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iPhone says no SIM card installed? 6 easy ways to fix it

Apple has always insisted that iPhone is the most advanced, cutting edge gadget. But, guess what, just like 15 years ago and all other “conventional” phones today, iPhone has this SIM-card dinosaur feature.

Today we’ll show you 6 easy ways to fix a popular issue “Iphone says no SIM card installed”.

SIM-card is an essential piece of hardware that is permanently plugged into your phone. And it is not related to phone memory in any way.

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How to Fix No SIM card issue

So, primarily, people face hardware issues. SIM-card has contacts that come in touch with phone’s internal contacts.

  1. We need to check the contacts, therefore we have to eject the tray that carries the SIM-card. 

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The most common and masculine looking way is to use a paperclip. We have to straighten it out a bit. But that is not the safest way. Amazon.com comes in handy with all kinds of accessories. You can get a SIM card adapter kit with a SIM card ejector tool. Do not forget that the card is rightfully yours and you can insert it in any other iPhone or phones of other brands.

We ejected the SIM card now. It has to look pristine, with no damage to contacts.

If you see dust, wipe it off. Electricity does not run through dust.

The SIM tray must not be bent. Wrong geometry can cause misalignment and the SIM card may not come in full contact with the counterpart inside the phone. No contact means no detection.

Once you pull the SIM card out you will have a good opportunity to check the SIM card opening inside the phone. We would use a flashlight to light it up.

Clean out the debris if there is any.

2. As with other electrical appliances water getting in is a huge problem. Apple has been installing Liquid Contact Indicators for a while now.

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On the picture above we can see a red dot on the indicator. That means it has come into contact with some sort of liquid. Good news  is that SIM cards has always been somewhat resilient to water. Bad news is that the iPhone itself is a lot more sensitive. You will probably have to get the gadget checked at the Apple Store, or any other Apple support.

We got everything clean now. Ensure everything is dry, especially the inside of the phone.

Now we put the SIM card back into the tray. The tray goes back into the phone. Switch the phone on. Does it recognize the SIM now?

3. There is an easy way to tell if the problem is with SIM card or with the phone. Borrow a working SIM card from a friend with an iPhone. Insert that SIM card into your phone.

a) If “No SIM” error goes away, then the problem is with your SIM. But that gets fixed fast at the Apple Store.

b) Your phone still shows “No SIM” error. Then you have a problem with your phone, because we have established that the SIM works. You may be facing a software problem.

As with other sofware problems try rebooting first. That is what the “Power” button is for. Hold it pressed on, then do what the screen tells you to do. When your phone is off (should look dead) press the “Power” button again. Your iPhone will come alive. Rejoice if the “No SIM” indication is gone.

4. You can also reset network settings.

There is always a bunch of processes running in the background. Among other things they are also responsible for network connection and SIM card operation. The reset will switch all network settings to default. That means you will lose all Wi-Fi connections you have set up before. So be sure to copy or write down all the passwords you are about to delete. Then go to Settings → General → Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.

5. Update your iOS, Preferably via iTunes.

Yes, updating can bring in a number of new glitches, but it usually fixes the old bugs. So, do the update, if possible. Be sure you have enough memory required for it.

At this point, we have established that this is a software issue. We would not trust this glitching software to do the update. Let’s update the iPhone through iTunes on your computer. Your computer works, right? If your computer is out of reach or busy with its own glitches you can still go to Settings→ General → Software Update on the phone. Chances are, it will work anyway.

6. Restore Your iPhone

If the “No SIM” error is still glowing at you from that gorgeous display, it’s time to use the “kill all” button. It will restore your iPhone to factory defaults. You need to reactivate your carrier as part of the setup process, and restore from your an iTunes or iCloud backup.

SIM card is definitely among the fixable ones. And you can turn it into a neat DIY experience.

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