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Smartphone does not recognize SIM card: possible causes

Nothing works without a SIM card
Image: dpa If the smartphone reports problems with the SIM card, not only accessibility is at risk. In the worst case, there is a risk of buying a new SIM card, or - worse - the phone is broken. The error message can also have harmless causes.

An overview:

Nothing works without a SIM card
Image: dpa

  • Contact problem: The contacts between the SIM card and smartphone can be dirty. In this case, the card and card slot should be cleaned. Dust and light dirt should best be carefully removed with a dry, soft cloth (microfiber).
  • Card problem: A SIM card reader shows whether the SIM card is still working. They are available from specialist retailers or on the Internet. You can get a usable device for 10 to 15 euros. If it recognizes the SIM card, the smartphone shouldn't have a problem with it either. An even simpler SIM card test: simply insert the card into another device where it may work.

    If the card is actually defective, a replacement card can be requested from the mobile phone provider. However, this is usually not free.

  • Software problem: The smartphone software can also ensure that the SIM card does not work or works only incorrectly. This can happen, for example, if data in the cell phone's memory is lost. If possible, users should back up their data and then reset their device to the factory settings.

    If the cell phone does not recognize the SIM card, this can have harmless causes

  • Hardware problem: If the previous steps do not provide a solution, the cause is probably the hardware of the phone - for example a defective contact on the SIM card slot. If that is the case, only going to the workshop or sending it to the manufacturer will help. If there is still a guarantee or warranty, this should be requested from the manufacturer or seller.
  • Net or SIM lock: Some manufacturers only sell some cell phones and smartphones together with certain cell phone contracts - but a SIM lock is comparatively rare these days: a certain device only works with a certain SIM, as is the case with Telekom and their Magenta, for example -Hybrid offer is the case. Here the router supplied with the tariff actually only works with the corresponding SIM card and vice versa.

    Vodafone only sells the new iPhone models with Net-Lock - this means that the devices only work with SIM cards for the Vodafone network.