Do you get the error message “No SIM Card Detected” or “No SIM Card Installed” after inserting a SIM card into your phone? This problem often occurs when you turn your smartphone off and on again, insert a new SIM card, or in some cases, while using your phone when your SIM card is suddenly not detected. However, any of these cases can be due to software problems, changed settings, or moving the SIM card from its normal position.

no sim card

This problem is really annoying as it makes your phone unusable and you can’t receive calls or SMS or even access the Internet. However, the “No SIM card” message shouldn’t worry you since you can usually fix it with a few simple troubleshooting methods, depending on the cause of the problem.

In this article, we’ve prepared a set of solutions that will help you fix the “No SIM card installed” error on iPhones and Android, considering all possible causes.

What are the common causes of no SIM card errors?

Common causes of SIM card errors include incorrect network settings, insufficient storage, and incompatible devices.

  • Incorrect network settings can be caused by a variety of issues, such as outdated or unsupported phone software.
  • Insufficient storage can be the result of low memory or space on your phone or the SIM card.
  • Incompatible devices means that the SIM card is locked by the network operator for a particular device and must be unlocked before it can be used on another device.

Any of these factors can cause the error message “No SIM card” to appear on the screen of your Android or iPhone device.

How to Fix a No SIM Card Error on Any Device

These are proven fixes you can use if you’re looking to resolve the “No SIM card detected” or “No SIM card installed” issue on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Please note that this is a troubleshooting guide, so go through the fixes one by one in order. Any specific Android-only or iPhone-only fixes are appropriately marked.

Related: How to Fix ‘Last Line No Longer Available’ Error on iPhone

Fix 1: Restart your phone

A simple reboot can fix most device problems, which may also help in this case. Your device memory could cause a software malfunction that prevents your SIM card from being recognized. Numerous people have reported that the problem can be fixed with a simple restart. So you can try it out and see if it can help you.

Fix 2: Make sure the SIM card is well positioned and in good condition

If you have already restarted the device and the problem still persists, you should next check the placement of your SIM card. Because if your SIM card is not placed correctly, the device will not be able to detect it, and you will continue to face the problem until you get it under control.

To ensure that the SIM card is properly placed, you can always check your phone’s manual or try placing the SIM card in different positions. The problem should be fixed if you do this correctly. Clean your SIM card before reinserting it to ensure it is not clogged.

Since a defective SIM card can also cause the problem, you can save stress by testing your SIM on another phone to see if it works properly. If it does not, you may need to get a new SIM card from your service provider, but if it works, you can keep trying the solutions below.

Fix 3: Confirm that your SIM card is switched on (For Android)

Every smartphone has a feature that allows users to enable or disable their SIM card(s), and when a SIM card is disabled, it tends to look like it has been removed. You may have inadvertently disabled the SIM card and been upset by your phone’s “No SIM card” message. However, you can check this in your phone’s settings and enable the SIM card without stress. Here is how:

  1. Go to Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on SIM card and mobile network.

    enable sim card to fix no sim card detected error

  3. Select the SIM card slot you want to enable and toggle on its switch on the resulting page.

    toggle on the sim card

Give the network some time to boot, and maybe your SIM card will come back on.

Fix 4: Enable and Disable Airplane Mode

When you switch your phone to airplane mode, the SIM card is disabled, and all functions are turned off. Sometimes the error message “No SIM card detected” can be due to a network error of your SIM card and can be solved by simply inserting the phone and deactivating it after some time.

To enable Airplane Mode on Android, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Control Center and click the Airplane icon. After some time, click the icon again to disable the feature. If you have this problem on your iPhone, you should open the control center by swiping up or down, depending on the model, and then turn the airplane mode on and off.

If your network is restored after a few seconds, you are good to go; if not, you should try the next solution.

Fix 5: Change the Network Mode to Auto

If the error “No SIM card” occurs, the phone may try to connect to any available network, even if it means that the data service is disabled. If you change the network mode to “Auto,” the phone will only be able to connect to networks specifically designed for cellular connections (like 3G or 4G). This should solve most problems connecting to a network and restoring the sim card.

Choose Auto Network Mode on Android to fix the “Not Registered on Network” error

Android phones give you the option to select your network provider either manually or automatically. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi & Network > SIM & Network > SIM Setting > Network Operators > Choose Automatically to auto choose the network operator. This should hopefully resolve the “No SIM card detected” error message on Android phones.

network mode android

You can also try changing the preferred network type by going to Settings > Wi-Fi & Network > SIM & Network > Preferred Network Type and selecting the different options there to see if any of them fix your SIM problem.

Set Network Mode to “Auto” on iPhone

On iPhone, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Network Selection and select Automatic if it is not already selected.

network auto mode iphone

Fix 6: Force Stop and Clear SIM Toolkit Data (For Android)

The SIM Toolkit is an application built into your device that enables some of the functions of your SIM card. It serves more as driver software for the functions of your SIM card. As with any other software, an undetected SIM card problem may occur if the SIM Toolkit app data gets corrupted. Therefore, follow the steps below to erase the app data. This solution has been helpful for many users and should also help you. Here is how to proceed:

  1. Remove the undetected SIM card from your phone and go to Settings.
  2. Search for App Settings through the search box at the top of the Settings page and click on it.

    app settings

  3. After opening the App Settings, navigate to SIM Toolkit on the app list.

    sim toolkit

  4. Click on the app and select Storage & cache.
  5. Now, clear SIM Toolkit’s data and cache.

    clear sim toolkit cache

  6. Then insert the SIM card and restart your phone.

The problem should be solved with this solution. However, the steps we have described above may look a little different depending on the phone you are using.

Fix 7: Reset Network Settings

One of the reasons for the “No SIM card detected” problem is tampered network settings, but you may not be able to figure out which setting was changed. This is where Network Reset comes in. Resetting would return your network settings to their default values, which will fix the problem if changed network settings cause it.

Reset Network Settings on Android

  1. Open Settings on your phone and click on System.

    android reset option

  2. Tap on the Reset options.
  3. Select Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.

    reset network settings

  4. Follow the onscreen prompt to confirm the operation.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone and click on General.
  2. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.

    reset settings

  3. Now, click on Reset and hit Reset Network Settings.

    reset network settings on iphone

You can also try scanning for a Carrier settings update. Carriers often release updates that fix issues with their networks or apps.

On Android, go to Settings > Mobile Networks > Carrier Settings > Update Profile.

On iPhone, tap Settings > General > About. Look next to Carrier. You should see a prompt to install it if any update is available.

Fix 8: Check if SIM Card is not Working on Other Phones

If you have access to another device, try to insert the SIM on that device and check if it works. This way, you can rule out that there is a problem with the SIM or the SIM tray. If it does not work on this device either, you can contact your network operator and have the SIM replaced.

If it works on the other device, it means that either your SIM card reader has a problem or some setting is not correct. In this case, proceed to the next step.

Fix 9: Ensure You Have a Valid IMEI Number

This case is one of the rarest of rare cases. If you don’t have a valid IMEI number, your Android phone (or iPhone) won’t be able to make or receive calls or use cellular networks. Your device will also display an error message when you try to connect to Wi-Fi or access other services.

On Android, you can find your IMEI number in Settings > About phone > Status > Mobile networks.

On iPhone, go to Settings > General > About. Scroll down to find the IMEI.

Fix 10: Boot your phone in Safe Mode

There are cases when malware files or apps on your phone are responsible for the No SIM card issue. It will help if you put your phone in safe mode to check whether a malicious file is causing the problem or not. In safe mode, only your system files and applications are running on your phone. If the error persists in this mode, you need to delete any recently downloaded files or applications from your phone to fix the problem.

Put Android in safe mode

  1. Press the power button until the Power off and Restart options appear.
  2. Long-press the Power off or Restart options until the Safe Mode prompt comes up.
  3. Click on it to put your Android in safe mode.

Put iPhone in safe mode

  1. Turn off your iPhone by holding down the Power button.
  2. Then turn the device back on.
  3. Immediately the iPhone comes up, hold the volume down button till the Apple logo appears.

The device will boot in safe mode after this.

Fix 11: Perform a Factory Reset

Perform a factory reset if none of the above solutions work. Factory reset will erase all content and settings on your device, restore it to its original state (including any apps, data, or photos you may have saved), and delete all user data. This is the best solution if you can’t fix your problem with other methods. It’s an extreme solution that will erase all data, so proceed with caution.

None of the fixes worked?

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps we’ve listed in this article and still can’t solve your problem, there’s likely something wrong with your device, and you should take it to an Apple or Android store for repair or replacement, as it could be a hardware issue.

Final Words

Various reasons may be associated with the No SIM card installed error on iPhone and Android, which means that the solution to the problem can only be achieved by using the particular solution, which means that you may have to try multiple solutions until the problem is solved, as the error does not specify its causes. The solutions discussed above have been created based on what has worked for users who have already experienced the problem. If none of the above resolutions work, you should contact an IT professional to check the SIM card tray for you.

FAQs about No SIM Card Installed Error on iPhone and Android

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A software or hardware error is hindering your phone from detecting your SIM when you receive the No SIM Card alert. You won't be able to use the SIM card until the issue is resolved, which in some cases may also be related to your SIM card network.

If your iPhone is showing no SIM card installed, try these solutions:
1. Restart the iPhone
2. Enable and disable Airplane mode
3. Reset network settings.
4. Reinsert the SIM card.
5. Give it time if it's a network issue.

If your SIM card suddenly stops working, you may have tampered with the settings on your phone, or your SIM card has been wrongly positioned. So try to check your phone settings and remove the SIM card to check if it's in good condition. More details to help you out have been discussed in the article.

We’ve seen some cases where this error is caused by a malicious file preventing your phone from detecting the SIM card on your phone. This is when Safe Mode comes in handy to help fix the issue. So, yes, third-party apps or files can cause the “No SIM card” error.

One possibility is that the SIM card has been removed or damaged in some way. If you've lost or damaged your original SIM card, you can buy a replacement from your carrier.  Another possibility is that the software on your phone doesn't recognize the existing SIM card. You can try reinstalling the software or updating it to see if that resolves the issue. If all else fails, you may need to contact your carrier for assistance in replacing or activating your SIM card.

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