There are various reasons why your Android device won’t read the SIM card. Some possible causes could be that you didn’t insert the SIM card correctly or your Android device is experiencing a software issue. Whatever the reason, a solution needs to be found quickly when your phone says: “No SIM card detected.”
Here are some fixes for those times when your Android phone can’t detect the SIM card.
If Reboot Fails, Shut Down Your Phone
If what’s causing your SIM card error is a software issue, sometimes a simple reboot is all it takes to fix the problem. Press and hold the power button until the pop-up window appears with the “Restart” option. Tap on it to restart the phone.
This can fix a lot of problems, but more recently, users on the Sprint and Verizon networks have reported that a reboot isn’t enough to fix the “No SIM error and even that a reboot can cause the “No SIM card detected” error. The solution was to shut down their phones (wait 30 seconds) and then start it up again afresh.
If this fixes your problem, you should stick to shutting down and then switching on your phone instead of rebooting until an Android update or carrier settings update gets released to fix the problem.
Switch Your SIM Card On
Another simple solution to the SIM error in more recent Android versions is to see if your SIM card is actually switched on. To do this, go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> SIM cards,” then tap the slider next to your SIM card so it is “On.”
If you have a dual-SIM setup, this is also the screen where you can make sure that the SIM card you want to use is switched on.
Change the Network Mode to Auto
Modifying the network mode to auto is another method you can try. You can do this by going to “Settings -> Mobile Networks -> Network Mode” and choosing the first option, which will be LTE/WCDMA/GSM (auto connect).
Choose the Correct Network Operator
If the network operator you’re with is not the one that’s selected in your Android device’s settings, you’ll definitely get the SIM card error. To make sure you have the right one, go to “Settings -> Mobile Networks -> Network Operators -> Search Networks.” Once your Android device is done searching and displays the results, tap on your carrier.
Enter Your Network APN Settings Manually
If the above two methods don’t work, it’s possible your SIM card has completely lost contact with the network it’s supposed to be connecting to. If that’s happened, then you may need to enter your network operator’s APN settings manually.
On a modern Android device (9.0 Pie onwards), do this by going to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile network -> Advanced -> Access point names,” then clicking the “+” icon at the top-right corner.
At this point, you’ll need to either contact your network provider to get the necessary APN settings to enter here or check online to see if your network provider’s published. It may also be a good idea to take a screenshot and save your APN settings so you can quickly refer to them if you run into trouble again.
Remove the SIM Card and Battery
Another basic fix you can try is removing the battery (if it is removable) and SIM card from the SIM card tray. Before you do this, make sure you’ve turned off your Android device. Once you’ve removed everything, wait for about one minute and re-insert everything again.
Dropping your phone is a common practice, but even if it didn’t suffer any damage, the SIM card could have moved out of place. A cheap and unique method many have tried is adding some paper or even tape to get a tighter fit. That usually makes the SIM card fit nice and tight and resolves the problem.
Try Using Your Phone in Safe Mode
Unfortunately, not every app you install plays nice. Some apps can cause more harm than good and will cause this error. Boot your device into safe mode.
Stay in safe mode for a few hours and see if you continue to have this problem. If not, try to remember the last few apps you installed and uninstall them. Get out of safe mode and see if you continue to have this problem.
Airplane Mode Solution
If you’ve tried all of the above basic fixes, and you’re sure that the SIM card is not to blame, it’s time to try the Airplane mode solution. Swipe down from the top of your display (once or twice depending on where you’ve placed the icon), and turn it on.
Depending on the Android version you have, you may or may not get a warning message when turning Airplane Mode on. Enable it and leave it on for about thirty seconds or so. When you turn it off, your Android device will start looking for a network, and hopefully the SIM card error will be fixed.
Fix the SIM Card Error by Clearing the Cache
Clearing your Android’s cache to try to fix the no SIM card error is extremely simple. Go to “Settings -> Storage -> Internal Storage -> Cached Data.” When you tap on cached data, you’ll get a pop-up telling you that this is going to clear the cache for all the apps on your device. Just tap on “Delete” to go through with it.
If there were only a way to know what is causing the no SIM card error from the very beginning, there would be no need to waste time trying different methods. Unfortunately, until the Android device shows a message telling you what the cause is, the trial-and-error method is all you have.