Useful Tips

What to do if the Android device does not see the SIM card: causes and methods of solving the problem


The SIM card is a small chip soldered to a small cardboard plate of a certain shape. It would seem that the production technology is quite simple, but there is a marriage here too, because of which a smartphone or tablet cannot recognize a SIM card. A malfunction of the slot in the mobile device may also play. Let's see why it so happens that Android does not see a SIM card, and what to do in this case?

Damage to the SIM card slot

The slot on the mobile device may be defective.. Try to insert another SIM card. If no cards are readable, then the problem is in the slot. Perhaps there was some random error in the software component of Android, try restarting it, or better yet, reflash it. If this does not help, then the problem is in the mechanics. You will have to carry the device to a repair service, unless you yourself are a specialist.

The device is locked to a specific operator

The telecom operators come across such advantageous offers: smartphones or tablets are sold at a huge discount and various bonuses, but with the condition that you can use only SIM cards of this operator on it. Such a system is very popular in America with the iPhone. But with Android smartphones, especially flagship ones, this happens. This is really a very good deal, both for the buyer and for the seller. However, if you decide to change the operator, the alien SIM card simply cannot be read.

What to do with it? You can try to unlock the binding to the provider. The procedure itself is very different for each manufacturer and specific model. Look for instructions on the Internet, try contacting the basement services, or return to the original operator.

SIM card defective

If all SIM cards work on the device, except for one, then, apparently, the malfunction lies in it itself. Inspect it for external damage. Pay attention to the contacts of the chip. Wipe with alcohol: they may be dirty or rusty. And if there is condensation, wipe the contacts with a dry cloth, preferably without lint.

And also check the shape of the SIM card. And yes, that is important. There are three standards: Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM. MicroSim is the very standard that Apple introduced in its iPhone and iPad, which caused some public perplexity and doubt. Indeed, why trim the edges of a SIM card if this does not give any advantages, but it creates problems: you can’t insert the cropped SIM card into the old device, and you won’t rearrange the old SIM card to the new one.

But, as history has shown, the idea was a breakthrough. Why waste useful space on a piece of paper if you can leave only one chip? Therefore, after Micro Sim, the Nano format appeared, in which a small piece of cardboard frames the board.

Check which SIM card format your device supports. This should be written in the documentation, on the manufacturer's website and in the specification on the pages of online stores. And compare with your SIM card.

By the way, if your Nano or Micor SIM-card was not originally such, but only during the course of your life underwent a severe procedure, check whether it was cut off correctly. Perhaps she has uneven edges, which can prevent her from correctly standing in the device, or her edges are not in the right place. Maybe the sizes do not fit the standards. Best of all, take a ruler and measure each side.

  • Dimensions of Micro Sim: 15x12x0.76 (in millimeters),
  • Dimensions Nano Sim: 12.3 × 8.8 × 0.67 (in millimeters).

Do not pay attention to the thickness. The Nano Sim standard is indeed thinner than its predecessors, but this is such a meager difference that it can not affect the perception of SIM cards.

SIM is locked

Telecommunications operators tend to block SIM cards that do not bring them income. If you haven’t replenished the SIM card account a long time ago, and then suddenly decided to remove it from the frame and use it, be prepared that now it’s just a piece of cardboard. And also, perhaps, the balance is "too negative." If the account went into negative by several thousand, this is a good reason to block the number. What’s good - unlocking SIM cards is easy: call the operator, he will explain to you what to do.

SIM card is no longer detected after firmware

The problem is not that frequent, but it occurs. Usually due to the fact that the new version of the system was installed with errors. Try flashing the device. Refer to the flashing instructions: you may have violated some important point. Try connecting the device to a different USB port.

If flashing does not help, reset the smartphone to the factory settings and check the SIM card. If it still doesn’t work, it’s possible that the SIM card’s failure just coincided with the firmware. Sometimes it happens.

What to do if microSD is not detected

Of course, microSD is a completely different technology. However, on many models, the slots of SIM cards and memory cards are adjacent. And on those smartphones that support two SIM cards at all - the same slot is used either for microSD or for Nano SIM. Therefore, all of these tips are quite suitable for solving the problems of a removable memory card. Usually the problem lies precisely in the malfunction of the card or the slot for it, so only a service center or a new card will help.

Why the device does not see contacts from the SIM card

Most often, this problem does not arise due to physical damage or software bugs, but because the contacts were simply deleted from the SIM card. Or may have been transferred to the phone’s memory. If you used to use the SIM card on another device, see if all the numbers were saved there?

Just in case, try restarting Android, pulling out and inserting a SIM card (wipe it with alcohol). There are errors, but rebooting fixes them.

Perhaps the SIM card is malfunctioning and cannot remember contacts. To check this, write down some number in the address book and save it to SIM card. Then pull it out and reinsert it. If the contact is deleted, change the SIM card.

How to insert a SIM card in the slot

Most modern devices do not have a removable case, so you can insert a SIM card without opening the cover. Commonly used drawer technology. To pull it out, you need to either pick it up with your fingernail (if there is a special recess) or stick a paper clip (sometimes a special tool comes with the phone) in the hole next to the slot. When you pull out the slot, you will see that it has prepared a place for a SIM card of a certain format. Place it there and insert the tray back into place.

If the cover of the device is removed, then inserting a SIM card is a little more difficult: sometimes it is not clear which side and which end it needs to be pulled into the slot. But there is always a drawing near which indicates what position the SIM card should be in. Guided by this image, insert the SIM card into the slot. Be sure to use the correct SIM format (Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM).

Many manufacturers give users a hint on how to insert a SIM card.

What to do if the card is stuck in the device

It just so happens that the SIM card is stuck in the phone or tablet. Most importantly, do not try to pull it out of there by force: just break both the SIM card and the connector.

SIM card stuck in slot

Think first, why is she stuck? What exactly prevents her from going out. Look on the Internet for the structure of the SIM slot for your device model. Perhaps there is some kind of latch that needs to be opened in a certain way. When you understand what prevents Simka from getting out, then you will understand how to get it. In no case do not poke the card with a knife! Use thin tweezers, a paper clip, a non-sharp wand. If the SIM card partially went beyond the smartphone, but there’s nothing to grab it for, try sticking an adhesive tape or adhesive tape to it and pulling it out. In general: act on the situation.

Video: how to save a stuck sim card

So, we examined all the known reasons for the inoperability of SIM-cards. Most often, the malfunction is associated with mechanical damage to the SIM card itself or the slot under it in a mobile device. It is also worth checking whether the SIM card is locked by your service provider and whether the device is locked to a single provider. If the SIM card stopped working after the firmware, then most likely there were errors during the installation process, and you need to flash and configure the device again.


If the card has not been used for a long period of time, the mobile operator blocks it, and the number of this SIM is released and can again be used by another person. Also, a lock can be made if the card account has gone far into minus or has not been replenished for a long time. To find out if your SIM card is locked, call your mobile operator (from another phone, of course) or visit his office.

Turn a regular card into microSIM

Those who used still old devices with regular SIM, and then switched to a new device with micro-SIM, most likely cut off their card so as not to change it again. After all, it takes some time, and not all operators offer to replace SIM, preferring an easier way - circumcision. But if the card has been in use for quite some time, then it can soften, and the process of turning it into a SIM will not go as smoothly as we would like.

When replacing the device with a newer one, ask your operator to replace the SIM card as well.

SIM pollution

Dust and dirt can penetrate the most unexpected places, including your phone. So the SIM card can easily get dirty. Also, if for some time it was lying somewhere on a shelf without any vacuum packaging, dust could easily settle on it. In such cases, it is recommended to lightly rub the SIM card with an ordinary eraser.

Attention! Do not push hard on the card. For such purposes, it is better to use a soft white eraser.

Contact damage

Very often this happens if you carefully remove the card from the slot. In such cases, you will have to use another SIM or ask the operator to re-make the same card. The latter service is most often provided at the head office in large cities (where it is possible to “print” the SIM) after the owner has presented a passport, a broken card and written the corresponding application.

Android device issues

CauseMethod of elimination
The phone is flashed under a SIM card of a specific manufacturerIf you bought the device cheaply abroad, then it is most likely flashed under the local operator (due to which stores put up such a favorable price). In such cases, “unlocking” is practiced in workshops, but the outcome of such an operation may not always be successful. In Russia, operators rarely resort to such tricks. But if you buy a phone or tablet in the mobile phone stores of a certain operator or its brand, then you should ask if the device can work with another SIM.
Damaged slotThe reasons:

  • frequent change of SIM card
  • deformation of the SIM card tray (may lead to kink and deformation of parts inside the SIM holder),
  • carelessly inserted SIM card,
  • skewed tray inside the phone,
  • tray lock in the machine,
  • skewed SIM cards in the tray.

It’s highly discouraged to repair such a breakdown yourself, because such an important element as the processor is often located next to the slot. If you accidentally touch it, the phone’s performance may be impaired, and it will be extremely difficult to restore it.

Operating system or software malfunctioning

This can happen if you tried to flash the phone yourself, reinstall the system, or installed an application or update on one side. In such cases, you need to remove the application due to which this happened. Upgrade to factory settings if it was an update of an old program. In case of unsuccessful firmware, you must try to repeat the procedure again. If the SIM card still doesn’t work, don’t break the device, refer it to a professional.

How to insert SIM correctly

  1. Turn off your tablet.
  2. Lay the device face down on a smooth, clean surface. In order not to scratch the display, use something as a substrate (with the same cover, for example).
  3. On the side or bottom of the tablet, there are usually two slots: one for the memory card, the other for the SIM. To determine which one suits you, the instructions for the device will help; if it is not at hand, use the Internet.

Depending on the tablet model, the holder may simply be without a shutter (as on the iPad) or, conversely, a shutter without a shutter. In the first case, simply slide the holder out (with your hands or a key), and in the second, slide the flap to the side and insert the SIM card into the free space.

Tip: if you are unsure of your abilities - ask the seller in the store to help and show you how to do this on your specific tablet model.

In smartphone

If your smartphone has a SIM card slot on the side, like a tablet, read the instructions above. And those who did not find the slot on the side of their device can use the following tips:

  1. Remove the back cover from your device (usually a small recess is provided for which you can hook the cover).
  2. If you do not see any slots, then it is under the battery. It will also have to be removed, for this there is a recess from one edge that allows you to pick up the battery.
  3. Now you should definitely see one or more slots. Now you need to remember about the configuration of your device: is there a slot for a memory card and how many SIM cards are provided. Determine which of the slots is suitable for SIM (the best assistant in this is still the instruction).

What to do if the SIM card is stuck?

First, try to pick up the card with ordinary tweezers. With a needle or paper clip, lightly press on the end of the card until it clicks to open the latch, and release. If the card did not come out by itself, under the action of a spring, then slightly move the card with a needle in a horizontal plane towards the exit of the slot (it could rest against the inside of the slot design). If this does not help, then disassemble the phone and push the card out from the inside. This method is relevant for phones in which the card was inserted on the side and after inserting the slot into place remained inside the phone.

Attention! During the procedures for removing the SIM, do not damage the contacts of the card itself, as well as the phone, be careful.

What to do if the phone does not see contacts with SIM cards

If your device sees the SIM card, accepts calls calmly, but does not display the list of contacts from the newly installed card, check the phone settings. Open “Phone” or “Contacts”, find the item “Settings”. Here, select "Contact Filter."

Next, make sure that the "Show contacts on SIM card" function is active or enable it.

As you have already seen, there are a lot of reasons why a smartphone or tablet does not see a SIM card. If you could not solve the problem yourself at home, or you are unsure of your abilities - contact the professionals.

Remember that inept application of the knowledge obtained in the article can lead to damage to the device.

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