May 14, 2024

How to Activate My Sim Card

Written by Valeria

Tips & Tricks

SIM cards have been around for over two decades now, and while we'd like to think that SIM stands for SIMple, we know that's not always the case. So here is an easy step-by-step guide to ordering a SIM card, activating a SIM card, and then using that SIM card!

How to order a TextNow SIM card

Before you're ready to hit that "purchase" button, there is a little bit of homework you should do first, to ensure that your activation experience goes off without a hitch: Is your phone compatible? There is an easy way to find out.

  1. Confirm if your phone is carrier-locked or not.

Many carriers lock the phones they sell to their network. That means that there is a software code on them that prevents you from using them on another network.

This happens a lot more often than you'd think, as phone contracts are becoming less and less common, and big carriers have to find a different way to keep you on their service and not looking around for better deals elsewhere.

Now, it's also kind of hard to know whether your phone is carrier-locked or not, if you weren't paying attention to the fine print when buying it originally, or if you picked it up second-hand from Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. So we put together a guide for finding out if your phone is carrier-locked, with instructions on how to get it unlocked with the responsible carrier as well.

2. Confirm if your phone is compatible

Having a carrier-unlocked phone is only one piece of the puzzle. Before purchasing, you also want to make sure the phone itself is compatible. This includes whether it has updated enough software, and the right network bands to be able to connect to our network.

But the good news is that you don't have to do anything technical or confusing to find that out. All you have to do is give us a number from your phone's settings, and we'll do that work for you.

And since we're all about ease, we made a guide for that too!

Once you've completed those two steps and passed with flying colors, you are ready to submit that order, and get your SIM card!

How to activate a TextNow SIM card

It's a great day when you get your TextNow SIM in the mail, because that is the day you can finally stop paying a monthly phone bill, and stay connected to what matters for free.

While these steps are outlined on the package your TextNow SIM card comes in, we're going to list them here as well, just in case:

  1. Put your phone into airplane mode

  2. Open up the SIM tray in your phone (you can use the back of an earring, a needle, or a paperclip if you lose the SIM tool).

  3. Insert the SIM card into the tray (it is cut out in such a way that you can't insert it backwards/the wrong way)

  4. Turn your airplane mode off and connect to Wi-Fi

  5. If you haven't already, install the TextNow app

  6. Sign up/Sign into your account

  7. If you don't see a prompt to start your activation, open up the menu of the app (top left corner) and tap on "Activate my SIM card."

  8. Follow the steps from there!

If you run into any issues, especially if you're stuck on setting up your APN settings, you can follow our troubleshooting steps here before contacting our support for help.

How to use my TextNow SIM card

Once you activate your SIM card, you automatically have access to the nation's largest 5G network for free. On it, you can talk & text (through the TextNow app), and access your email, maps, and rideshare (Uber & Lyft) apps, without ever having to pay for a data plan.

If you do want to have data for other apps for streaming, posting, or browsing, we have flexible options that start at just $0.99.

Simply open up the menu of the app and tap on "Get Unlimited Data" to pick a data pass and purchase! No fuss, no hidden fees or contracts, just use and let it expire, or cancel when you want! Your free Essential Data plan will always be your default, so you're never truly out of service.