Replace Broken AT&T Prepaid Device

If your AT&T prepaid phone or device stops working due to damage, loss, or other issues, you may need to replace it. Getting a replacement device for your AT&T prepaid plan is usually very straightforward. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process to replace a malfunctioning or broken AT&T prepaid device so you can minimize service interruption.

AT&T Prepaid

Determine if Your Device is Still Under Warranty

The first step is determining if your damaged AT&T prepaid device is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, you may be able to get a free replacement device by contacting the device manufacturer directly and making a warranty claim.

To check if your device is still under warranty, review your device manual or specifications. Manufacturer warranties typically expire 12 months from the purchase date of your device when bought new. If your device was purchased used or refurbished, the original warranty likely already expired.

Purchase a Replacement Device

If your damaged AT&T prepaid phone is no longer under warranty or you would prefer not to file a warranty claim, you will need to purchase a replacement device. You have several options:

Buy from an AT&T Store: Visit an AT&T store location or AT&T authorized retailer to browse available devices you can purchase at full retail pricing without a contract. Let the store representative know you need a replacement for your existing AT&T prepaid plan.


Order Online: AT&T offers prepaid phones for sale on their website that you can order online and get quickly shipped to your home. Browse devices in your price range and check reviews.

Swap at an AT&T Store: Some AT&T store locations allow expedited device swaps for prepaid customers with broken phones. Call ahead to check swap availability and device pricing so you know what to expect. This option means minimal downtime without your phone.

Consider Buying Used/Refurbished: Buying a used or refurbished unlocked GSM phone can save money compared to new device pricing. Check resale sites for model availability and condition ratings. Ensure the device is compatible with AT&T prepaid service first.

Transfer Your Number and Account Info

Once you have a replacement AT&T prepaid device, you will need to transfer over your wireless number, account information, contacts, etc. The main steps are:

  1. Write down any contacts, notes or media saved directly on your damaged phone that you want to transfer over. Back up your broken phone if possible.
  2. Insert your existing AT&T prepaid SIM card into the replacement device.
  3. Turn on your replacement phone and go through the device setup prompts until you reach the Home screen.
  4. Your existing prepaid plan and phone number should automatically transfer over seamlessly within 15 minutes in most cases.
  5. Download any apps and restore any data backups to your new device as desired.


To help clarify the replacement process for malfunctioning or damaged prepaid phones, below are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What will replace my AT&T prepaid phone cost?

The cost to replace your AT&T prepaid device varies depending on whether you claim a warranty, buy new, used or refurbished. Buying retail from AT&T starts around $40-$50 for a basic device. Used and refurbished options at resale sites often start under $20.

Does transferring devices impact my service plans or billing?

Getting a replacement prepaid phone will not impact your current AT&T Prepaid billing or service plan since everything is tied to your SIM. As long as you move your SIM to the replacement phone, you keep the same number, plans, account balance and billing details.

Can I switch my SIM card to a friend’s phone temporarily?

AT&T does not recommend swapping your active prepaid SIM into a non-compatible phone that has not been officially set up with its network. However, you can request a free replacement SIM if needed during troubleshooting.

My replacement phone isn’t transferring my wireless number automatically. What should I do?

First, confirm the replacement device is compatible with AT&T’s network bands and LTE connections. If it still won’t transfer the number within 60 minutes, contact AT&T Prepaid Customer Support for the next steps in troubleshooting an invalid activation.

How long will I be without phone service when I switch devices?

Ideally, the phone number transfer only takes 5-15 minutes once you insert your AT&T SIM into the replacement device and set it up. However, resolution times can vary during troubleshooting. Have an internet-connected device as a backup way to contact support if service disruption exceeds 2 hours.


Getting a replacement device is crucial for restoring your phone connectivity when your AT&T prepaid phone stops functioning properly due to damage, age or other issues. Make sure to act quickly when swapping a broken device by buying a compatible replacement phone and smoothly transferring your wireless number and account details via your SIM card. Understanding the replacement process for malfunctioning prepaid phones ensures you limit the disruption to your wireless service during the transition.

Leave a comment