How to get a Virgin Mobile eSIM and activate it

2 May 2023

How to get a Virgin Mobile eSIM and activate it

Contents list

  1. How do I get a Virgin Mobile eSIM?
  2. Which devices support eSIMs on Virgin Mobile?
  3. How do I set up an eSIM on my phone?
  4. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Virgin Mobile is ahead of most MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) in at least one way – namely that it supports eSIMs, where most networks outside the big four don’t currently.

An eSIM is an embedded SIM, so you don’t have to manually put it in your phone, instead it’s built in, and when you change network you simply change the data on it. It’s a far slicker option than standard SIM cards, so it’s worth considering getting one.

Below we’ve detailed exactly how to do that if you’re a Virgin Mobile customer, whether you’ve already joined or you’re planning to.

How do I get a Virgin Mobile eSIM?

Virgin Mobile is in an odd position with eSIMs currently, as while its support pages claim they’re available to all Pay Monthly customers with an eligible device, in reality, the company’s community forums suggest people have had mixed luck in getting one.

For a start you can’t – contrary to the company’s official documentation – request one during checkout online at the time of writing. So you have to either make an order over the phone, or get set up with a physical SIM card. But once you’re a Virgin Mobile customer then, whether you’re on a contract with a phone or a SIM Only plan, you might be able to switch to an eSIM by contacting customer services.

However while some people report being able to switch, others were told they couldn’t, so if you’re set on an eSIM and aren’t already a Virgin Mobile customer, we’d suggest picking O2Three, Vodafone, EE, or Lyca Mobile instead, as they all reliably offer eSIMs.

In any case, the full process for getting one on Virgin Mobile is as follows:

Step 1.

Sign up for a Virgin Mobile plan if you haven’t already, making sure you have a phone that supports eSIMs. You can do this over the phone by calling 0800 052 0238 and request an eSIM during checkout, or order online, in which case you’ll be sent a physical SIM and need to swap.

SIM Only Deals

Step 2.

If you ordered online or you’re an existing Virgin Mobile customer, call Virgin Mobile on 789 to request a swap to an eSIM. Note that customers have had mixed success with getting eSIMs from the company though – likely because the network will soon switch to offering O2 plans.

Step 3.

Assuming you successfully get an eSIM, this will be sent in the form of a QR code. Scan this with your phone’s camera to activate it. If in doubt, head to Virgin Mobile’s eSIM FAQ.

Which devices support eSIMs on Virgin Mobile?

Virgin Mobile officially supports the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Oppo Find X3, Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and Huawei P40 Lite with its eSIMs, as long as you bought the phone direct from Virgin Mobile. This list may have been updated since this article was written, so check Virgin Mobile’s supported devices page for the latest list.

Note however that while these phones have been tested with Virgin Mobile’s eSIM and are guaranteed to support it, other phones and those not bought direct from Virgin Mobile likely will too, as long as they have an eSIM.

Other phones that have an eSIM then include the iPhone 14iPhone 14 PlusiPhone 14 ProiPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2022)Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, and many other Apple and Samsung phones, plus other handsets like the Google Pixel 7, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Sony Xperia 1 IV, and Sony Xperia 10 IV.

Check out or main eSIM guide for more information on which phones support eSIM.

How do I set up an eSIM on my phone?

Virgin Mobile will supply you with an eSIM QR code in an email, alongside instructions to activate it.

With many phones you’ll simply be able to use the camera app to scan the QR code and easily active your eSIM that way.

However, there are alternate methods which vary depending on the phone you have. Broadly they involve going to the phone’s settings screen, and looking for an option that reads ‘Add operator,’ ‘Add mobile plan,’ ‘Add data plan,’ or similar.

For more detailed instructions, head to Virgin Mobile’s eSIM guide and look for the heading covering your phone brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Virgin Mobile plans support eSIM?

In theory you can get an eSIM with all Virgin Mobile plans, including Pay Monthly handset plans and SIM Only plans. However, some customers have more luck with getting one than others.

Will activating a Virgin Mobile eSIM lock my phone to Virgin Mobile?

No, Virgin Mobile won’t lock your phone to its network if you activate a Virgin Mobile eSIM on it.

How do I transfer an eSIM to a new phone?

To transfer a Virgin Mobile eSIM from one phone to another, just delete your eSIM from your old device and then scan the QR code again with your new phone. You’ll be able to find your QR code in your online Virgin Mobile account.

Can I switch from a physical SIM to an eSIM or vice versa?

Yes, just give Virgin Mobile a call on 789 from your Virgin phone and request a switch.

Do I need to buy my phone from Virgin Mobile to use a Virgin Mobile eSIM with it?

Virgin Mobile only guarantees that phones bought from it will support eSIM (and then only select handsets). But it’s likely that other phones with an eSIM will also work with Virgin Mobile.

Can eSIMs be used abroad?

Your eSIM works just like a normal SIM card and that’s true abroad as well. So you can roam, but depending on your network and plan the roaming terms will vary.

Can I access 5G with an eSIM?

Yes, eSIMs fully support 5G as long as you have a 5G phone and a 5G plan.

Which other networks offer eSIMs?

Along with Virgin Mobile, eSIMs are also available on O2Three, Vodafone, EE and Lyca Mobile.

We’ve also got guides covering eSIMs on these networks, so if you’re interested, check out our O2 eSIM guide, Three eSIM guide, Vodafone eSIM guide and EE eSIM guide.

What happens if I erase my eSIM?

Just head to your My Account page on Virgin Mobile’s site, and you’ll be able to download and use the QR code again to get set back up.

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies (, and and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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