM cards are not compatible with some Apple iPad models and this can be quite confusing quite quickly.

The following iPad models have a built-in Apple SIM or eSIM card. But they also have a tray for nano-SIM cards.


● eSIM: 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + mobile model

● eSIM: 11-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + mobile model

● 12.9-inch iPad Pro (second generation) Wi-Fi + mobile model

● 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + mobile model

● 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + mobile model


The following iPads feature an uninstalled Apple SIM card in a nano-SIM cassette or compatible with Apple SIM.


● iPad (5th generation)

● iPad Pro (all Wi-FI + Cellular models)

● iPad Air 2 and later versions

● iPad mini 3 and later versions


An iPad not listed above with a nano-SIM tray does not support Apple SIM. You will receive an "Invalid SIM" notification if you try to use it.

Older iPads can use a Micro-SIM card that is slightly larger and incompatible with nano-SIM.


● iPad (4th generation)

● iPad (3rd generation)

● iPad 2

● iPad

How to transfer your data plan

The exact method you use depends on whether one of your iPads uses a physical SIM card (see above).

Of course, you'll have to go through the usual iOS installation process on your new iPad before you can take the service from the old one.

How to transfer mobile plans to iPads with Apple SIM or eSIM

transfer mobile plans to iPads with Apple SIM or eSIM 

If both iPad devices have built-in Apple SIM or eSIM cards, moving data plans is easy - and you don't even need to break any software. Use the following steps.

moving data steps 

● Open settings on your iPad.

● Find and tap on Cellular data.

● Touch Configure cellular data.

● If you can see it, tap Transfer.

● Follow the instructions to transfer the mobile service.

● When you're done, you may have to wait a few minutes before activating the service.


But it won't always be visible to all iPad users. If you do not see the Transfer button in Mobile Data Setup, you must contact your service provider for assistance.


● Troubleshooting your iPad, detailed guide

● iPad 2018, practical user experience with video

● iPad Wont Start, how to fix a dead iPad

● Introduction to the new iPad Pro, a detailed guide

How to transfer data plans between iPads with the same SIM card

If you have two iPads with the same SIM card - say, nano-SIM - it is relatively easy to swap the data plan between them. You'll use the following method.


● Turn off both iPads.

● Use the SIM card removal tool - or paper clip - to open the SIM tray on your old iPad.

● Use the same tool on the SIM bar of your new iPad.

● Insert an old iPad SIM card into the new iPad's SIM tray.

● Close the tray and switch on both devices.


Of course, activation may take some time.

How to transfer data plans between iPads with different SIM card

It's a little harder if you have iPads with different SIM cards. For example, if your previous iPad has a Micro SIM and your new iPad has a nano-SIM tray.

In such cases, you will need to contact your service provider to obtain a new SIM card that is compatible with the iPad tray.

When you do, insert a new SIM card into your new iPad. Note that Apple also recommends removing an old SIM card from your previous iPad.

If you have an iPad with eSIM or Apple SIM, remember that these iPads will also have a nano-SIM card.

In such cases, just use the old iPad's pop-nano-SIMze and the new iPad. (Make sure that both iPads are turned off beforehand.) The nano-SIM card will transfer your cellular plan to eSIM on these models.

Additional information

If the "No SIM card" or "SIM card problem occurred" alert appears at any time during the process, you can quickly resolve the problem.

First, you need to make sure your newiPad is compatible with Apple SIM. If not, this can cause problems if you're moving from a newer iPad to an older one. All Apple SIM iPads have a nano-SIM card tray, but not all nano-SIM iPads support Apple SIM. It's a little confusing.

In all other cases, you will want to check Apple Technical Support for hardware or operator problems if you have problems with your mobile phone or planning.


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