How to use your iPhone 5 with Net10 Wireless

Preparing Your SIM card

1. Open your Net10 SIM card package.  Mine came with three SIM cards: a T-Mobile compatible  SIM, an AT&T-compatible SIM, and an AT&T-compatible micro SIM. I suggest you use the AT&T-compatible SIM.  Save the Micro SIM for a friend or family member with that wants to use an iPhone 4 or 4s with Net10.

The photo below shows the AT&T-compatible micro SIM, the AT&T-compatible SIM, and the T-Mobile-compatible SIM. The AT&T -compatible SIM was already cut and you can see the left over plastic taped back into the card.


3. Use your SIM Cutter to cut your SIM to a micro SIM

4. Repeat the process, this time cutting the micro SIM to a nano SIM.


5. Use you SIM removal tool or a bent paper clip to remove the nano SIM card tray from your iPhone 5. You may need to use a little force to pop it out.
6. Place your cut Nano SIM in the iPhone’s SIM tray, it may not fit.
7. A nano SIM is a little thinner than a SIM or micro SIM so you may need to sand the top of the  SIM with the sandpaper or nail file. Sand the plastic top of the SIM, not yellow metal bottom.
8. If your nano SIM still too big to fit in the SIM tray, you may need to sand the edges.

The photo below shows my nano SIM in the tray. The serial # is covered. Look closely and you can see the stratches from sanding.


9. Once your SIM  fits in the tray, its time to activate the SIM with Net10 wireless.

Activating your Net10 SIM card

Required Items

  • A valid credit card or a $50 Net10 Airtime card
  • a computer with an Internet connection and web browser


1. Locate the plastic card that your SIM was attached to. You’ll need the SIM number on this card.


2. On your Computer, go to

2.You now have two choices, choose either Activate my NET10 Service or Activate my NET10 Service with a number from another company.


3. The first choice allows you to sign up for Net10 and be issued a new phone number. The second choice allows you to transfer, or port, your existing phone number to Net10. If you port your number right now, your existing cell phone or landline account will be closed. You can always port your number later. I chose to sign up for Net10 and try it out for a couple of days before transferring my number from T-Mobile.

5. choose Activate my NET10 Service


6. choose Create an Account


7. fill in the Create an Account form. Make sure to write down the information you enter, and store it  in a safe place.

Completing the Process

1. Insert your SIM tray back into your iPhone
2. Turn your iPhone on

3. Once your iPhone has started, watch the status bar in the top of the phone. It should move between Searching…, No Service, and finally say HOME.


4. Once your phone says HOME, try making a phone call to a nearby phone or maybe even your Mom, she would love to hear from you.


5. If you were assigned a new phone number, you can find that number in your iPhone settings


6. Now, if you use text & SMS messages, send one to a friend and ask them to reply. (Note, that  MMS or picture messages aren’t working yet)


  1. Joe Wilkinson | |

    I don’t have a yellow side, only a printed side and gold contacts side

  2. Joe Wilkinson | |

    Wrong. Net10 includes nano SIMs

  3. Brian Torres | |

    Just got a iPhone 5c today and I can’t activate it I did all the steps and I still have no service…..what am I doing wrong?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Don’t know. Are you doing BYOP or buy the phone from Net10? Which network are you using AT&T, TMobile, or Verizon? Do you know?
      try logging in to your account. Does it show the phone as active? you might need to click a link int there.

  4. Liz | |

    I have an iphone 5 that was on Verizon and I brought to net10. Upgraded to their mandatory 30/month plan, but I still do not receive DATA. Net10 support tried several provile changes, but still no DATA? Ideas, please?

  5. CK | |

    I don’t think that is an equivalent plan at all, though, Bob. At $199 for 1500 minutes, that is $16.58/month, not including tax for only 125 minutes/month on average. My Net10 plan is $15/month, not including tax for 250 minutes/month with roll-over and only a month-to-month commitment. Big difference.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Well I see your point. If you don’t want to pay up front for a year you’ll have to look at the monthly or pay as you go options. The plan I mentioned worked with a smartphone, includes 1500 text messages as well, and 1500 mb or data. The minutes are supposed to triple for android smartphones but i think they do for a
      smartphones. I am going to add a one year card soon so I lill know for sure.

  6. Jonathan | |

    I want to move the SIM card from my Net10 cell phone (not a SmartPhone) to my iPhone 5. So I’m not doing exactly what you are. In other words I’m not using a “fresh,” not-yet-activated SIM card. My plan is to simply use it to make calls, not for cellular data or web browsing. So I cut the card down to size, but Searching is all the shows in the Status area. (At least it doesn’t say “No SIM.”) The phone is definitely unlocked, and I’ve reset it a number of times, but still no luck. (I also tested the cut down SIM in the old phone and it still works there.) Is there anything else I can do short of calling Net10. I’m trying to keep my $15 a month plan rather than moving up to their higher priced data plan.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I can’t say for sure this will work for you. I know people used to do it. But it is possible that net10 has has set this up so that your Sim will only work with the phone it came with. i know tracfone does this, it tried to do what your doing and found this out.

      If possible try the sim in another phone and see if it works.

      it should be possible to switch to another service and use your iPhone for 15 a month. What service are you getting in your current Net10 plan?

      • Jonathan | |

        I’ll see if I can get someone to volunteer their phone for me to put that SIM into.
        I guess I don’t understand your last question about what services I’m getting in my current Net10 plan. I can place and receive phone calls and text messages. No internet service. From what I understand, that’s the difference between a cell/mobile phone and a SmartPhone—no browser or apps hat require cellular data downloads. That’s the only way companies can offer these cheaper $15/month services.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Ok, you are voice and text messages. Do you have unlimited voice and text or a certain number of minutes per month? The goal is to find you an equivalent plan than can be used with your smartphone

          • Jonathan | |

            Ah, OK then. I get 300 minutes to use over 60 days. I currently have about 2500 minutes stored up, so you can see I’m not a heavy user. (Thanks for your help, by the way.)

    • CK | |

      Did this work, Jonathan? I want to do exactly the same thing, but I’m afraid to cut my SIM card on my active, but old and losing battery, Nokia Net10 candybar phone if it doesn’t work. I need to stay on the cheap plan – just like you have. It’s only $17.32/month, and that is all I need. I plan to use my daughter’s old iPhone when she finds an upgrade cheap. If I can then use the iphone at WiFi locations, then that would be great. But, my primary thing is to be able to sync with my computer and take info with me so I can leave my computer at home.

      • Bob Thompson | |

        I don’t know if this will work. Net10 may have tied your SIM to your phone to prevent you from doing this. What level of service are you getting for $17.32 a month?
        Do you know how many minutes and text you use on average per month?

        • CK | |

          It’s exactly the same as Jonathan. It’s the cheapest one that Net10 has. It is $15 plus taxes for a 30-day plan that is on auto-pay. I get 200 minutes with roll-over of unused minutes, no expiration of minutes as long as I keep the phone active. Each text costs half a minute and is part of the 200 minutes.

          The plan listed on the website also says ” international and 411 calling, picture messaging, and web and email access, all while saving big on one of our best deals.” But, I’ve never used those features since I have a candybar phone. Not sure how you would get web or email access.

          So, I’m wondering how I will know if the SIM is tied to the phone. Net10 Service has become absolutely horrible to talk to in the last year or two, so it is pointless to call them because they either won’t know, will cut you off, or you can’t understand them. I only stick with them because this is the cheapest plan I can find. It didn’t used to be that way. I’ve considered switching to ATT GoPhone, but it costs more. It is $28/month including tax.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            my guess is your phone has a full size SIM. Find someone with an ATT phone that uses a full size SIM and try your SIM in that phone. If you can make and receive calls, then it should work.
            If not, I’d consider switching to Tracfone, which will work with an ATT iPhone. For $199 you can get 1500 minutes that last a year. I just did a whole video series on using Tracfone with BYOP smartphones. Check it out.

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