Android smartphone does not see the SIM card

Updated: May 10, 2023
6 min read
Android smartphone does not see the SIM card
by Viktoriia Yushkevych
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

The main task of any phone is to provide communication. Without performing its direct purpose, any, even the latest smartphone, becomes no more than a toy. So why does it happen that Android sometimes cannot see the SIM card, leaving its owner without contact with the outside world? Let's look at the main causes of the malfunction and methods of its elimination.

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  1. Expired card – Android may give a "no signal" message if the card is no longer supported by the operator (bought in a kiosk or subway with a time limit). The connection may also be interrupted if you haven't topped up your number for a long period of time and it has become blocked. The user should contact the operator to find out whether this is the essence of the problem;
  2. Mechanical damage – damage can occur to the card and the smartphone itself after a fall or contact with water. In this case, you need to order a duplicate with the same number and get a new SIM card;
  3. Cutting the card to reduce the size – modern phones have micro and nano card slots, so many SIM cards need to be pre-cut. Sometimes this procedure can damage important components of the card, rendering it inoperable. This situation is possible if you do the reduction by yourself;
  4. The phone is locked to a given operator – this situation is typical for models purchased abroad. The only way to solve the problem is to unlock it;
  5. Damage to the card slot – such a problem can occur after dropping the phone. What to do? Contact a service center, as you can't fix the situation yourself;
  6. Software failures – the problem occurs after an update or after an unsuccessful root. The user needs to restore the factory version or try to flash the smartphone again;
  7. Card contamination – dust can be accumulated in the most unforeseen phone places, including the slot itself and the card. How to fix the situation? Take out the SIM card, see what state its contacts are in, and wipe the surface with an eraser;
  8. Damage to the cardholder – the cardholder can break if used carelessly. In this case, the card fits loosely in the slot, resulting in a loss of communication;
  9. Activation of the offline mode – often users activate the flight mode, forgetting to turn it off when necessary. The device functions fully, except for receiving calls;
  10. Incorrect settings – this situation most often occurs after resetting the settings, which are standard. To fix the problem you need to go to the sim card settings and put an icon to activate it. If this does not help, you need to send any message from the card that does not work. Then the system itself will ask permission to activate it;
  11. "Erasing" the IMEI code – each phone is assigned its own personal code, making calls without which is simply impossible. There are cases when the lack of communication lies in the glitches of this code.

How to tune your smartphone – effective methods

Android smartphone does not see the SIM card

The first recommended action is to give your phone some time. Many models start working extremely slowly after some time of usage. So, if your phone didn’t detect the sim card immediately after powering, then just wait. Give the phone a few free minutes to fully start all systems and drivers.

Check the position of your card on your smartphone. It may have simply moved due to a bump or fall, making the phone unable to provide communication. If the card fits poorly on the card slot, you can boost the signal with a piece of paper. Choose the right size and put it between the battery and the SIM card itself.

It is common for the phone to overheat and lose connection. This is characteristic of the hot season. After cooling down, all systems come back to their normal state. The cause of communication failure in winter is a sharp drop in temperature when you take the Android out of the warm room into the cold. To solve the problem, you should buy a denser model of cases.

If the problem occurred as a result of an unsuccessful update, you need to follow the instructions:

  • Use your computer to reset the settings.
  • Install a special program for zeroing Recovery.
  • Following the recommendations, correct the wrong settings by reverting to the original settings.

Problems with the SIM card can occur if the Android has corrupted NVRAM. In order to diagnose this problem, you need to turn on Wi-Fi. If the first network detected is a network marked "error," then the problem lies in NVRAM.

If the problem occurs with the SIM card itself, you can fix the problem by calling the operator or ordering a new card if the current one cannot be repaired. If the communication failure is in the phone, in most cases, one of the parts has failed. This can be repaired by a handyman.

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