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11 Ways to Fix "No SIM Card Installed" Error for iPhone 2024

When your iPhone keeps saying no SIM installed, neither you will able to make any calls to other cellular networks nor connect to wireless data. Here are the different types of "No SIM Card Installed" error:

  • No SIM
  • No SIM Card Installed
  • Invalid SIM
  • Insert SIM

This issue is not limited to any specific iPhone model and even the latest iPhone 15 also faces this problem. It is very annoying to get this error suddenly when you have to use it.

It seems a minor error, but often it requires some serious efforts to resolve that error. Here we have given the best 10 solutions.

Part 1. Why Does My iPhone Saying No SIM Card?

The reasons for this error can be anything, making this issue more complex. Some of the possible reasons are given below:

  • SIM card has dust: Before putting the SIM card into the iPhone, you must check whether the SIM card is clean. Always clean the SIM card with a soft cloth and blow air into the slot to remove any dirt inside.
  • Wet or overheated battery: The iOS device should be used in a proper environment for it to work in an optimum condition. If the iPhone gets overheated or wet, many iOS issues can occur.
  • Faulty SIM card: This error can also occur due to a faulty SIM card. If the SIM card is damaged, it is better to contact your service provider and get it replaced.
  • Bugs or glitches: Your iPhone might have some glitches because your device may not recognize the SIM card. When you reboot the iPhone, most of the issues get solved.

Part 2. Simple Things to Try When Troubleshooting 'No SIM Card' Issue

It doesn’t matter what the reason is for this error. Follow these simple methods given below to solve this error within a few minutes.

Clean SIM Card Slot

The iPhone may say no SIM card when the SIM card slot is dirty. Dust and dirt that accumulates on the SIM card slot can prevent the iPhone's sensor from detecting the SIM card.

Before attempting any more invasive solutions, eject the SIM card from the tray and clean the slot with a soft brush or a paper clip. Re-insert the tray back on to the device and test if the device detects the SIM card.

clean sim card slot

Check SIM Tray

It is also possible that the SIM tray could be damaged. Use a small paper clip to eject the SIM card tray from the iPhone. Once the tray pops out of the device, check if there is any visible damage on the SIM card.

If the tray seems damaged in some way or it doesn't hold the SIM card properly, contact Apple to get it fixed. Avoid using another device's tray on your iPhone as this could damage the device and the SIM card permanently.

Re-Insert SIM Card

If your iPhone keeps saying no SIM card, there is a chance that your SIM card is getting dislodged. You need to remove the SIM card and again put it back into its place properly to solve this error.

  • Use SIM card tray remover tool to open the SIM tray.
  • Remove the SIM card and put it back into the tray and close it.
  • Within a few seconds, your iPhone will recognize the SIM card and the carrier name should reappear.

iphone sim card slot

Test with Another SIM Card

If you suspect that the SIM card may be problematic. You can test it by inserting another SIM card into the device. If the device fails to read this SIM card as well, you may want to contact your Carrier to see if they can issue another SIM card.

Part 3. Fix Some Software Settings Issues

Restart Your iPhone

If the iPhone still says no SIM card even after trying the ways above, the problem could be the device and the easiest way to eliminate any settings that could be causing the problem is to restart the device. Here's how to do that;

  • If you are using iPhone X or later models, press and hold the Power button and any of the Volume button until you see the slider.
  • If you are using iPhone 8 and earlier models, press and hold the Side button or Top button until you see the slider.
  • Drag the slider to turn off the device. After some time, turn on it and check if the issue is solved.

turn off and turn on iphone

Turn on and Turn off Airplane Mode

If this iPhone saying no sim card installed problem persists, you should consider turning on Airplane mode for a few seconds and then turning it off again.

This is a great way to reset the cellular networks and is therefore a valid solution for this problem. Here's how to do it;

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center.
  • Tap on the “Airplane Mode” icon to enable Airplane mode.
  • Wait a few seconds and tap it again to turn it off.

turn off and turn on airplane mode

Update Carrier Settings

Your iPhone could also say "No Sim card installed" if the carrier has changed the settings. In this case, the best way to fix the problem is to update the carrier settings. Here’s how you can do that;

  • Open the Settings on iPhone and click on “General”.
  • Tap “About” and if there is an update to the carrier settings, follow the on-screen instructions to update the carrier settings.

update carrier settings

Update iOS to the Latest Version

Apple releases iOS updates to fix the bugs and software glitches in the last versions. To make sure that your iPhone is up-to-date, follow the steps below.

  • Open "Settings" and tap on "General".
  • Next, tap "Software Update". Your device will immediately check for new updates.
  • If there is an update available, tap Download and install the new iOS 17 update.

update ios version

Fix iPhone Keeps Saying No SIM without Data Loss

If everything you've tried so far has failed and you are certain that the SIM card is working just fine and is not damaged or disabled, the problem could be software related. It is very possible that your iOS system could be damaged which is why the iPhone fails to detect the SIM card.

In this case, the best way to fix the problem is to use an iOS repair tool like FoneGeek iOS System Recovery (iOS 17/16 supported). This tool is not just 100% effective in repairing the device if your iPhone is stuck on black screen/white screen, iPhone battery draining fast, etc. and it is also very easy to use.


Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and choose Standard Mode on FoneGeek Home screen. Click Next. If it still does not recognize, follow the instructions given on the screen to put the device in DFU mode or Recovery mode.

choose repair mode

Step 2. You can choose the firmware version and click Download once the software displays all the available firmware versions. It will extract the software after the firmware is downloaded.

download firmware package

Step 3. Now, when you click Fix Now, the program will start to fix this error. During this process, don’t use your iPhone or do not unplug it. The entire process will finish within a few minutes. Now check if you can restart the iPhone normally.


Restore iPhone to Factory Settings

Another great way to remove any settings that could be preventing your iPhone from detecting the SIM card is to restore iPhone to factory settings.

It is however very important to back up all the data on the iPhone to iTunes or iCloud before attempting this process since it will cause total data loss.

Once the backup is complete, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Contents and Settings.

erase all content and settings

You may need to enter your passcode to complete the process. The device will revert back to factory settings and all data will be removed. Set up the device to see if the device will detect the SIM card.

Contact Apple

If none of the methods solves your issue, you need to contact the Apple Support Center to check whether there is something wrong with the hardware.

Part 4. FAQs about iPhone "NO SIM" Error

Q1. How to activate iPhone without SIM card?

If the iOS version of your iPhone is iOS 11.4 and above, you can ignore the "NO SIM Card" error during activation; If the iOS version is iOS 11.3 and below, you can borrow your friend's SIM card to activate the device.

Q2. Is it possible to use an iPhone without SIM card?

YES. If your iPhone is activated, you can use your device as normal even if you remove the SIM card. But texting and calling are not allowed.


One of the solutions above should be very effective in fixing an iPhone that won't detect SIM card. Select a solution that is ideal for your particular situation and implement it to the best of your ability.

Let us know if you are able to get the iPhone to detect the SIM card in the comments section below. Any questions and comments on this topic or any other iOS related issue are always welcome and we'll do our best to find the most effective solutions.

Fay J. Melton

Fay J. Melton has explored the area of technology and software for more than 5 years and he is enthusiastic about helping users solve various technology issues.

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