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How to transfer phone numbers from old SIM cards to new ones

Updated April 17, 2017

Constant advances in mobile phone technology mean that people tend to upgrade handsets regularly, with some early adopters changing their phones every year or 18 months. If you're upgrading from an older mobile phone that stores contact information on the SIM card rather than internal memory, remember to transfer your contact list or address book from the old SIM card to the new device. Failure to do so may result in the loss of important contact information.

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  1. Insert the old SIM card into your mobile phone. Locate and select the address book or contact list option from the phone's touchscreen or keypad menu. There should be an area that allows for SIM card management. Find and select the option that allows you to copy or import contact information from the SIM card to the phone itself.

  2. Check the phone to make sure that the contact list successfully transferred from the old SIM card. Once this has been done, remove the old SIM card from the phone and replace with the new SIM card that your mobile phone network sent to you after your signed up for a monthly or pay-as-you-go contract.

  3. Access the SIM card management option once again on the phone's address book. This time, select the "Copy to SIM" or "Import from SIM" option. This will transfer the contact list from the mobile phone to the new SIM card. Skip this step if you'd prefer to keep your contacts on the phone's internal memory rather than the SIM card.

  4. Tip

    SIM management instructions may vary, depending on the make and model of your mobile phone. If you don't know how to find SIM management tools on your phone, refer to the instruction manual for a detailed guide to address book and SIM contact management options.


    You may need to activate the new SIM card in your mobile phone before you can transfer contacts.

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Things You'll Need

  • Old SIM card

About the Author

Heather Clark

Heather Clark is a professional writer with a bachelor's degree in communications from Austin Peay State University, where she was a features writer for the "AllState" campus newspaper. In addition to being a contributor for various websites, she is also a full-time staff writer/photographer for the "Courier," the U.S. Army news publication for Fort Campbell, Ky.

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