When I search the web, all I get is hits on how to transfer your "contacts". "SIM" is an acronym for "Subscriber Identity Module". So, as I understand it, there is more information on that little thing than just my "contacts". I just got a new phone (with a new SIM card), and I want to move every bit from my old SIM to the new SIM, not just the "contacts". How do I do that?

  • Is there anything preventing you from using the old SIM card in the new phone (assuming you are keeping the service provider and your number)?
    – Chahk
    Apr 12, 2014 at 22:28
  • @Chahk: I am using the old SIM card in the new phone. I just wanted to know if it was possible to transfer all the data to the new SIM. I guess I didn't really understand exactly what is on that thing. Dan's answer was helpful.
    – raven
    Apr 13, 2014 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


Cloning a SIM card is not what you think it is. Apart from the simple contacts information, the only thing stored on it is a code which identifies your phone to your carrier. It's like a user ID, which the carrier can use to look up which plan you're on and what phone number you should have.

Although cloning a SIM card is possible, it's not something you want to do as a customer. It's a technique used by crackers to impersonate another user to the phone network, in order to illicitly receive their phone calls. It may be illegal where you live.

Think of the SIM card like a credit card. It belongs to the carrier: they just lend it to you for the purpose of using their service. If your bank sends you a new card, or you change bank, you don't "clone" your old card onto your new one: you just use the new card. And, just like a bank card, if your carrier didn't send you the new card as a replacement for the old one, then it refers to a completely different account.

If you simply want to move your old phone number to your new phone, you need to contact your (old) carrier to do this.

  • I asked this question because my new phone came with a new SIM card, so I figured I'd use it. Like all physical products, these physical products wear out don't they? I just wanted to move to the newer physical product. I thought that would be a simple procedure, but apparently, it is not. What do I do when my "old" SIM card dies?
    – raven
    Apr 12, 2014 at 21:15
  • 1
    If your sim card dies you ask your network provider for a new sim card.
    – user5506
    Apr 12, 2014 at 21:44
  • @raven I've added another paragraph to my answer. I hope this clears things up for you.
    – Dan Hulme
    Apr 12, 2014 at 22:33

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