Why Is My Phone Saying SIM Failure? – Solved!

Is your phone displaying “SIM Failure”? And you want the answer to “why is my phone saying SIM failure.” Don’t worry! We are here to help.

In this article, we will not just tell you why your phone is showing the SIM failure issue but will also guide you through how to fix the SIM card failure on your device. The suggestions provided here will work on Android as well as iPhone SIM failure. So, read it till the end. 

Why is my phone saying SIM failure?

SIM card failure may happen due to multiple reasons. It can be a manufacturing flaw, a result of physical damage to the card during handling, or contamination with foreign objects or dust. If the card is functioning properly, the error may be the result of a software bug or a settings issue in the phone. 

Here are more specified reasons for the SIM failure:

  • Your SIM card might not be placed appropriately.
  • Dirt or dust might have accumulated on the SIM surface or inside the SIM slot.
  • Your device’s software might be malfunctioning.
  • There might be some problems with the device’s settings.
  • Phone hardware or software is outdated.
  • Damage or worn-out issue with the SIM card.

SIM card failure

How do you fix “SIM failure” on your device? 

Restart Your Device

Restarting your smartphone is the first and most practical solution to the SIM failure problem. Sometimes, your phone needs a soft restart, which clears temporary data and ends running programs. Afterward, your phone can recognize your SIM when you turn it back on. 

Restarting a device may vary depending on the model, version, and brand. So, if you know how to restart your phone, you can do that independently, or we’ll suggest you refer to the user manual otherwise. 

Turn on Airplane Mode

Another thing you can try before restarting your device is to switch to Airplane mode. It can often easily fix difficulties with your SIM card failure

All you need to do is to momentarily turn on the Airplane mode on your device and then, after 20 to 25 seconds, turn it back off. This simple trick may solve your SIM card failure issue in an instant. However, even if it doesn’t, it will not also not alter your phone’s functionality. 

You can find the option to toggle on Airplane mode in your phone settings. 

Check Your SIM Card Tray

Your phone may have trouble reading the data if dirt accumulates on the SIM. Moreover, an error code may be generated if the SIM is not properly inserted or is loose. Therefore, having another look at your SIM card tray might be the right thing to do.

To do so, the SIM card tray hole may need to be pressed with the tip of a paperclip or a tiny metal SIM key tool. Further, you have to pull the tray out slowly, and using a few quick bursts of compressed air, you need to lightly blast out any dirt or dust from the slot. 

Re-insert the SIM tray once more after cleaning it with a towel. Ensure that the SIM tray is closed completely and that the SIM is inserted appropriately. 

Clear Cache

Try emptying the cache on your Android device. The error notification may automatically disappear from your phone. The reason is that cache data might make your phone act erratically and display SIM card failure. 

As of now, the option to delete your cache all at once is no longer available on modern Android devices. However, you can remove the cache for specific apps by individually selecting them. 

The instructions for this one are short. You only need to go to the phone settings and then move to the apps option. There, select the particular app, go to its storage, and then click on clear cache. 

Change Carrier Settings

Your device might not support the previous version if a new update is available from the service provider. Or probably, your carrier settings aren’t allowing your device to connect with the network. Either way, your SIM may show an error in activation. If this is the case with you, it can be fixed by updating your carrier settings. 

Here’s what you should do:

  • Open General settings. Go to the About section. If there’s any update option visible, click on that. Or else,
  • Under your phone settings, go for the “Connections” option. There, choose Mobile Networks and then reset the APN settings to default. It needs to be done differently if it is a SIM failure iPhone, which you can learn easily by simply doing a web search. 

Reset Network Settings

If resetting carrier settings doesn’t work for you, try changing your network settings, as it is one of the most practical fixes for numerous connection-related problems. 

Many times, a SIM failure alert may just occur due to a network connectivity issue. To make your phone recognise the SIM card again, you need to reset the network settings. However, remember that changing the network settings also changes the Wi-Fi settings. Keep your password close to you, so you can enter it when your phone restarts.

As you now know what you should be doing, here are the steps to implement it:

  1. Open your phone settings and then go to the system.
  2. Click on the reset option given, then reset Wi-Fi, mobile and Bluetooth
  3. Lastly, tap on reset settings. 

What to do if nothing works?

What if nothing works? This might be your question if you’ve tried everything else and nothing worked in your favor. 

Well, many would suggest you perform a factory reset, which is, by the way, the last resort, as it will delete all your saved data. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend a factory reset as it might also turn out to be a failed attempt to restore your SIM. If you want to give it a try, you should first visit a hardware specialist to get your phone checked. 

Messages about SIM errors may appear if your phone is old and if the hardware is deteriorating. You can do the factory reset after confirming that your phone’s hardware is in place and is working fine. 


We hope the article helped you in solving the “SIM card failure” issue. However, if it doesn’t, there might be something problematic with your SIM card. Your phone will display a SIM card error if you recently changed your SIM card or used a new one that wasn’t properly registered.

Moreover, SIM failure can also happen if the SIM card is damaged, worn out, or too old. If you notice a partial list of your contacts, no network signals for a long duration, or your phone getting offline by itself, then, these are signs that your SIM might not be in its best condition. Try replacing it with a new one, or try contacting your carrier provider for guidance! 

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