9 Ways to Fix the 'No SIM Card Installed' Error on iPhone

Resolve the 'No SIM Card Installed' error on your iPhone with step-by-step troubleshooting methods, including cleaning the SIM card, updating software, and more.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
Fix the 'No SIM Card Installed' Error on iPhone

No SIM Card Installed (Image via TechFirstNow)

Troubleshooting the "No SIM Card Installed" error on iPhone can help identify and resolve connectivity issues. This common notification indicates the device is not detecting a valid SIM card inside. While frustrating, there are often simple fixes that can re-establish cellular network access.

This guide outlines the top troubleshooting steps to take when encountering this error message. From removing and cleaning the SIM card, restarting the device, updating software, and checking account settings, these methods address many potential causes for the lack of SIM detection.

1. Remove and Restore the SIM Card

One easy way to fix the "No SIM Card Installed" message is to take out the SIM card and put it back in. Here's what you need to do:


Remove or switch the SIM card in your iPhone - Apple Support
Image via Apple
  1. First, power off your iPhone. Then find the SIM card slot - on newer models it's on the right side, and on older ones up top.
  2. Take a SIM card removal tool or a straightened paper clip and insert it in the tiny hole next to the slot. This will pop the slot open.
  3. Gently lift out the SIM card.
  4. Put the SIM card back in its spot in the slot, pushing it all the way until it clicks into place.
  5. Push the slot completely back into the iPhone so you hear a click.
  6. Now turn your iPhone back on and let it reconnect to the cell service. That should clear up the "No SIM Card" error.

2. Clean the SIM Card Area

If reinserting the SIM card did not remedy the "No SIM Card Installed" notification, dirt within the SIM card port may be the cause. Here are the steps to clean the SIM card and slot:

  1. Power down the iPhone by turning it off.
  2. Use the ejection tool to take out the SIM card holder as said before.
  3. Gently wipe the SIM card and holder area with a dry soft cloth or small brush to remove any visible dust or grains.
  4. Do not use any liquids or compressed air which may harm the inside parts.
  5. Return the SIM card to its position within the slot.
  6. Push the holder completely into the iPhone.
  7. Turn on your iPhone and wait for it to reconnect to the network.

3. Restart the iPhone

Occasionally, all that is required is a swift restart to resolve the "No SIM Card Installed" message as this can delete fleeting software issues causing the trouble.

Restart your iPhone - Apple Support
Image via Apple
  1. Press and maintain pressure on the power button located on the right side of the iPhone & volume down button until a power off menu appears on the screen.
  2. Touch and drag the sliding button on the screen in the power off menu to the right to power off the device.
  3. Allow some time to pass then press and hold the button on the side again without releasing until the Apple logo graphic shows up on the display.
  4. Cease applying pressure to the button on the side and let the iPhone completely reboot and restart on its own.
  5. After it has restarted fully, check that the "No SIM Card Installed" message has disappeared.

4.  Turn Airplane Mode On and Then Off

Sliding Airplane Mode to the ON position and then OFF again may reset the iPhone's cellular link and make the "No SIM Card Installed" notification disappear.

Apple iPhone X - Airplane Mode - AT&T
Image via Apple
  1. Starting from the top edge of the display, swipe downward to unveil the Control Center menu.
  2. Touch the Airplane Mode icon once to switch it to the ON setting.
  3. Pause for a moment then touch the Airplane Mode icon again to switch it to the OFF setting.
  4. Your iPhone will now try reconnecting to the network.

5. Upgrade iOS

Difficulties joining networks for instance seeing the "No SIM Card Installed" notification can at times occur with an outdated version of iOS. Maintaining the iPhone's software updated may remedy this.

Apple iOS 17.1 iPhone Software Release: Should You Upgrade?
Image via Apple
  1. Connect the iPhone to WiFi and verify the battery is charged at a minimum 50%.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  3. If an update appears, select "Download and Install" to initiate the process.
  4. Follow the on-screen directions to finish the install.
  5. After completion, check if the error has vanished.

6. Check Your Account

If the "No SIM Card Installed" message continues, there could be a difficulty with your phone account. Reasons like suspension, cancellation or another problem stopping cellular connection on iPhone.

  1. Call your network provider's customer support team.
  2. Give them your account details and describe the problem.
  3. Ask them to confirm the status of your account and ensure there are no unresolved issues.
  4. If they find any account errors, resolve them by following the carrier's directions.

7. Upgrade Carrier Settings

Old network settings can potentially lead to cellular connection problems like the "No SIM Card Installed" message. Upgrading these settings may fix it.

  1. Connect the iPhone to a wireless network.
  2. Navigate to Settings > General > About menu.
  3. If a carrier settings upgrade is ready, you'll see a notification.
  4. Press "Update" to install the newest carrier settings.
  5. After completion, check if the "No SIM Card Installed" alert disappears.

8. Check Another SIM Card

If the above solutions provide no resolution, the difficulty may reside with the SIM card. You can verify this by inserting a SIM card that has previously functioned properly in another device.

  1. Power off your iPhone.
  2. Take out the SIM card tray and remove your current SIM.
  3. Insert instead a different SIM that you confirmed works.
  4. Power on your iPhone and wait for the cellular connection.
  5. If the "No SIM Card Installed" message disappears with this SIM, then most likely your usual SIM needs a replacement.

9. Contact Support

If the error stays after trying all solutions, there may be a hardware problem with the iPhone. It's best to get help from professionals.

Apple Support on the App Store
Image via Apple
  1. Call or email Apple Support, or schedule a visit to a local Apple Store.
  2. Tell them the issue completely and what you have done to fix it so far.
  3. If needed, arrange an iPhone repair or replacement with them.

So by following the different suggestions listed here, you can easily fix this error. Make sure to try everything - taking the SIM card in and out, cleaning it and the slot, restarting your iPhone, toggling Airplane Mode on and off, and updating your iOS and carrier settings.

And if you have another SIM lying around, pop that in to test. If nothing works by going through all the steps then you can also contact Apple support. They can properly inspect your iPhone and figure out what's really going on.

Explore more topics:

Latest Stories