Invalid SIM iPhone? Here is How to Fix the Issue

It’s really frustrating to see a message, Invalid SIM or No SIM on iPhone. Just because of it, you can’t use your iPhone to send regular text messages, to make phone calls, to use cellular data. Before you panic and rush to your carrier store or Apple store, there are some solutions to fix the issue on the iPhone. Let us dig in for a closer inspection and address this problem.

How to Fix Invalid SIM Error on iPhone

Ensure you Have an Active Plan

Call your carrier support, use their app, or the special short number codes (like *123#), and check if you have an active plan or not. Some carriers may also show your plan inside the Settings app → CellularCellular Plans.

If you have not used your SIM card for months or have a long outstanding bill, the carrier company may have temporarily (or even permanently) closed your number. If this is the case, you will have to contact them and address them.

Turn Airplane Mode On/Off

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the Airplane Mode toggle to turn it on.Turn ON Airplane Mode on iPhone
  3. After 30 seconds, tap it again to switch it off

Restart your iPhone

To restart your iPhone, you can use the buttons as you usually do. You may also open the Settings app, tap General, and tap Shut Down. After a minute, switch on your iPhone. If you still get SIM related errors, keep reading.

Shutdown iPhone

Update your iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.Open Settings Tap on General and Then Tap on Software Update
  4. If you have a pending iOS update, tap Download and Install.

Check For A Carrier Settings Update

Carriers bring out updates too. Learn more about what it is and how to check for a carrier settings update.

Is there a PIN on your SIM

I use a PIN on my SIM card. After every iPhone restart, in addition to the device passcode, I have to enter my four-digit SIM card PIN. Else, it will show Locked SIM and remain unusable.

Now, this is different from the Invalid SIM or No SIM issue. But if you or a kid (who knows the iPhone password) has accidentally filled the wrong SIM card code three times, then the SIM is locked.

You will have to contact your carrier via call or chat and ask for a Personal Unlocking Key (PUK code). After that, follow your carrier’s steps to enter the PUK code on the iPhone to unlock your SIM card and use it.

Eject and Reinsert Your SIM Card

  1. Switch off your device. Now, grab the ejector pin provided with your iPhone or any similar pin
  2. Use it to remove your SIM card. On iPhone 4 and above, the SIM tray is on the right side. On the original iPhone up to iPhone 3GS, it is on top
  3. You may use a very soft cloth to lightly and very carefully clean your SIM card
  4. Insert it back in the iPhone and switch on your iPhone

Hopefully, this will fix the issue. If not, keep the iPhone ON, and remove the SIM card again and reinsert it. You may gently try this a few times.

Try a Different SIM Card

You can use this SIM card on a different iPhone or Android phone and see if it works or not. Or you may use a different SIM card and insert it in your iPhone. If the present SIM works on a different phone, that means you have issues with the SIM tray on your iPhone or some network settings issue (see next solution).

If the current SIM does not work in any phone, then that obviously means the SIM is at fault. Many carriers offer SIM replacement for free or charge a nominal amount. Visit your carrier store or an authorized reseller with the necessary verification documents and get a new card. It will have the same number. Plus, your existing plan, balance, talk-time, etc. will be carried over to the new SIM card.

Reset Network Settings

Resetting the network settings removes all remembered Wi-Fi, VPN configurations, Bluetooth devices, etc. This, however, will not delete any data on the iPhone like photos, music, apps, etc. Still, it is recommended that you backup your iPhone and then proceed to reset it.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap on Reset.Open Settings Tap on General and Then Tap on Reset on iPhone
  4. Now, Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. Input your iPhone password and confirm by tapping Reset Network Settings.Reset Network Settings on iPhone

After the process completes, you will most likely have no SIM error on your iPhone. If still there are, that strongly suggests that the issue is on the physical side, that is, the SIM card itself. The next logical step would be to download your carrier’s mobile app using Wi-Fi and contact them. You may also call or pay an in-store visit.

#10. Restore your iPhone to Factory Settings

It will erase everything from your iPhone. Please follow this guide to reset and then restore your device.

At Last, Contact Apple Support

Finally, if nothing helped, it is time to contact Apple Support. Make sure you create a backup of your device on your computer or iCloud, before visiting an Apple Store.

Summing Up…

We actively look for all kinds of solutions that work for people across the globe. The Invalid SIM or No SIM problem is like all software issues: you don’t always know where the problem is, but there is a workaround. If you faced and then solved this issue, let us know which solution worked for you.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.