Does not see the SIM card Android: why disappears and what to do, how to enable

It is impossible to imagine the full work of a smartphone without a SIM card. This small component not only allows you to communicate by means of telephony, but also gives access to the mobile Internet. If your phone for some reason does not see the SIM card on the Android operating system, it is important to find a way to fix the problem as soon as possible. To do this, you need to consider both hardware and software factors that may have affected the functionality of the SIM.

Hardware problems and methods of solving them

Speaking of hardware problems, we mean problems related to hardware. In this case we are talking about both the internal components of the smartphone, as well as the SIM card itself. We suggest reviewing the three most common causes of problems with the SIM card display.


SIM card activation

If the smartphone does not see the new SIM-card, then do not despair, because it must first be activated. Activation takes place by entering through the dialer the USSD-request indicated on the product package, or by using the command to check the balance. You can get all the necessary information on the operator’s website or on the SIM card packaging.

Broken SIM card or slot

If the problem occurs with an already activated SIM card, you need to carefully inspect the card, as well as the slot for it. Quite often users install this element carelessly, due to which the SIM-card is displaced and not recognized by the device. Try reinserting it and then check if the network works.


If repositioning the card didn’t help, go back to inspecting the tray. Check for chips or damage. After all, even a small dent can cause the SIM card to install incorrectly. If damage is found, do not try to repair it yourself. Contact a service center, where professionals will do the job.

Important. The service life of the SIM card is not infinite. Your card should be replaced at least once every 5 years. Therefore, if you use an old carrier, contact the operator’s office for a free replacement.

Dirty contacts

Failure of the tray or SIM card may not be due to the presence of visible damage, but due to oxidized contacts. It can be SIM contacts as well as phone contacts. Oxidation could occur due to moisture.


And, if you find traces of oxidation, follow a few simple steps:

  • Remove the SIM card from the tray.
  • Wipe the contacts of the card with a dry cloth. If the traces do not disappear, try moistening the tissue with alcohol.
  • Do the same with the inside of the smartphone, but do not use alcohol or any other liquids. It is better to wrap a piece of paper tissue on a thin object like a toothpick and go around the perimeter of the inner part of the slot.
  • If all the steps are done, once again wipe the SIM card contacts with a dry wipe, and then insert the component back in.


In the case where traces of oxidation can not be removed even with alcohol, experienced users recommend to use fine-grained sandpaper. However, as you have already guessed, it will be much more rational to contact the operator’s office to replace the card.

Software reasons

Hardware causes of the problem are visible to the naked eye. And if you notice traces of damage on the SIM card or phone tray, the obvious solution would be either to replace the card or to take the device to the service center.

Another thing is when it comes to the software causes of the problem, which also have a place, but are invisible to the user. Such factors can occur due to improperly configured phone settings or due to a system failure.


Anyway, any problem of software nature can be eliminated by yourself without going to the service center. Therefore, we recommend to refer to the list of the main reasons and ways to fix problems, which cause problems with SIM recognition.

Flight mode

Smartphone can operate in a variety of modes. One of them is “In Plane”, “In Flight” or “Flight”. It should be activated when you are on an airplane. Flight mode blocks mobile networks, which helps pilots avoid problems with navigation.

However, this mode can be turned on accidentally, as its switch is located in the control center (notification curtain) along with other useful icons. Here you can also turn it off. You can also refer to the device settings to deactivate the flight mode:

  • Open the phone settings.


  • Go to Network and Internet.


  • Open the Advanced tab.
  • Move the slider to the “Off” position in front of the “Airplane Mode” item.


As a side note. You can tell that your smartphone has an active flight mode by the airplane icon, which is located near the battery charge or network reception quality icons.

After performing the above steps, you don’t even need to reboot your smartphone, because the changes will take effect automatically. However, to be on the safe side, you can still perform a reboot. It is possible that the problem was caused by a short-term failure, which can be easily fixed by restarting the device.

Forced activation of SIM

Not only flight mode can be accidentally activated on the phone, but also other options that interfere with the operation of the SIM card. For example, in the settings of the device there is an item for SIM activation and deactivation. Of course, the average user does not need it, but let’s not rule out the possibility of accidental activation of the lock, which is removed as follows:

  • Open the settings of the gadget.
  • Go to the section “Network and Internet”, and then – “SIM-cards”.
  • Activate the switch opposite the name of your SIM.


Now you can go back to the desktop to make sure the card is working. If there are no positive changes, explore alternative solutions to the problem.

Changing the network configuration

When a user installs a SIM card for the first time, the correct APN settings are automatically activated on his smartphone. However, later on, these settings can become confused, making it necessary to re-register them:

  • Find the APN access point settings for your carrier by using any browser search engine.
  • Open your smartphone settings.
  • Go to “Network and Internet” and then to “Mobile network”.


  • Open the “Advanced Settings” tab.


  • Go to the “APN Access Points” menu.


  • If there is already an APN here, just tap on it. If there is no access point, click “+” to register a new one.


  • Enter the parameters found on the mobile operator’s website.


  • Click the button in the form of three dots, and then – “Save”.


Tip. It is also recommended to make sure that “Select network automatically” is activated in the SIM-card settings.

Next, for reliability, you can restart the smartphone, but all the changes should take effect automatically after pressing the save button. If the new settings do not help, reinstall the SIM-card, then proceed to the following troubleshooting options.

System failure

Earlier we’ve said that the cause of the problem could be a momentary failure. As a rule, it can be eliminated simply by rebooting the phone. At the same time, you may need to take more significant measures. For example, reset your device:

  • Open your phone’s settings.


  • Go to “Restore and reset”.


  • Press the “Reset Settings” button and confirm the operation.


Note that performing a reset deletes absolutely all files from your smartphone. Therefore, consider this method of solving the problem as a last resort. If you do decide to perform a reset, don’t forget to create a backup beforehand through the same “Restore and reset” settings section.

Reinstalling the OS

Another drastic measure is to reinstall the operating system. But before resorting to it, try just updating the current version of Android.

  • Go into your gadget’s settings.
  • Open the “About phone” tab.


  • Tap the “Software update” button, and then tap “Check for updates”.


If an update is found, all you have to do is click “Install” and wait for the process to finish. If there is no update, you can’t solve the problem this way, and you will have to perform a complete reinstallation of the system. To do this, you need to download the firmware file and then unpack it through the recovery, which can be accessed by pressing the “Volume Up”/”Volume Down” + “Power” keys on the turned off smartphone.


Of course, you can not exclude the factor of viruses. Special software like Avast or Kaspersky Internet Security, available through the Google Play Store, will help to cope with threats. But a more reliable option looks like a factory reset. On how to perform this operation, we have already told earlier.

Other reasons

Finally, let’s look at other causes that also cause SIM card malfunction. First, your phone may simply not support the cards of a particular operator. This is the case if you purchased your device under a contract with a telecom company. Be sure to review the documents to confirm or deny the assumption.

Secondly, the operator may have blocked your SIM card if you have not used it for a long time. Usually blocked automatically if the owner has not paid for 2-6 months. In such a situation, you can only be advised to go to the operator’s office or contact customer service.

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