sim card inserted but no service error
How-Tos & Tutorials

How to Fix SIM Card Inserted but No Service on iPhones – Error Resolved


Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives. From daily communications to streaming our favorite Tv shows, we all have different smartphone uses. But what use of a phone if there is no service no it? Or you face the common issue – SIM card inserted but not service.

Imagine holding your iPhone in your hand and still being unable to make calls because of no service.   Yes, you read that right. When you see a no-service sign on your iPhone, you cannot place calls, send texts, or use the internet unless connected to a Wi-Fi connection.

If you have a SIM card inserted but no service on your iPhone and are looking for a solution to this problem, you’ve landed on the right page. This blog will explain why your iPhone says No service and possible ways to resolve this problem.

Check your network coverage and carrier settings to resolve the SIM card inserted but no Service iPhone. You should also try restarting your iPhone, turning on/off airplane mode, and reinserting the SIM card. If one works, try restarting your iPhone, resetting your network settings, or contacting your carrier network and Apple support.

When you see a no service or searching status in the signal bar of your iPhone or iPad, your device isn’t connected to a mobile network. However, if the signal bar says SOS only, your device isn’t connected but can still make emergency calls.

9 Ways to Fix “SIM Card Inserted but No Service” Error

1- Check your Coverage Area

Your first step to ensure smooth sailing network coverage is to check if you are in an area with a mobile range. This has less to do with your iPhone and more with your service provider. If they don’t provide coverage in your area, you will often encounter coverage problems.

If you are sure your service provider has your vicinity covered, try turning off your mobile. To do so, try the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings App on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to mobile data and open it.
  3. Tap the toggle to turn the mobile data on/off.

Mobile data is enabled when the toggle is green and turned off when the toggle is grey.

More often, turning the data on or off can help you resolve the problem.

When traveling abroad, if your SIM card is inserted but has no service on your iPhone, ensure your device has been set up for data roaming.

To do so, try the following steps:

  1. Open the settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to Mobile Data
  3. Mobile Data options
  4. Head on to data roaming.
  5. Ensure the toggle is green, enabling international data roaming.

Interesting read: How to Avoid Data Roaming Charges While Traveling Internationally

2- Check for the Carrier Settings Update

Carrier settings updates allow the network provider to update and improve network settings for improved cellular connectivity and performance. These updates usually aim for better network features such as 5G service or Wi-Fi calling.

You should update these carrier installs to continue using your cellular services. Whenever an update is available, you’ll be prompted to install it, which takes no longer than 1 minute. Abandoning these updates will lead to no service on iPhone; therefore, regular installation of these updates is recommended.

If you saw one of these updates but didn’t bother installing it, here’s how to manually install it.

  1. Open the settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to General
  3. Open the About section and follow the on-screen instructions to install the network provider’s update.

But if you have an eSIM or inserted a new SIM card in your iPhone, you need to download the network provider’s settings for the smooth functioning of your SIM card. To do so, contact the customer support of your service provider so they can send you the settings.

If you are a Talk Home Mobile customer, dial 579 from your Talk Home Mobile number and ask for the settings to be installed on your phone.

3- Restart your iPhone

restart iphone to fix no service error when sim is inserted

Restarting is another way to resolve the problem of SIM card insert but no service on the iPhone. The reason behind this isn’t completely understandable, but that’s what technology is all about! Everything you do doesn’t have to make sense, neither do you need to know how it works, only that it does.

To restart an iPhone, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press and hold down the power button.
  2. Swipe the power slider to turn off the device when it appears.
  3. Once the phone has completely shut down, press the power button until the Apple logo appears on your screen.

This should restart your iPhone; once this completes, you can check the signals on your device.

4- Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

One of the simplest and most effective methods to resolve the “SIM card inserted but no service” issue on your iPhone is to toggle Airplane Mode on and off. This refreshes the network connections and can often rectify any temporary glitches.

To do this troubleshooting step, follow the instructions below:

  • Open the Control Center on your iPhone by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen (for iPhone X and newer models) or swiping up from the bottom (for iPhone models with a home button).
  • Locate the Airplane Mode icon, which looks like an airplane. Tap on it to activate Airplane Mode. Wait for a few seconds.
  • Tap the Airplane Mode icon again to disable Airplane Mode.

By toggling Airplane Mode on and off, your iPhone will attempt to reconnect to the cellular network, potentially resolving the no-service problem.

5- Take the SIM Card Out and Put It Back In

A loose or improperly inserted SIM card can be the culprit behind the “SIM card inserted but no service” issue. Removing and reinserting the SIM card ensures the device has the SIM card properly inserted.

Follow these steps to perform this troubleshooting method:

  • Locate the SIM card tray on your iPhone. The location may vary depending on the iPhone model.
  • Insert a SIM card removal tool or a paper clip into the small hole next to the SIM card tray. Apply gentle pressure to eject the tray.
  • Carefully remove the SIM card from the tray.
  • Inspect the SIM card for visible damages, such as scratches or dents. If you notice any damage, consider contacting your carrier for a replacement SIM card.
  • If the SIM card doesn’t have visual damage, reinsert the SIM card into the tray, ensuring that it is properly aligned with the designated slot.
  • Gently push the SIM card tray back into the iPhone until it clicks into place.

Once you have reinserted the SIM card, restart your iPhone and check if the “no service” problem persists.

6- Update Your iPhone

Software updates play an important role in maintaining the optimal performance of your iPhone. Apple regularly releases updates that address various issues, including connectivity problems. To ensure that your device has the latest software installed, follow these steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  • Go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone’s home screen.
  • Scroll down and tap on “General.”
  • Select “Software Update.”
  • If an update is available, tap “Download and Install” to begin the update process. Ensure your iPhone is connected to a power source to avoid interruptions during the update.

Updating your iPhone’s software can resolve network-related issues, including the “SIM card inserted but no service” problem. Therefore, it is essential to keep your device up to date with the latest software releases.

7- Reset Your Network Settings

Resetting your network settings can help resolve network issues that may be causing the “no service” problem. This action clears any saved network configurations and restores your iPhone’s network settings to their default state.

Follow the steps below to reset your network settings:

  • Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “General.”
  • Scroll to the bottom and select “Reset.”
  • Tap on “Reset Network Settings.”
  • You may be prompted to enter your passcode. Enter it if required.
  • Confirm the network settings reset by tapping “Reset Network Settings” again.

After resetting the network settings, your iPhone will restart. You must reconnect to Wi-Fi networks and reconfigure any necessary cellular settings. Check if the “no service” problem has been resolved.

8- Contact Your Carrier Network or Apple Support

If none of the solutions have resolved the “SIM card inserted but no service” issue, it’s time to contact your carrier network or Apple Support for further assistance. They have the expertise and resources to help diagnose and address complex network issues.

Here’s what you can do:

Contact your carrier network

Contact your network provider’s customer support through their helpline or visit one of their local stores. Explain the problem you’re experiencing and the troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken. They may be able to guide you through additional troubleshooting methods specific to their network.

Contact Apple Support

If you suspect a hardware issue or the carrier network cannot resolve the problem, contacting Apple Support is the next best step. You can reach them through the apple store website, the Apple Support app, or by scheduling an appointment at an Apple Store. Provide them with detailed information about the issue and the steps you’ve taken to troubleshoot it.

You can receive personalized assistance tailored to your specific situation and device by contacting your carrier network or Apple Support.

9- Ensure You Have a Factory-Unlocked iPhone

If you’re experiencing the “SIM card inserted, but no service” problem, ensuring you have a factory-unlocked iPhone is essential. A factory-unlocked device allows you to use SIM cards from different carriers.

If you purchased your iPhone directly from a carrier or through a carrier’s website, it might be carrier-locked, meaning it is tied to a specific network. Contact your carrier to confirm the lock status of your iPhone. If your iPhone is carrier-locked, inquire about the unlocking options available. Most carriers offer unlocking services after specific requirements are met, such as completing the contract term or paying off the device.

Factory-unlocked iPhones are not tied to any specific carrier and can be used with different SIM cards. If you’re looking for a new iPhone 13, consider purchasing a factory-unlocked model directly from Apple or authorized retailers.

A factory-unlocked iPhone allows you to switch carriers and ensures compatibility with different network providers.

Bottom Line

Experiencing your iPhone’s “SIM card inserted but no service” problem can be frustrating. However, by systematically troubleshooting the issue and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can increase the likelihood of resolving the problem and restoring service to your device.

Start by checking your coverage area and ensuring you’re in a location with a reliable network signal. Then, proceed to update your carrier settings and restart your iPhone. Toggling Airplane Mode on and off can help refresh the network connections, and reinserting the SIM card ensures a secure connection.

If these steps don’t resolve the issue, consider updating your iPhone’s software and resetting the network settings. Should the problem persist, don’t hesitate to contact your carrier network or Apple Support for further assistance. They have the expertise to diagnose and address complex network issues.

Lastly, ensuring that you have a factory-unlocked iPhone is essential for the flexibility to use SIM cards from different carriers. If purchasing a new device, consider opting for a carrier unlocked model.

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