How to Fix ‘No SIM’ Error on iPhone: Troubleshooting Tips and Fixes

  • Learning what the no SIM card detected notification means and the most common causes for this issue.
  • Advice on how to solve this issue by providing simple fixes that you could do yourself.
  • What to do in case you can’t solve the issue and it turns out to be a complex problem.
  • Best maintenance tips to keep your SIM card and iPhone in perfect condition. 

We’ve all been in a situation when our SIM isn’t available on our phones. Your iPhone is performing great, you’re using it throughout the day, and suddenly you see a notification on the screen saying there is no SIM available on iPhone. But no matter how frustrating this situation may be, there are quick fixes for this problem that usually work.

When your iPhone says, no SIM detected, the most probable cause is that the SIM card moved from the card slot somehow, and the device isn’t able to read it properly. Below, you can find the most probable reasons for facing this problem and how to fix them.

What does “No SIM Available” mean on iPhone?

When you get the message “no SIM available” on your phone, it means that your device doesn’t recognize your SIM card or it can’t read it properly. The good news is that in most cases, this isn’t a serious issue and only means your SIM tray is loose or not closed properly. For more probable causes for this error, read on.

Possible Causes of the Error Message 

sim card

Most of the reasons SIM failure happens are not that serious, but if the issue persists, you may need to take your phone to a licensed iPhone servicer to determine the root of the problem. Common causes of a no SIM notification on iPhones:

  • Your SIM is misplaced – when you were entering the SIM card, you didn’t properly place it in the card slot.
  • The SIM tray isn’t closed properly or is loose.
  • The iPhone can’t connect to the carrier’s network.
  • Serious hardware issues.

How to fix the “No SIM Available” error?

Since, in most cases, the no SIM card detected problem has quick solutions, you can find some ways you can try to solve it yourself. Sometimes phones may have minor software glitches and need a simple restarting in order to fix it by themselves.

Checking the Physical SIM Card and Tray for Any Issues

The first solution that usually works is to check the SIM card. Open your SIM tray, and check if your card is placed properly. Check the angle of the card tray and replace it accordingly. When you close the tray, it should fall into the phone smoothly without any significant force. Make sure to close it properly so it can’t get loose.

Verifying Network Settings and Airplane Mode Status

The latest carrier updates usually install themselves automatically, but in some cases, they don’t, and you should update it manually. You can also try to reset your network settings and check if the issue gets solved. Make sure your airplane mode is off because airplane mode turns off your carrier.

Updating iPhone Software to the Latest Version

If you’ve been ignoring the notifications and reminders that your iPhone needs a new update, it may be time to do that now. Check for the latest versions in your phone’s settings and update it. This can solve the common iPhone SIM failure.

SIM Card Related Issues and Solutions

Unlike the previous insignificant possible reasons for notifications like “no SIM available” or “SIM failure,” there may be some more serious reasons why your iPhone isn’t able to detect your SIM card.

Checking for SIM Card Damage or Misalignment

Sometimes SIM cards can get damaged without us even knowing. Maybe your phone fell, and you thought only your screen broke. Maybe you accidentally dropped it in water, and your card got damaged, displaying a no SIM available on iPhone message.  You can check if your card is damaged by taking a look at it and checking for any cracks or scratches.

Before trying to insert the card into a phone, make sure the card tray is designed for your card. The four types of SIM cards that exist today are mini, micro, nano, and full-sized cards. If you put a mini card into a micro slot, it won’t fit and won’t work.

Troubleshooting SIM Card Compatibility with the iPhone

Analyze your phone and your SIM card. They should be compatible in order to function properly. Follow the previous steps to check if you can do something to fix a SIM failure iPhone 13 or if it’s compatible with an iPhone 11 SIM card. If nothing works, then you should follow the step below.

Contacting your Carrier for Assistance with SIM Card Activation

Dialing your carrier’s customer support may save you a lot of time. Explain the issues you’re having with your SIM thoroughly and listen closely to their instructions on how to get rid of no SIM on iPhone issues. If the advice they’re giving you is what you’ve already done, inform them beforehand that you tried everything.

Verify your account status and test connectivity with your carrier to check the connectivity of your account with the network. If the issue persists, you can either request a new sim card or ask for an escalation of your case to higher-level support or technical specialists.

Checking Cellular Network Coverage and Signal Strength

If you’re traveling through a remote area where the signal strength and network coverage are low, your iPhone may say there is no SIM card installed. If this turns out to be the case, you can try to fix the problem by checking the solutions below.

Resetting Network Settings on the iPhone

This can help fix your connectivity issues. You can do this by going to your settings and looking for “Reset Network Settings” in the General section. When you reset these settings, you will need to confirm the action, and it will remove every saved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection and reset network preferences to default.

Troubleshooting Carrier-Specific Settings or Restrictions

When troubleshooting carrier-specific settings or restrictions on an iPhone, first, ensure your device is carrier-unlocked. If updates are available, install them. For specific restrictions, like data or international roaming, contact your carrier to ensure your account is correctly configured. Additionally, they can help with APN (Access Point Name) settings if needed.

Seeking Assistance from Your Carrier for Network-Related Issues


If you encounter network-related problems on your phone, seeking assistance from your carrier is crucial. Contact their customer support and provide a detailed explanation of the no SIM available on iPhone issue. Follow their instructions for troubleshooting and network settings updates.

They may remotely refresh your connection or provide specific settings if necessary. Ask about any known outages in your city. Verify your account status and ensure there are no billing issues.

Advanced Troubleshooting and Expert Help

Your carrier’s technical customer support can help you with advanced troubleshooting if nothing else works when you’re experiencing iPhone SIM failure. They can diagnose and resolve problems and assist with SIM activation or replacement. Make sure to provide detailed information about your issue and everything you tried to do in order to fix it.

Seeking Help from Apple Support or Authorized Service Providers

man and woman discussing important work matter

Apple Support and authorized service providers possess the expertise to diagnose and resolve issues with SIM cards and network connectivity. They can perform in-depth diagnostics and address potential hardware-related concerns. If necessary, they can guide you through SIM card activation.

Contacting Apple Support or an authorized service provider ensures you receive reliable and accurate assistance, helping you get your iPhone back to optimal functionality with minimal hassle.

Backup and Restoration of iPhone Data

If the customer support agent advises you to perform a factory reset of your iPhone, you need to back up your data to save it for when the issue is resolved. In order to back your data up, use a cloud-based storage provider like iCloud or iTunes. After resolving the issue with your SIM card, you can restore your data by connecting to Wi-Fi during the setup process and login into your cloud account, where you stored your data.

Best Practices for SIM Card and iPhone Maintenance 

To maintain your SIM card and iPhone efficiently and avoid no SIM available on iPhone messages, follow these best practices:

  • Handle SIM cards with care, avoiding bending or scratching.
  • Update your software for optimal performance and security.
  • Clean the iPhone screen and case using a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Use a sturdy, compatible iPhone case to protect against damage.
  • Don’t expose your phone to extreme temperatures.
  • Backup data to iCloud or a computer.
  • Contact authorized service providers for any hardware or software issues.


How do I fix no SIM available?

In order to fix problems like SIM failure, you need to try a couple of things: restart your phone, reinsert your SIM card, update your software, and if that doesn’t work, contact your carrier for assistance.

Why does my phone suddenly say no SIM available?

The SIM card might be loose or damaged, or the SIM tray may not be inserted correctly. Check and reinsert the SIM card securely to fix it.

Why is my SIM network not available?

Poor network coverage, carrier issues, or a faulty SIM card can cause this. Restart your phone or contact your carrier’s customer support for further advice.

How do I reset my SIM card on my iPhone?

To reset network settings and the SIM card, go to “Reset Network Settings” on your iPhone, which you can find in the General menu in settings.

How do I activate my SIM card on my iPhone?

Insert the SIM card, power on the iPhone, and follow the on-screen instructions. If needed, contact your carrier to activate the SIM.

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