How to Fix No SIM Card or Invalid SIM Error on iPhone 13 | iOS 15

This post will help deal with the No SIM card or Invalid SIM error on iPhone 13. Read on to learn what to do if your new iPhone is unable to read or detect the SIM card.

When your iPhone cannot recognize the SIM card, cellular services won’t be available. This means your device won’t be able to send and receive messages or make and receive phone calls. Other cellular data services aren’t working as well.

What causes SIM card error on iPhone?

There are many factors that can cause this problem. A common factor is a dysfunctional or damaged SIM card in use. The same thing can happen if the SIM card is loose or not properly installed on the phone. Other factors that can result in the same error include cellular network outage, post-update bugs, random firmware glitches, as well as some network interference or obstructions.

In worst case scenarios, the SIM card error could be directly attributed to a damaged iPhone component like the SIM card tray, if not the SIM card itself. 

Account-related issues are also among other factors that you should consider ruling out in the case.

Troubleshooting No SIM card/Invalid SIM error on iPhone 13

Performing the following procedures can help eliminate software-related factors that might have prevented your iPhone from detecting or reading the SIM card and prompts the No SIM card or invalid SIM error instead. Try these before opting for iPhone repair.

Solution #1: Restart  your iPhone/soft reset.

The simplest yet very effective solution to minor software issues in mobile devices is a soft reset. Restarting can help fix random app glitches and network errors inflicted by minor data corruption. It doesn’t affect any saved information on the iPhone storage, so you won’t lose any important information in the process. 

If you haven’t already, just follow these steps to soft reset or restart your iPhone 13:

  • Press and hold the Power/Side button and either Volume Up or Down button for a few seconds and then release when the Power off slider appears.
  • Then, drag the slider to turn your iPhone completely off.
  • After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for a few moments for your device to regain cellular reception and wireless connections.

If the SIM card error continues, try the next applicable solutions.

Solution #2: Update carrier settings and iOS (if available).

It is highly recommended to keep your apps and device software up-to-date. The same goes for the iPhone’s carrier settings. While most carrier updates are automatically pushed and implemented, some require manual updating. And to make this possible, your phone must have sufficient storage, battery life, and a stable internet connection preferably via Wi-Fi.

To manually check for carrier settings update on your iPhone 13, just follow these steps:

  • From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  • On the settings menu, select General.
  • Then, tap About to proceed.
  • If a new carrier update is available, you should see a corresponding message prompt. If so, then simply tap OK or select the option to Update.

Your phone will then start updating carrier settings. Once the update is complete, restart your iPhone to save and apply the recent changes to the network settings.

Carrier updates can also be installed manually using iTunes on a computer. This can be regarded as an alternative method if your iPhone doesn’t have internet connection. 

Aside from carrier updates, also ensure that your iPhone software is up to date.

To manually check for iOS update on the iPhone 13, just follow these steps:

  • To get started, tap Settings from your Home screen.
  • On the main settings menu, tap General.
  • Then, tap Software Update to continue.
  • Wait for your iPhone to scan for new iOS updates. If you see two software update options, tap the want that you want to install.
  • On the succeeding menu, tap Install Now.
  • Then, tap Download and Install.
  • If prompted, enter your device passcode and then tap Install Now to confirm.

Do not use your device while updating to avoid disrupting the process. The iPhone reboots when finished updating.

Activating Auto-Update Feature on iPhone 13 (iOS 15)

Should you wish to configure your device to download and install new iOS updates automatically, just go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and then tap Automatic Updates.

On the Automatic Updates window, turn the switch to Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates respectively.

After enabling the switches, your phone will automatically update the latest iOS version available.

Note: Be sure to have at least 3 gigabytes of free storage to avoid bumping into some performance issues tied to low memory.

Solution #3: Perform the Airplane Mode trick.

Another tweak that’s been proven to work wonders when it comes to resolving random problems affecting wireless iOS features is the so-called Airplane mode trick. It works by giving a simultaneous restart to all wireless features and services on the iPhone. Surprisingly, minor Wi-Fi issues and cellular network errors appeared to be rectified in the process. Should you wish to give it a try, just follow these steps:

  • To get started, tap the Settings icon on the Home screen to open the Settings app.
  • On the Settings app menu, tap on Airplane Mode. 
  • Then, tap the Airplane mode switch to turn the feature ON. Doing so will disable all wireless radios simultaneously.
  • While the Airplane mode is enabled, perform a soft reset or restart your phone. This is recommended to refresh relevant apps and system services.
  • Once the phone is finished rebooting, go back to the Settings-> Airplane mode menu and then toggle the switch to turn the feature off again.

After a few seconds, your phone should establish Wi-Fi and cellular signals.

Alternatively, you can toggle the Airplane Mode icon/control on and off straight from the iPhone 13 Control Center. Just swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to pull up the iOS shortcut icons and controls.

Find the Airplane mode icon and then tap on it to turn Airplane mode on and off. If the icon appears blue or highlighted, it means that the feature is on and gray if it’s off.

If your iPhone still says No SIM after performing this trick, then there might be some other triggers.

Solution #4: Reinstall the SIM card.

SIM card errors can also be attributed to some corrupted data segments within the SIM system, if not a dislocated SIM card on the tray. To rule this out, try to reinstall (remove and reinsert) the SIM card on your iPhone 13 with these steps:

  • Power off the device.
  • While the phone is completely powered off, insert the SIM ejector into the tiny hole on the SIM card tray to eject it.
  • Pull the SIM tray out from the phone and then remove the SIM card.
  • Check the SIM card for any signs of damage or dirt. If everything looks good, place the SIM card back into the SIM tray in the same orientation before you remove it.
  • Once the SIM card is secured in place, push the SIM tray back into the phone until it locks.

Wait for a few seconds and for it to regain cellular reception and see if the error is gone.

This method has been regarded among other workarounds to fix sim card issues in iOS devices and even on an Android phone.

Solution #5: Reset network settings.

Some network errors are obdurate and so they recur. Oftentimes, recurring network errors are rectified by a reset.

The iPhone offers different reset options that you can tap whenever the need arises. One of these options is the reset network settings. This reset works by deleting all current network settings including custom networks, APNs, Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, Cellular data settings and other relevant information. After the reset, all network defaults are restored. Any associated errors are likewise obliterated in the process. 

Unlike a factory reset, a network settings reset does not affect any saved information on the iPhone storage so all your files are safe. 

Just follow these steps:

  • Go to your Home screen and then open the Settings app.
  • Scroll to and tap General.
  • Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone to proceed.
  • Then tap on Reset
  • On the succeeding menu, tap Reset network settings from the given options.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted.
  • Tap the option to confirm network settings reset on your iPhone.

The phone will then start erasing all current network configurations and then restore the network settings to the original or default values.

After the reset, automatic system reboot follows. Just wait for your device to finish rebooting and re-establish cellular signals afterwards.

Also, don’t forget to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and set up Bluetooth connections if you wish to use the services again.

Is your iPhone still showing Invalid SIM error?

There can be some other factors that make the invalid SIM error persist. If you’ve done all the aforementioned procedures, most if not all software-related factors should’ve been eliminated unless a fatal error is present on the iOS network system. In this case, you may opt to go for more advanced iOS resets, particularly a factory reset.

iPhone factory reset

A factory reset is often deemed among the last resorts when dealing with stubborn system issues in mobile devices. This reset works by wiping everything from your iPhone system including downloads, saved files and custom settings. System errors inflicted by some malware, software bugs and faulty updates are also corrected in the process. But the main downside of this reset is losing important contents. That said, creating backups is highly recommended before doing this reset.

Try another SIM card

Sometimes, the invalid SIM error isn’t actually from within the software layers but can be directly due to the hardware. Thus, it’s possible that the SIM card you’re using has been totally corrupted, if not physically damaged. As a result, the phone is no longer able to recognize it at all. 

The simplest way to rule this possibility is to try using a different SIM card that’s compatible with your iPhone 13.

The iPhone 13 supports a nano-SIM card and/or eSIM. If you’ve got another nano-SIM card available, then you can try installing it on your iPhone and see if it reads the new SIM. You can also ask for a new SIM card replacement from your carrier, if needed.

Contact your Carrier

Calling your service provider can be considered among the last options if nothing else works. If everything was working fine and then the No SIM card or invalid SIM error just showed up and linger, then it could be due to some network outage. This is often the case when network system maintenance is ongoing or some technical problems arise and directly affect cellular network services in the affected areas. Also verify and ensure that your cellular subscription/plan is active.

Contact Apple Support

You can also contact Apple Support for further assistance and recommendations especially if the problem instigated from an iOS update.

iPhone Repair

The worst possibility is that your iPhone might have obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage, that eventually results in cellular network system malfunction. Should this be the case, iPhone repair is necessary. You can visit the nearest Apple-service center in your place and have your iPhone thoroughly diagnosed by an authorized technician.

Hope this helps!

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