Fixing iPhone 4 “No-Sim Installed” Problem


We recently bought several iPhones 4 for our company employees in order to show how much we value them (this is true, guys!).

However, after using the new phones for a while we encountered a problem that some of them could not see the sim-card installed in them. The thing is that the SIM cards used by the new iPhones are smaller than those used in previous models. The new format is called “micro-sim” and the SIM cards seem to be at least one third smaller than the normal sims. Micro-sims look like this:

Picture by Gizmodo (Source)

Unfortunately, to our great disappointment, at least two of the 5 iPhones we bought encountered the following problem:

We tried searching on the Internet for a solution but couldn’t find one and decided to dig into the problem ourselves (I`m sure our technicians were quite happy to do something not related to servers…).

What we discovered was what seemed to be a design problem of the mechanism ejecting the sim card tray in the new iPhones.

On the following picture you can see that when you insert a needle or a paper-clip into the tiny hole on the right, the sim card tray pops-out due to the pressure coming from the top part of the mechanism.

The problem is that the top part of the mechanism seems to have a design flaw and sometimes it touches the metal contacts on the sim card making a short circuit. As a result, the phone stops recognizing the sim.

When we found what the problem was we knew how to solve it. So here is the solution.

1.First, take some thick double sided adhesive tape and cut a small piece of it.

2. Second, stick that small piece of tape to the side of the sim tray as shown on the picture below.

3. Not put the sim card into tray and insert the tray back into the phone. Now the tape will prevent the top part of the ejecting mechanism from making a short circuit with the sim card.

So far we have been using our iPhones without a problem but it would be better if Apple recongized the problem and improved the design of the tray mechanism.

Please also note – we take no responsibilty for broken iphones whatsoever. Good luck!

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P.S. One of our readers suggested another way of overcoming the problem. His solution is to put some tape on top of the SIM card as shown on the picture below. This should also prevent the short circuits but we have not tested this solution yet.

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P.P.S. We still have some “special deal” servers for $20 in stock. If you are interested, do check them out!

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50 Comments

  1. I got online to search for solutions and when I came across this, I was a bit skeptical… that’s until I tried it out. It worked! IT WORKS!!! After months of trying different “crack” unlock options that didn’t work, my i-phone is finally back!!! YAY!!! Thanks guys!

  2. dropped my iphone and it gave me the NO SIM

    did this with just clear tape from my desk and it works great.

    thank you.

    this phone is less than a week old. awesome.

  3. I bought a BRAND NEW white Iphone 4 two days ago and the phone was working fine till today. Did all the other online “recommendations” to fix the problem which were all a complete failure. I tried your idea and it totally worked! Just wanted to say thank you ! Taking this phone back to get a different one. Clearly their are some poorly manufactured iphones out there. I taped where you suggested AND where the other reader picture suggested (far right pic). Thanks again!

  4. I just used clear tape on the side of the sim card where it was touching the housing. worked a treat!

  5. I have the same problem but with my new ipad2. Do you think this will work? Hope you can help 🙂

  6. My No SIM problem started several months after I bought my iPhone 4. Did the original author use thick single sided or double sided tape? If there’s a short between the tray and the card, why does tape across the tray and the card (far right photo) solve the problem? How do either of these procedures prevent a short between the card and the tray? Thanks

  7. Many thanks guys.. I am trying it today and will get back to you once i have followed your instructions.

  8. Thank you! This problem has been driving me nuts since I got my iPhone 4. I tried the tape method and so far so good.

  9. It didn’t work for me but trying the tape across the top of the sim card worked! (Last picture)
    Amazing…

  10. it’s works on my iphone 4. This phone bought less than 3 weeks. Thanks for the solution. -“like”-

  11. It Works!!!!!!!!!!!!!! taped it like the third picture…
    Got so scared!!!!!!!….but now relieved 🙂
    Thank you so much 🙂

  12. plz can you help me..
    i put the micro sim in iphon 4
    but still NoService appear…
    i try many time and i get the same thing “NoService”

  13. guys i have updated my i phone firmware for 4.3.3 but its asking for the original sim i dont have it so help me in this i have tryed by inserting other sim’s but no use wn i connect it to itunes i m unable to unlock it…

  14. Dropped my phone last night. Like everybody here said NO SIM. Don’t know anything about technology. Didn’t know how to open the tray. Looking for that O found this. Opened it up. Put on clear tape like the most right picture. Closed the tray and BAM! Up and running. Thanks for the help. The girlfriend thought I was avoiding her texts. lol

  15. I did all the above and the only one that seemed to work was the tape, but the in comes up saying invalid sim….. can you please tell me whats wrong with it. thanks

  16. i recentely purchased i phone4 and i am using gevey sim interposer.. i am following the procedure as written ..but after when i switch on airplane mode and then switch it off.. it starts searching in place of giving pop up sim card failure and it is not getting activated.. after some time of searching it shows no service.
    how can i activate my iphone please help me.

  17. I tried the third fix in the bottom row after reading all the various fixes other users have tried and it was successful first try. I recommend that you do not cover the grooves left by the pins which read the SIM card.

    I would suggest that anyone who tries a fix that is not endorsed by their warranty makes sure that they can remove all traces of self-fixes before turning them in for a service as it might void their warranties.

    Another typical Apple flaw, should have been picked up and fixed during product testing.

  18. it worked fine for me. I bought the phone a week ago, and I got the no sim message. I taped it with electrical tape, and now I get 5 bars, nice!
    , but still it sucks that being a brand new iPhone you get this problem

  19. My wife’s iPhone just exhibited this behavior for the first time on a day when it’s 110 degrees outside in NY. I found your Tut by Googling the error message and tried the method shown in the first of three pictures you say were submitted by a reader. It worked perfectly the first time! Thanks for sparing us another trip to the stupid “Genius Bar” (where every employee is “a little above Average” and none of them looks good in a t-shirt).

  20. Did the far right photo thing (others seemed too complicated) and, like everyone else, it worked! Thanks!

  21. Thankyou so much for this, I just recently jailbroke my moms iphone 4 and then this happened. I thought i broke it because it also would not restore. I cant thankyou enough.

  22. two years battling with loss of sim card problem. this fix did it. many thanks for taking the time in posting a solution.

  23. My iPhone4 was working just before I switched. Off it bt after I switch it on it says no service what should I do

  24. I m also facing the same proble. Just want to know is their any possibitlity that due to circuit sim stops working and have to buy a new sim.

  25. I m also facing the same problem. Just want to know is their any possibility that due to circuit sim stops working and have to buy a new sim.

  26. I’ve had this problem and tried tape – too fiddly – used a bit of blu-tack with tweezers and it’s so far, so good. Thank you for sharing your tips!

  27. “P.S. One of our readers suggested another way of overcoming the problem. His solution is to put some tape on top of the SIM card as shown on the picture below. This should also prevent the short circuits but we have not tested this solution yet.”

    tried this technique coz i did’nt have double side tape… but thanks alot this also works… worked like magic for me…
    i alredady wasted 2 of my cards thought card must hav got some problem while cutting… but now every thing is working fine… 🙂

  28. Just tried the 3rd option in the bottom row, the thin strip of clear scotch tape and not only did it work immediately, I have more bars here at work than I normally do in a heavy metal and brick building! Thanks so much for your hard work and research.

  29. hi,i tried both yours and the readers 3 version,but still the same problem. i changed sim card of my sons iphone still nothing, i insert my sim card into my son’s iphone and it work. meaning is not sim’s fault but what???? can you help me+

  30. You guys rock. I put a small piece of scotch tape over the top of the SIM card, popped it back in and my iPhone is back up and running. Thanks!

  31. Hey. Nice to see I’m not the only one who has been experiencing the same issue with the iPhone 4. Though I might have some new information on the matter.

    Thing is, the “No SIM card installed” error doesn’t happen all the time — not for me, anyway. When it does, I’m usually able to get it to work by powering it down and back up. Sometimes it doesn’t work the first try, but give it a few attempts. And I’ve found that it usually reoccurs after being in Standby for prolonged periods of time (ie: when I’m asleep).

    This has always worked for me, but it is a pain in the neck. And while mine is merely a band-aid fix, I’m just not comfortable trying your method, especially with the Disclaimer/Warning at the end of your blog. Until Apple releases a permanent solution, I guess I’ll deal with it.

    Well, take care. Hopefully this helps some of the folks who couldn’t get the tape method to work.

  32. dropped my iphone and it gave me the NO SIM
    Almost lost my heart! Had three coffees and two cig.

    Then, read the post,
    did this with just clear tape from my desk and it works!

    thank you and back to normal. Now, am more energetic.

  33. Thank you very much. My wife had this problem for the last 2 weeks and the Orange mobile provider couldn’t fix it. I tried with just clear tape as you had suggested and Wow it worked.

  34. For all the folks for whom the tape trick did NOT work…..
    (it didn’t work for me…NOTHING did) but after googling around for 3 hours i stumbled on a page where the idea of an electric charge on the SIM card was mentioned….It gave me the crazy idea the next morning to semi vigorously rub the gold contacts on the SIM with a soft, clean t-shirt…Now i don’t know if it input a static charge on the SIM or just cleaned off some invisible funk but…THE DAMNED THING STARTED WORKING AGAIN!!!
    anyway, give it a try if the tape trick doesn’t get you going…
    i appreciate everyone posting solutions….

  35. to clarify, after removing the small piece of scotch tape ( i’d placed it like picture 3) i rapidly rubbed/buffed the gold contacts, rubbing back and forth about 10/11 times, reinserted the SIM and got my T-Mobile signal….(hacked phone)
    Fragile phones arent they? I’d only dropped mine about a foot onto concrete…..

  36. Got the “No Sim installed” error message in my 3G iPhone. Used the large taping method. Voila! Saved me a trip to the Apple Store! Many thanks!

  37. just a word of thanks for sharing this finding. It is strange that it happens when I am in a new city. I was in Honolulu in December and the apple store in ala Moana just gave me a new phone. I just landed in Boston, and the dreadd “no sim” came back. I did what you prescribed and it ismworking now. Save a trip to the apple store.