Why Does My iPhone Say "No Sim Card Installed"?

Updated on April 29, 2016
Why does my iPhone say No Sim Card Installed?
Why does my iPhone say No Sim Card Installed?

You have been using your iPhone without any concerns, and then all of a sudden you are presented with a message that says ‘No SIM card installed’, ‘Invalid SIM’ or ‘Insert SIM’

This is definitely not an issue unique to the iPhone 4. There have been complaints about the same message on the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 3G and more recently on the iPhone 5.

And the problem isn't even unique to the iPhone; there are people making the same complaint about other phones that use SIM cards.

Why Does this Message Occur?

It is hard to pinpoint the exact reason as to why phones that use a SIM card display error messages at random times. Sometimes it is an unfortunate simple glitch which can not be fully explained and at other times it is due to an issue with the iPhone being too hot or the presence of dust on the SIM card itself. Worst case, it could be a faulty SIM.

You are not alone, and there are a few things you can do yourself, for free, to diagnose the cause and usually solve it.

How To Fix an iPhone When it Says 'No Sim Installed'

Whenever this happens there are a few things you can do:

Restart: Hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top for a few seconds and slide to power off. After a few seconds, turn on your iPhone again.

SIM Tray Closed: Make sure that the SIM card tray on the side of your phone is completely closed. If it is not, the card may not be fully slotted in.

Remove and Reinstall SIM: Use the device that came with your iPhone to remove the SIM. If you no longer have that you should be able to use a paperclip. Eject the SIM tray on the side of the iPhone, take out the SIM card, put it back in again, and then replace the SIM tray.

Reboot: Hold down the Home button and the Power button simultaneously until the Apple icon appears. Then wait a few seconds and turn it on again.

Airplane Mode: Put your iPhone into 'Airplane Mode' and toggle it on and off. If that does not work, whilst it is in airplane mode, do a hard reboot, and then once it turns on again take it off 'Airplane Mode'.

Reset network settings: Go to to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Dust particles: In some cases cleaning the SIM card and removing any dust from inside the SIM socket of the phone can solve your problems.

Apple Recommendations

Apple also advises that you should ensure that the following areas have been considered:

  • Make sure your phone is on the latest version of iOS.
  • Check to see if there is an update for your carrier by going to Settings > General > About. If an update is available, a prompt will appear.
  • Restore the iPhone by connecting it to a computer and re-syncing with iTunes.

Testing for a Malfunctioning SIM Card

It is also possible that your SIM card could be malfunctioning. One easy way to test this is to try inserting it into another phone or placing someone else's SIM in your phone.

Of course when we are talking about iPhones we need to make sure that we are using similar SIM cards (micro, nano, etc.).

If a different SIM works in your phone, and the No SIM warning message disappears, then it is very likely that yours is broken.

Alternatively, if trying another SIM doesn't solve your problem, you may need to call Apple or visit your local Apple Store.

New SIM: Return your SIM card to the phone dealer where you got it or to your network dealer for a replacement.


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    • profile image

      Abigail Terry 2 months ago

      Make sure that you inserted the sim card in correct position.

      Toggle to GSM 2G network may resolved this issue might be your phone is setup to LTE that your area doesn't support.

      if all fails

      you can follow Solution No. 1 provided with this website works for me


      very informative and has a picture on it easy.

    • profile image

      Hassan 4 months ago

      I have iphone 6plus cell and system is up to date. the problem is one network sim is not getting on when inserting that sim then no sim card message appears on the screen. I changed two sim card of the same network but the same result is getting. but when insert another network sim the phone is going on and there is no "no sim card installed" message. what is the reason how I can fix this problem?

    • profile image

      Mel 5 months ago

      Oh my lord I don’t know how to thank you I did the reboot and it worked I am so happy and I wish other people can use this if there having the same problem I’m honestly so relieved

    • profile image

      Cassandra Watkins 6 months ago

      I do not have a SIM card

    • profile image

      mohd Ali 7 months ago

      I phone 5s my problem no sim card installed please helpme

    • profile image

      Chippy 7 months ago

      My phone got into NO SIM i didn't touch anything how to solve this

    • profile image

      AppleNick 8 months ago

      Restart is turn off and on with The power button. A reboot it's like a hard reset it's when you hold down the power button and home button at the same time till the device turns off, I want to see the Apple let go of the two buttons and let it boot up normally. If you want iPhone 7 or higher you hold down the down volume and the lock button at the same time to do the reboot or hard reset.

    • profile image

      Katy 8 months ago

      oh my gosh!! thank you! i tried restarting it and reinserting my sim card several times. I didn't think to reboot! for some reason that's what did it. Thank you!

    • profile image

      nc 9 months ago

      i turn off my iphone and erase all settings.Still i saw the message no sim card installed

    • profile image

      ABD 13 months ago

      Why my iphone sayed no sim card please

    • profile image

      Belew 2 years ago

      there is no difference between restating and rebooting.To restart a computer means to reboot.

    • profile image

      Anaon 4 years ago

      Thank you! The SIM card thing worked for me!

    • profile image

      Marek 4 years ago

      And what is the difference between restarting and rebooting supposed to be?

    • profile image

      Cindy 4 years ago

      Save yourself a lot of time and go to where ever you bought your phone and get a new SIM card

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      great...i used to remove and insert the sim back for fixing the issue....

      thanks for sharing. voted up and useful.