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

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Read on to learn why your iPhone might display a sim card error message.

Read on to learn why your iPhone might display a sim card error message.

No SIM Card?

Does this situation sound familiar to you?

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 not an issue unique to the newest iPhone. There have been complaints about the same message on the original iPhone. And the problem isn't even unique to the iPhone; people are making the same complaints about other phones that use SIM cards.

Why Does My Phone Not Accept the SIM Card?

It is hard to pinpoint the exact reason why iPhones that use a SIM card display error messages at random times. Sometimes it is a simple glitch that cannot 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 scenario, the SIM card could be defective, and that would require you to get a new SIM card to install on the phone.

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

How to Fix an iPhone When It Says "No SIM Installed"

Here are some steps you can take to fix the issue. If these steps do not work, you may need to contact Apple directly for support.

  1. 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.
  2. Install the Latest iOS: Sometimes all you have to do is go into the settings and install the most up-to-date version of the iOS. Apple is always working on bug and error fixes, and a new version of the OS can help fix SIM card issues that arise from corruption in the software.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hard Reset: 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.
  6. Airplane Mode: Put your iPhone into "Airplane Mode" and toggle it on and off. If that does not work, while it is in airplane mode, do a hard reset, and then once it turns on again take it off "Airplane Mode."
  7. Reset Network Settings: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  8. 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.
  9. Check on Your Mobile Account: Make sure that your account is up to date, valid, and active with a phone company. If your phone service has been terminated or suspended that could be the reason your SIM card no longer works.

Apple Recommendations

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

  • 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.

Android Phone Says no SIM Card Installed

This SIM card problem is not unique to iPhones, many Android users also experience the same issue. The process is essentially the same for Android phones: try following the same steps to restart the phone, install a new OS update, clean out the SIM card slot. If these steps do not work try contacting technical support.


SIM-Free iPhone

There are some phones that do not use a SIM card at all. Instead of using a SIM, these phones have an electronic serial number that is tracked by the phone carrier, so there is no need to store the information on a SIM card as the carrier has a list of all the phones in use in their network.

SIM cards are not used in great numbers in the United States but they are the preferred type of phone internationally.

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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 AnswerQuestions


Ivan on April 25, 2020:

Very informative.

Lillev on March 24, 2020:

Easy instructions and took all of three minutes

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SilverSinglesSupport from 785 E/2 Oak Grove Rd suite 163 Concord ,Ca 94518 on August 10, 2019:

Excellent advice. I used the hard reset before taking out the SIM card and it worked. Best helpful article please keep it for more details:

WilliamSteven on May 13, 2019:

I actually inserted a SIM. However, my iPhone shows No SIM Card installed. I re-inserted the SIM after a few seconds but my iPhone still says no SIM Card.Thank you for this wonderful Blog! for More Information Visit:

Liam on January 30, 2019:

No sim

Adward on December 17, 2018:

Great article, thx a lot!

Bryce on November 25, 2018:

Why does it say no Sim card installed

Doug on October 04, 2018:

Excellent advice. I used the hard reset before taking out the SIM card and it worked.

Anon on July 27, 2018:

Thanks this really help

Angela on June 03, 2018:

I keep rebooting my phone but after a couple of minutes it will say no SIM card. I tried taking the card out but after about 4 minutes, the no SIM card message popped up. What should I do?

Abigail Terry on February 16, 2018:

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.

Hassan on December 15, 2017:

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?

Mel on November 21, 2017:

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

Cassandra Watkins on October 11, 2017:

I do not have a SIM card

mohd Ali on September 24, 2017:

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

Chippy on September 19, 2017:

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

AppleNick on August 14, 2017:

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.

Katy on August 14, 2017:

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!

nc on July 14, 2017:

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

ABD on March 24, 2017:

Why my iphone sayed no sim card please

Belew on April 17, 2016:

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

Anaon on April 09, 2014:

Thank you! The SIM card thing worked for me!

Marek on March 13, 2014:

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

Cindy on January 03, 2014:

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

Firoz from India on June 05, 2013:

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

thanks for sharing. voted up and useful.