iPhone or iPad: No SIM Card Installed, Fix

I woke up yesterday morning, my phone was saying “No SIM card Installed” (a popup message on the home screen).

You may also experience this problem: (a) you may notice the “No SIM” notification in the status bar (top left corner) or (b) a popup alert notification may say “No SIM card Installed”.  So why your phone says No Sim Card?

This error generally happens when your SIM card is not properly placed and thus your device could not read it. However, it may also mean that some sort of corruption in the iOS software may cause this error, preventing your device from detecting the sim. Another possible reason for this can be a faulty SIM card, like your card might be damaged or missing. And lastly, you may be having this issue because of a network connection problem.

See also: No Service Or Searching On iPhone? Fix

Also, note that your iPad or iPhone will still work. You will be able to use most of your device’s features other than making a phone call or doing things that require a cellular connection (in short, no cell data and no phone calls). This article explains how you can fix this error.

See also: Block No Caller ID

no sim card installed

All iPhone models or all iPad (Wi-Fi+ Cellular) models may have this issue.

No Sim Error Fixes

See also: Unresponsive iPhone?

Luckily, there are a few fixes that you can try. Please try each step below until your issue is resolved.

  1. The first thing you should do is to check with your wireless network operator. They may help you. They may have to replace your SIM. Make sure that your account is in good standing e.g., you do not have any unpaid bills.
  2. The second thing you should do is to make sure that the SIM card is placed in your iPhone or iPad. I know this is silly but it happens. It happened to me. I forgot about it when I was traveling internationally.
  3. Restart your device. Here is how you can restart your iPad or iPhone:
    1. iPhone X, 11 or later and iPad models with Face ID: Press and hold the side and the volume up (or down) buttons until you see the power button and then drag the slider. Then wait for about one minute and press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
    2. Other iPhone models and iPad models with a Home button: Press and hold the side or top button until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Then wait for about a minute. Now press and hold the side or top button until you see the Apple logo.
  4. Toggle Airplane Mode. Go to Settings and turn on Airplane Mode. Wait a few seconds. Then turn off again.turn on and off airplane mode
  5. There may be a carrier settings update. Go to Settings > General > About. If there is an update, a popup alert will appear. If there is an update, simply update by tapping Update. See this article if this carrier settings update fails. carrier settings update
  6. Check the SIM and tray. Take out the SIM card and put it in again. Turn off your device and remove the SIM card from your device by inserting a paper clip into the hole beside the SIM tray (you may have to push firmly). Gently wipe your SIM card and tray. If you see dust, blow dust out of your SIM and tray. Then place the SIM and turn on your device to see if it is working. Also, note that NEVER put the SIM card in without the tray.Remove your SIM card
  7. Update your iPhone or iPad. Before doing this, you may want to back up your device (Settings > iCloud > Backup). After backing up, you can do so wirelessly by going to Settings > General > Software Update and update your device. You can also update your iPad or iPhone using iTunes. Simply connect your device to your computer, open iTunes, and then click “Check for Update”. iOS software update
  8. Reset your network settings. On your iPad or iPhone, Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note that this action WILL reset your network settings, e.g., your Wi-Fi passwords will be removed.

See also:

How to Turn 4G or LTE Off On iPhone

If your device still doesn’t detect your SIM card, contact Apple Support. You may also be having a hardware problem. You may want to make a Genius Bar reservation.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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1 thought on “iPhone or iPad: No SIM Card Installed, Fix”

  1. My Ipad Pro (12.9) will not recognize Straight Talk Sim Card. I have an auto renewal plan for data and I have paid for my third month and can not seem to get my device to recognize sim. This is my 3rd sim card. Straight talk told me last month I had the wrong sim. I bought new one I last used ATT data in June . I would surely appreciate some guidance. Thank you.


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