iPhone does not see the SIM card: causes of the problem, troubleshooting methodology

Smartphones under the Apple brand are currently the most reliable, purchased and desired gadgets in the community. Devices with the introduced, improved progressive technologies, capabilities, cope at the highest level with multitasking, multifunctionality and meet the requirements of the person to the maximum. Despite such high criteria for evaluating Apple products, iPhone owners often have to deal with the problem of the device losing the network due to the fact that the phone does not identify the SIM card. It would seem that this precedent fades against the background of the advantages of the smartphone, however, such a malfunction makes it impossible to remain the owner of the gadget in the network, which is the direct purpose of mobile phones. In this article, we will look at why such precedents take place in practice, what is the cause of such faults, and how an ordinary user to deal with problems in this category.

Troubleshooting: iPhone does not see the SIM card.

Common problems with SIM cards

The problem is, when a new or long-used iPhone doesn’t see a SIM card, it really is global, since the user not only remains without a connection, he is automatically deprived of access to the Internet, which limits the operational properties of the gadget. There are more than a lot of drawbacks from the lack of connection with a mobile service provider: a smart smartphone without a network turns into a brick, with the best hands, a Tetris-type toy, which makes it obligatory for the user to search for the causes of the problem, depending on which the “ treatment »iphone. Often, users diagnose a problem according to the following "symptoms" of a failure:

  1. The smartphone periodically loses the network.
  2. The iPhone on a regular basis does not see the SIM card.
  3. The phone does not respond to the SIM card when you try to activate it for the first time.
  4. The device writes "No network" with a preliminary absence of problems of this kind.
  5. Crash was preceded by a drop in phone or damage, there was a chance of moisture getting into the device.

Any of these precedents causes the owner to panic, since failures of such an expensive device in financial terms often portend significant wastage, sometimes it is simply impossible to solve a malfunction, which implies going to a service center for help from specialists.

Causes provoking failure

Before addressing the issue of a malfunction, it is important to understand the reasons why the device does not see the SIM card inserted in the slot, which will allow us to pretend a rough recovery procedure. One of the most popular reasons why the iPhone does not see the SIM card is the banal malfunction of the card itself. This happens in several cases:

  1. When the card came into disrepair due to “incorrect” operation, with frequent changes in its location, due to rubbing up the tracks on it when reinstalling from one device to another, or when regularly wearing a sim card in a purse, bag or pocket. In such a situation, there is no difference whether you have an iPhone 5, an iPhone SE transitional model or a new iPhone XR, SIM card identification will be impossible, you will need to contact the service center of the service provider and purchase a new card, if you wish, saving the number.
  2. If the SIM card is old, it has been in use for ten years or more, sometimes the phone does not see the SIM card precisely because of its obsolescence at the technical level. The solution will be the same: it will be necessary to replace the sim card with a new device.
  3. The discrepancy between the card format of the model of the used gadget or its independent “fit” to the required parameters by trimming, even if the work is done qualitatively, may be the reason why the device does not see the installed SIM card. The standard card format is used only in the iPhone up to the fourth series, inclusive, models starting with 4S accept micro SIM cards, while iPhone 5 and higher require SIM NANO format. Specialists recommend purchasing a card of a corresponding sample when buying a smartphone, for example, buying an iPhone 6, the owner of the gadget immediately, in order to avoid problems with the identification of the SIM card, is to replace the SIM card of the standard NANO format with a model.

Problems, when the iPhone does not see SIM cards because of its unsuitability, are often solved elementarily, do not require capital investment of money, precedents are considered more serious if the cause of the malfunction has a hardware or system etymology.

The reason for the precedent, when the device does not see the SIM-card when trying to activate it, is often the so-called “locked SIM”, which is interpreted in simple terms as the phone operator’s connection to the mobile provider. Especially often such precedents occur when buying smartphones from the brand category: for example, the cool iPhone 6S, which is very popular with domestic consumers, purchased not at a certified point of sale, with a high degree of probability can be a device tied to a foreign provider. This problem provides only two solutions: the use of a phone with a card of a supported telecom operator, or software untie the device from a particular provider, which is difficult to carry out the procedure, but possible both on official grounds, albeit expensively, and through illegal manipulations.

If the iPhone has stopped seeing the SIM card after it interferes with the work of the gadget, attempts to update it or after the firmware, there is a high probability that system or software errors will appear that will have to be solved exclusively with the help of professionals. As a rule, the “glitch of firmware” of the device is one of the frequent precedents, against the background of the incorrect implementation of which the iPhone does not see a working SIM card. A card reader or antenna, or rather, a malfunction of one or the other, is another popular reason that acts as a provocateur of the problem when an expensive and presentable smartphone does not see any SIM card inserted into the connector. The problem is often the inscription "no SIM-card", and is triggered by a banal incorrectly removing the SIM card from the nest with improvised items, as a result of which the integrity of the connectors is interrupted, which implies the replacement of defective contact components.

In a situation where the phone “does not see the SIM card”, and precedent was preceded by drops and impacts, or there are operational situations when moisture could get into the device, the probability of internal damage to the gadget is high. With such a development, there is no difference, it does not see the iPhone 7's SIM card, or the earlier iPhone 5C model: the result of mechanical damage to a smartphone may have a different nature of damage and the principle of restoration. You can try to restore the functionality of the gadget simply by rebooting the device, by simply reinstalling the SIM card, with a simple “shift” in the slot, however, if there is no effect, you should contact a qualified specialist to accurately diagnose the problem localization and eliminate it at a professional level.

As you can see, the reasons, the reasons why an expensive and multifunctional gadget does not see the large-scale quantity of the SIM card being used. Some of them are solved elementarily, while others require serious diagnostics with subsequent elimination of the malfunction at a professional level. Consider further what the gadget owner can do on his own to fix the problem.

How to carry out the recovery of the gadget independently

The solution to the problem of what to do when the iPhone does not see the SIM card installed in the slot varies from the complexity of the problem and its provocateurs. Naturally, serious problems after the fall of a smartphone or water ingress into it are almost impossible to solve on their own, so experts recommend contacting the service center in such cases to effectively solve the problem. When buying a new smartphone, experts strongly recommend checking the device immediately in the store, and ask the seller to install into the iPhone the card with which the device is intended to be used. Such a precaution will avoid problems with the purchase of a gadget programmed under a particular provider. If the problem manifested itself during the operation of the smartphone, and no critical actions that could lead to the gadget breakdown preceded its occurrence, try to correct the situation by the following simple manipulations:

  1. Reboot the device. A high proportion of the likelihood that the problem is of a spontaneous nature arose against the background of simultaneous launching of several incompatible operations or in the process of updating the programs installed on the device. If this is the case, the problem will disappear after the device is restarted.
  2. Make sure that the region where the gadget is located has coverage from the service provider.
  3. Visually inspect the phone, especially the card slot and the SIM card itself for damage. Reinstall the SIM card in the slot, check the tightness of the slot.

  4. Check the operation of the card on a different device, if the SIM card does not work on another device, most likely the problem lies in it, which is solved by an elementary call to the center of the service representative, with the need to replace the card.
  5. Make sure that airplane mode is turned off on your smartphone.
  6. Update your smartphone's OS to the latest version if the system allows you to perform a manipulation without a network.

If the above manipulations did not solve the problem, then most likely the precedent is more global in nature, which requires professional diagnostics of the phone in order to identify the cause of the problem.


The iPhone is a fairly expensive device, so its serious breakdowns are often associated with significant financial expenses for repairs, which causes panic in the owner. And indeed, it is possible to solve the failure of the conditioned category relatively free of charge only in a situation where the reason lies in the malfunction of the SIM card, the elimination of hardware or system problems often involves financial costs. Naturally, the process often provokes the user to rash actions, such as carrying out independent repair and repair work, with interference in the system of functioning of the device, which often ends in disastrous.

Specialists do not recommend self-treatment of the gadget, because, due to decent competition in the market for repairing mobile devices, the price of diagnostic and recovery operations varies within reasonable amounts, and properly performed troubleshooting will extend the operational period of your gadget.