iPhone 4 “No SIM Card Installed” Error

Some iPhone 4 users have reported an issue in which the phone suddenly displays a “No SIM Card Installed” error, either while attempting to make phone calls or during routine usage.

Apple Discussions poster macoverclock writes:

“Keep getting the “no sim card installed” error. phone works for a bit then go to check my email and the error has come up. shut the phone off and turn back on and the sim card is found then a half of an hour later the same error comes up again. this has happened 5 times in the last 5 hours.”


The most reliable fix for this issue is to simply remove your SIM card, clean it lightly using a dry cloth, ensure that there is no debris in the SIM slot, then reinsert the card, ensuring a snug fit. Instructions for doing so can be found in this Apple Knowledge Base article.

Other users have reported that briefly turning on Airplane mode (in Settings) then turning it back off can resolve the problem.

Feedback? info@appletoolbox.com.


  1. Ryan says

    Try just restoring the phone completely through itunes. You lose your data for like an hour but after i did that and then manually restarted it… mine worked fine.

  2. Osman says

    You restore by plugging your iphone into the computer and then hitting the restore button. But be careful, if your iphone is unlocked and jailbroken you will lost both unlock and jailbreak unless you take it to a professional person to do it the safe way for you.

    • says

      dear support
      why is this problem common
      and the dam apple dont put a solution for it ?

      After updating my iTunes to iTunes 10,.6 I downloaded the iOS 5.1 software and installed it on my iPhone 3Gs. After restarting, my iPhone 3Gs no longer had a signal so my iPhone could not be activated. It said “No Service” where the signal bar’s supposed to be and my iTunes said my iPhone had “no simcard” even if there was. I tried using my simcard on another phone and it had a signal. Then I tried using another working simcard on my iPhone 3Gs and it didn’t have a signal. So I conclude that the problem is in my iPhone 3Gs, not in the simcard, and it happened sometime after the installation of iOS 5..1 update

      please advice back with solution asap

      error message

      iPhone SIM card not supported error

      imei 01 202 500 393397 7
      iccid 8920 0180 0 11 1 9466 000

      please advice exactly what to do
      best rgds

  3. says

    I am a business owner, Apple stock older. I have my corporate office equipped with Mac computers, IPads, Mac servers. This sim card issue with my new iPhone 4 is costing me business.

    I will go back to Motorola this Monday if I do not receive some help this weekend.

    President, Azimuth, Incorporated

  4. Tracey says

    Tape on the back side of the sim is the only thing that worked for me. AT$T replaced my sim for free, seemed to work for a day but then it resumed the no sim or invalid sim. Changing to airplane mode worked for like a minute or two. I used thicker tape than scotch like blue painters tape. No problems yet 3 days out.

  5. Joe says

    Here is the solution. Simply cut a piece of masking tape the same size as the SIM cards. Apply the tape on the back side of the SIM card, so that when inserted into the slot, it makes it more snug in the slot.

    • Tad Kent says

      Hey, so what do you guys consider the backside? Is it the side with the At&T emblem, or the side with the metal panel?

      • Joakim Celius says

        You got to be kidding!
        If you mask the connector side or as you describe it, “the metal side” then your phone won´t be able to connect to the simcard at all.

  6. Darcie says

    yup, the simple cleaning fix worked for me…you know, after I cussed out just about everything around me for a few hours :) Thanks for your help!!

  7. Dana Montenegro says

    This is beyond rediculous. This phone is 2 (TWO!!!) weeks old. I refuse to use a piece of tape to fix this issue. Tricking it into working, wiping off the sim card, etc. is CrAzY considering how much this phone costs. Also, I never had this issue with the G3 so why now? How long do you think the “fix” will last if ALL you did was wipe off a two week old sim card? I tried airplane mode and that did not work.

  8. Ben says

    I tried cleaning but did not work. Tried airplane mode and it worked for only a few minutes. Then I tried the blue painters tape cut out – and it seems to be working. Hopefully that is all that is needed.


  9. bourneblogger says

    It seems to be related to over-heating… I tried everything like airport mode (which worked only the first 3 times this happened over the span of 2 weeks) and it failed… I tried resetting the network settings and it failed… I tried power off/power on and that didn’t work… But when I turned the phone completely off by holding the HOME + OFF button (on top) for 5 seconds and slid slider bar to turn phone off, left off for 30 minutes to cool down, turned back on by holding HOME and ON key (same as OFF key) for 5 seconds, went through the Apple load up screen and VOILA… It worked…

    I didn’t even need any Scotch tape!

  10. Bodders1981 says

    Switching the airplane mode on and off worked, will remember that one! Note: it took three times switching it back and forth to airplane mode for it to work

  11. Phil says

    I have this problem on the iPhone 4, it started 2weeks ago, I’d switch the phone off and back on which sorted out the problem, and then last night it did it and did the usual on/off to no avail. Did the airplane mode on/off several times, phone reset, tape on the back of the SIM, cleaned the sim all to no avail and then randomly this morning it started working, no idea how long it’ll last but here’s hoping. The thought of waiting for someone in the apple store or 02 shop doesn’t thrill me. I used to get it with the iPhone 3Gs too but turning the phone off and back on always worked.

  12. Olan says

    I had the same problem. I went to an At&t store, they provided me with another sim card, and since then, it hasn’t shown the message again.

  13. Shokre says

    Having the same problem. cleaned it, taped in all the right places, turned off-on, airplane mode… nothing seems to be helping, and I’m nowhere near my service provider to change the SIM card as I’m out of the country for 3 months. nice…

  14. says

    My 3gphone says no “SimCard”. I have tried the airplane mode, taking the sim card in and out and also have tried tape on the back. Nothing seems to work I am not close to an ATT store. Where else can I get a Sim Card? This is most upsetting. Thanks!

  15. christysfo says

    hi guys,

    my iphone4 is dead also for nearly 2 hours, with the same problem you all mentioned “no sim installed”. I tried to put tapes on the back side of sim/tape on front side partially/airplane mode on & off…none of them worked untill i talked to my best friend of this matter. He simply asked me to find an eraser and clean the sim card(metal part)… i did what i was told and as soon as i inserted it back to the phone, signal started to show “searching” and AT&T is back. I know exactly how you might feel when this kind of things happen, so just want to give a little bit help and hope it will work for you as well. Cheers.

  16. ROME says

    This is how I FUNCTION:
    -take sim card out & clean it
    -put it back in tray
    -tap it back in with your finger with a little force
    Slide it hard!! Kaboom…bling bling! Ya heard!

  17. Charles H says

    “No SIM Card Installed” — what a pain in the butt! Airplane mode worked a few times, but not any more. I removed the SIM card — it was pretty clean, but I wiped it off again anyway and put it back. Nothing.

    I echo the sentiments of everyone on this board who believes we should expect more from this product given the cost. I had an HTC Hero for 2 years with no system issues. I’m going to waste my evening tonight on a trip out to the AT&T store so that I can use my phone again. Thanks, Apple.

  18. Abby says

    I tried turning my phone on and off. Then I tried switching the airplane mode on and off. I would have tried to clean the SIM but I couldn’t figure out how to get it out! I reset all settings and that did the trick for me!

  19. says

    Get rid of the sim tray… Seeing as how it’s what’s causing the short, you can try to tape it, but that didn’t work for me. So… I got rid of the whole tray!! Opened up my phone removed the motherboard and inserted sim card… Put it all back together and VOILA!! Hope this helps people… If you aren’t tech savvy enough to do it on your own, find someone who is!!

  20. says

    The teensy SIM card is accessed on the side. I quit getting that message after removing and then replacing it. Others here recommended doing that if slamming the phone failed to improve things.

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