The phone does not see the SIM card: causes of malfunction and solutions

Mobile phones in recent years have undergone a number of upgrades and improvements, moved from the category of standard communication devices to the multifunctional devices category, which allow to perform many tasks and carry out a decent range of options. Despite this, the main task of the gadget is still considered the ability to make and receive calls, which is ensured by operating the services of a mobile operator selected by the user, at the expense of the SIM card. Sometimes there is a situation when the user has to face the problem that the acquired or long-standing smartphone does not see the SIM card. This fact limits the ability to use the device for its intended purpose, and not only. Consider what to do in such situations, how to solve a problem and return the gadget to its performance in terms of communication, building on potential causes that could provoke malfunctions in the category under discussion.

How to fix the problem with the work of the SIM card on the phone.

SIM card issue

There are many factors in order for the phone to cease to identify the card, however, it’s worth starting to look for the source of the problem precisely in the SIM card malfunction, without inculcating into the hardware and system nuances of the device operation. The SIM-card, although small, is equipped with contacts that allow you to synchronize the work of a smartphone for a specific mobile carrier. The reasons why the smartphone does not see the SIM card may be as follows:

  1. Defects on the map of a mechanical nature. The card can be damaged during operation, for example, when it is frequently removed from the slot, often with periodic use on different devices, when carried in a bag or purse, due to mashing of the working surface, and accordingly, the integrity of contacts.
  2. The card has expired. The likelihood of such a development is high in cases where the subscriber uses the services of one operator for five years or more, while Simka has not been subjected to mechanical manipulations, is used exclusively on one phone, which eliminates the previous situation.
  3. Unsuccessful adjustment of the card size for a new format, corresponding to the slot of the upgraded sample. The “old” format phones are mostly modified with standard-sized slots, however, with the expansion of the multi-functionality of gadgets, the sizes of the card slots are smaller. A frequent reason why the smartphone does not identify the card is its banal self-cropping or reworking in micro SIM, performed poorly.

If such precedents take place, the right solution to the problem will be a simple trip to the specialized center of the carrier with which the subscriber works, with subsequent replacement of a damaged, outdated or incorrectly cropped card. Most service representatives allow you to carry out the procedure with the possibility of saving the number, however, on a paid basis. Another reason why the phone does not see the card may be the inactive state of the SIM card: some mobile operators determine the possibility of receiving services by the subscriber only after the financial transaction, consisting in the replenishment of the account. This problem is solved by replenishing the balance by an amount sufficient to activate the services, depending on the tariff plan chosen by the subscriber.

Dirt in the nest or on the SIM chip

A special place in solving the problem, when the phone does not see the SIM card, not on a permanent basis, but periodically, should be given to the option of clogging the device slot or card chip. The case of the gadget is not hermetic; during operation, small dust particles are deposited on its contacts, get into the connectors, clogging them up. Sometimes the mote is even “invisible” to a person, however, they fundamentally affect the ability to synchronize contacts. Such a precedent, if the phone stopped seeing the SIM card unexpectedly, after long-term use of the phone or the card itself, the described scenario is automatically included in the category of potential provocateurs of the problem. In order to check, and in parallel, and solve this problem, you need to try to clean the phone slot for the card and the SIM card chip using an eraser or another improvised, suitable object.

Hardware issues

The reasons why the phone does not see the SIM card being used by the user may not only be a problem with the card, but also result from a hardware problem. If the above-described manipulations did not produce the desired result, the smartphone no longer responds to the SIM card installed in the connector, you should look for the problem "inside" the phone. Consider what to do if the phone does not see the SIM card, alternately checking potential problems. To begin with, it is worthwhile to exclude the option with binding the mobile device to the operator. Such precedents are not rare when buying a gadget in the secondary market, or if it is purchased at a “waste” price at a certified center from a particular mobile operator. If the phone is tied to a specific operator, then its synchronization with the cards of other providers will be impossible. The problem can be solved by contacting the technical service center, or by means of illegal firmware of the device, however, if the phone is new, the user must be prepared that after the last manipulation the warranty on the device will be lost.

One of the most frequent reasons why a gadget does not see a working SIM card, is mechanical damage to the slot, which occurred during the process of inaccurate installation or frequent replacement of the card, after the phone was dropped or its connectors were incorrectly cleaned. If the SIM-card slot was damaged during the operation of the smartphone, it will require quite complex repair work. Sometimes the issue is solved by soldering contacts, however, in difficult cases when the SIM card holder is faulty, it may be necessary to replace it with a new part, which is better to be entrusted to specialists.

Another reason why Android does not see the SIM card is the wrong gadget settings. To check this version of the problem, go to the settings, find the SIM Management module, check if the card is activated, if not, set the switch to the On position. In parallel, it is worth checking in which mode the device functions: when the flight mode is on, Android will not work exactly. To fix the problem, simply deactivate the offline mode, re-install the SIM card into the connector, and check its activity. Sometimes, in order to activate the card on a new phone, you will need to apply the method of test sending SMS from a non-working SIM, followed by a request on the screen for permission to turn on the card, confirming that the user will start its work.

Often, the performed manipulations allow to solve the issue with a disabled SIM card. When deciding what to do to get the machine back to work, it is worth analyzing the likely errors that could have served as an incentive for problems. If the phone is new, just purchased, then, most likely, the reason for the settings or binding to the operator, otherwise you will have to work on repairing the damage, with the prior exception of the settings failure.

The problem with the second SIM card

On dvuhsimochnyh phones, cases are not uncommon when, during the initial installation of the second SIM, the phone does not “perceive” it. Such precedents are often explained by the disconnected mode of synchronous operation of two cards, which is solved by the elementary entry to the phone menu item "Manage SIM-cards", where you need to enable an inactive module.

The consequences of incorrect firmware

Frequently there are situations when the phone does not “see” the card after its firmware, moreover, both against the background of interference with the integrity of the phone's OS by specialists with a “dubious” reputation, and when the user performs the operation himself. The problem is solved by repeated, self-firmware of the gadget, with a focus on the correct implementation of the process, with the elimination of errors, or if the SIM card was not determined by the smartphone after the procedure, by contacting a specialized service center, where literate and trained people eliminate malfunction on a professional level.

Accidentally or intentionally removed IMEI

The individual IMEI number is an identifier inherent in each smartphone, and without it, the correct operation of the gadget is impossible a priori. This number is embedded in the system by the developers, formally considered to be protected by the factory code, however, there are situations when due to incorrect user actions, unauthorized firmware of the device, or improper restoration of the system to factory characteristics, the identifier is deleted. Against the background of such a precedent, not only verification of the SIM card is impossible, but also the functioning of most of the basic phone options. To check whether the smartphone doesn’t see the SIM card against the absence of a serial number, it’s enough to enter the request * 06 # on the keyboard, press the call button and evaluate the result:

  1. If the code appears on the smartphone screen, it means that the cause of the fault is not related to the serial number.
  2. In the absence of the code, you will need to contact the service center, as the self-repair of IMEI, although feasible at home, is accompanied by some software nuances that are not always within the power of the standard user of the gadget.

Total malfunctions of the phone operating system

Malfunctions in the operation of the smartphone's operating system, which is often accompanied by systematic braking of the device, lags, lengthening the system response to requests - this is the reason why the phone periodically loses touch. Such precedents are possible with the preliminary incorrect operation of the gadget, with many loaded applications running in the background of software components. The problem is solved simply - an elementary return of the smartphone OS to its “native” or “factory” state. Before the procedure, it is necessary to save all important data, such as contacts, up-to-date photos and videos, as well as documents, to third-party storage media, since during the operation all the “acquired” contents of the phone will be irrevocably deleted.

To perform the task, go to the “Settings” of the phone, where through the section “Restore and reset” go to the item “Reset settings” and confirm the directive by choosing the command “Reset settings”. After completion of the procedure, which may take several minutes, the phone will reboot, the state of the operating system will be returned to the original parameters set by the developers, and accordingly, the device’s performance will be restored. Be prepared for certain time costs after the procedure: you will need to customize the phone to fit your needs, download and install the necessary security and custom utilities.


The article describes the common causes of problems with the operation of a SIM card on a smartphone and methods for solving them. Most of the methods are focused on self-remediation of the problem by the owner of the gadget, without the need to consult specialists. If the user cannot solve the problem by simple manipulations, as in situations with complex hardware failures, incorrect firmware of the gadget, or if the smartphone malfunctions after impact or fall, you should not waste time and money, and to get a guaranteed effective result, ask for help to specialists.