While it’s true that most of us will have held on to our mobile phone numbers for many years, there can be some occasions when you need a fresh start. Maybe you have someone annoying you with prank calls, want to leave behind an old relationship or have just decided that a new number would be a good thing.

How do you do this? In this article we explain the easiest ways to change the phone number on your iPhone.

Is my phone number connected to my iPhone?

No. Your iPhone has a serial number (or IMEI) which identifies that particular device, but the phone number comes from the SIM card you use. This is why you can take the SIM card out of your iPhone, pop it into another one or an Android phone, and take your number with you.

How can I get a new phone number for my iPhone?

To do this, you’ll need to either contact your existing SIM card provider and request a number change, or switch to another network provider which will send you a new SIM card with a replacement number.

Contacting your existing network provider

For example, in the UK we contacted EE (one of the largest network providers) who told us that if you were receiving ‘scam calls’, then you would be able to contact customer services (dialling 150 from your EE network phone) and request the change. This would be done free of charge and the new number issued within 24 hours.

You don’t even need a new SIM card, as the existing one will automatically have the new number applied.

In any other instances aside from scam calls, you can still change your number but there will be a charge. There are dependent factors, but EE told us the cost would be between £29 and £35.

The same procedure is likely to apply to your network provider whether you’re in the UK, US, or anywhere else in the world. Try contacting the provider’s customer service helpdesk and asking about the number change to see if there are any additional steps or costs.

Changing to a new network provider

If you want to move to a new network provider, you’ll need to ensure that your contract allows you to do so.

Usually when you sign up to a network contract, you’ll agree to a term of 12 or 24 months. So long as you’re not still within those time frames you can move to a new network provider in a matter of days. Basically, if you’re getting messages saying it’s time to upgrade then you’re probably free to move.

Just to make sure, contact your existing provider’s helpdesk before you begin, as trying to leave a contract before you’ve finished the agreed number of months will often come with a penalty fee.

Assuming your contract has ended, there is now an easy way to switch to a new supplier and get a new number if you’re in the UK. All you have to do is text the word STAC to 75075. This will require your current network provider to instantly issue a service termination code that you can then give to your new provider, which will take care of the rest. Should you decide you want to retain your number, then text PAC to 65075 instead.

In the US and other territories, it’s usually a case of contacting your new supplier and telling them you want to switch. You may need your account number and PIN number for your old supplier’s account as part of the process, so it’s a good idea to have them on hand.

Alternatively, you can go into one of the new provider’s stores (bringing the relevant info with you) and they should take care of everything. Just remember to state that you don’t want to keep your old number.

If some cases, you may find that your iPhone is locked to the old network, which can be a bit of a pain. Read our guide on how to unlock an iPhone to ensure that you can get working on the new network.

If you’re going down the switching route, then check out our guide to the best network for iPhone in the UK, so you can get the best deal.