My iPhone Says “No SIM”? Fix-It with 9 Easy Steps

You’d be stunned by how helpful a SIM card is to an iPhone. There are all sorts of information securely stored in it, like contacts, favorite locations to other pieces of data. You may also make calls easily and find things online you didn’t even think possible.

Without a SIM card, your iPhone is only useful as a physical format since you won’t really be able to browse. When your SIM card stops working or when your iPhone says No SIM, you’ll find yourself immediately googling “Invalid SIM” or “No SIM iPhone.”

Yes, this tiny piece of plastic makes a huge difference to your iPhone’s capabilities, but don’t worry, your iPhone may still be saved (though if this is the case, consider selling it to us instead). You should be able to figure out and correct the cause of your SIM card error with some minor troubleshooting.

What is a SIM Card?

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In very simple words, a SIM card is what makes your iPhone. You could say it is a tiny memory card that stores very important information like your phone number, billing details, contacts, and cell phone carrier. 

It connects to your mobile network’s carrier and allows you to do things like make and receive phone calls, SMS, and of course, use cellular data. 

When your SIM card malfunctions and your device doesn’t recognize the sim, all those functions immediately stop working, leaving you without access to crucial day-to-day functions.

These are the various types of SIM cards available. And yes, they’re vital.

Why Does My iPhone Says No SIM?

SIM cards are small delicate things with such size and still contain an outsized amount of data and power. As a result of its being able to provide many functions, there are a number of things that could be the reason for your issues, including:

Option 1: An out-of-place SIM card or tray

Option 2: SIM card damage

Option 3: A system malfunction

Option 4: A glitchy software update

Unfortunately, the reason for your iPhone’s “No SIM” card issue isn’t always the easiest to figure out. With the exception of a misplaced or simply damaged SIM card.

How to Fix an Invalid SIM

The most efficient way to solve an invalid SIM card is to try the fastest potential fixes first; try the troubleshooting steps below:

Step 1: Confirm Your Carrier’s Plan is Active

This sounds like a no-brainer, but do you currently have an active plan with a cellular carrier? If you don’t, you won’t be able to make phone calls, send SMS or browse.

If it’s been a stretch since you’ve been actively using your SIM card, It’s also an option that your carrier may have disconnected your services or phone number, either temporarily or permanently (subject to their policies). 

Look into it on your carrier’s web or app, or simply contact them directly to quickly ensure that your account is in good shape. (You might need to do this from another phone, by the way.)

Is Airplane mode on?

Read More: How To Know The Carrier Provider Of My Phone?

Step 2: Turn On (and Off) Airplane Mode

If you’re not traveling, this may seem like a silly question… but is Airplane Mode currently on? Toggling your iPhone” s cellular data is one of the best ways to fix any of your network-related problems. If the Airplane Mode is turned on, it will automatically lock out any cellular signal.

To review this, open your Control Center and turn Airplane Mode on and off. After this is done, you should see your phone pick up the reception to your cell phone signal and/or your WIFI network.

Step 3: Restart Your iPhone 

Very often, a minor software hiccup can cause your SIM card to be invalid. Whether force or simple restart, hard or soft reset, this troubleshooting tip could be all your iPhone needs to start recognizing your SIM card. 

Restarting newer iPhone models (iPhone X and up) is quite easy; press + hold the “Volume Down Button” and the “Power Button” until the “Power Off” slide comes up on your screen. Proceed to slide it to the right and allow your phone a moment to shut down, and then turn it back on.

If you need to restart an iPhone SE, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6, and older: Press + hold the “Sleep/Wake Button” (found on top on the 1st Gen iPhone SE, iPhone 5, and earlier models and on the right side on more recent models) until you see the “Power Off” slider shows.

You’re gonna need to take out your SIM card and reinsert it in more complicated cases.

Step 4: Remove and Reinsert Your SIM Card and Tray 

On perfectly functioning iPhones, almost everything is dependent on the SIM card laying on the tray correctly. If your iPhone recently took a tumble, it’s possible that the SIM card moved out of position and possibly got damaged.

Simply turn your iPhone off and open your iPhone tray on the side by inserting an ejecting tool into the small hole right next to the tray and applying gentle pressure. If you notice the tray is particularly hard to remove, this would be a clear indicator that it was indeed not sitting properly.

After retrieving the SIM card, give a good look and check for any scratches or damage and gently wipe it with a cloth. If you think everything looks good, carefully insert the SIM card back in its tray, making sure it’s sitting properly, and proceed to gently insert it into your iPhone.

Good to know: It’s recommended to have your iPhone turned off when removing the SIM card.

Once you turn it back on your phone and properly insert it, proceed to turn it on. If the issue persists, follow these next steps:

Step 5: Update your iOS

Here and there, a software glitch might cause your SIM card to show invalid or appear as if you have no SIM card in your iPhone at all. Thankfully, Apple is usually quick to spot these faulty updates and launches its new version.

Checking if your iOS update is available is pretty simple. Head straight to your “Settings,” then “General,” “Software Update,” and select “Download and Install” if you need to.

Is your phone already updated? Keep reading…

Step 6: Check for a Carrier Settings Update

Just like Apple updates with new iOS, your carrier might also release updates here and there to help improve your network’s cellular connectivity. 

Not keeping up with these updates results in you missing out on the freshest tech from your mobile provider, and it could also make your SIM card stop working even when it hasn’t been damaged.

To check if a carrier update is available: First, connect to a WIFI network, then head to “Settings,” followed by “General,” then “About,” and then finally select “Update” if asked. After it’s done, things should be running smoothly. If not, try the next step.

Read More: How To Know If My Phone Is Carrier Unlocked?

Step 7: Reset Your Network Settings

Still struggling with the invalid SIM card message? It could be related to a software error within your cellphone’s network settings, including WIFI, Bluetooth, Cellular Data, and any VPN you may own.

Fix this by resetting your “Network Settings.” Please know that this step will erase all of the WIFI passwords saved in your mobile, So ensure to write any important passwords in your notes for future reference.

Head to “Settings,” then “Reset,” and “Reset Network Settings.” When requested, type-in your iPhone’s passcode, and proceed to tap “Reset Network Settings” again to confirm. After this, everything should be good, but if not, try this next:

Good to know: A network reset can take you a very long way.

Step 8: Try Another SIM Card

Okay, you have updated, restarted, and reset basically everything. Before resetting your phone, you should confirm that your SIM card isn’t the issue. Borrow a SIM card from someone else or go to one of your carrier’s locations and request a tester one.

If the “No SIM” or the “Invalid SIM” errors are gone, it’s pretty clear that your SIM card is the problem, and it is time to get a new one. If it isn’t your SIM card, then probably it’s your phone. But thankfully, there is one more thing you should try before deciding to take it to get repaired.

Step 9: Factory Reset Your iPhone

Have you followed all the steps above? Your iPhone still struggles with “No SIM card” problems; think about doing a factory reset as a last effort to get it fixed. Ensure having a backup on a nearby compatible computer or iCloud; if not, you’ll have to redownload every little thing from scratch.

To factory reset your iPhone: Head to “Settings,” then “General,” followed by “Reset,” and finally, “Erase All Content and Settings.” When requested, confirm your identity by using Face ID, fingerprint, or a passcode, then tap on “Erase iPhone.”

When Absolutely Everything Has Failed, It’s Time To Contact Apple

We really hope the steps above help you solve your “No SIM card” issue, but if it doesn’t, the next best thing is to contact Apple’s Support or walk into an Apple Store.

Just like any other tech, there are always problems, and this is normal. But don’t worry, it’s nothing that can’t be solved with some detailed troubleshooting or hitting up the real experts.

If you find yourself with an unused iPhone, we’ll gladly take it off your hands and hand you back some (always good) extra cash. 

As a matter of fact, we’re thrilled to offer one of the most competent services in the Sell or Trade-In industries. We pay at the fastest speed and guarantee to offer you the fairest price for your device. If you are located in the NYC area, we can even COME TO YOU! And wait for it, we could even come as soon as TODAY!

It’s truly in our best interest that you’re able to solve your “No SIM card problem. But our offer still stands if everything ends up going south for you! 

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