When the AT&T SIM card not working or it’s not recognized by your device, there are just a few steps you would need to undertake to solve the problem.
The SIM cards usually take time to be activated after you’ve received them or the card is not positioned properly in the holder.
For users where the problem suddenly appeared, the solution requires more than just waiting so let’s learn more…
An AT&T SIM card won’t work when it has been displaced either when installing it or after your device has been physically impacted. The issue could also appear after entering your PIN wrong 3 consecutive times where you’ll need external help.
To fix the AT&T SIM card problem you would need to localize the problem by including another compatible device to test your card with.
The second device would be necessary just a little later, so for now let’s start with simply re-inserting the SIM card on your device:
A basic, yet effective first move is to reinsert the SIM card of your device.
There’s a high chance that the SIM didn’t make contact with the holder or it’s not positioned the right way.
To reinsert the SIM card on most mobile phones, follow these instructions:
- Locate the SIM holder on the side panel of your mobile.
- Using the dedicated tool or thin & sharp object, reach in.
- Press inwards until the holder pops out.
- Pull out the cardholder.
- Remove the SIM card from the slot.
- Insert the SIM card precisely.
- Plug the holder all the way in.
- Insert your PIN code on the screen of your device.
Such SIM card displacement may not only occur during a first installation and can also happen when you drop or physically impact your device.
Tip: Watch out for the orientational corner of the SIM card. One side should be without a corner to embed perfectly in the cardholder.
The best way to test out your AT&T SIM card is to use it on a different device.
This is the best way to determine if the problem is with the SIM card itself, or if there’s an issue with your mobile device.
In that regard, acquire an alternative mobile device that has the same SIM card holder.
Since there are different sizes of SIM cards, a mobile device with a larger holder won’t fit in case you’re still preserving the 3 layers of your card that can be put back together.
Note: Whenever the PIN code prompt appears, you would know that the card has been recognized by the device.
There’s a chance that your SIM card got suspended, as a result of it being stolen or lost.
After re-acquiring the SIM card, it won’t work until you go to the AT&T website and reactivate the SIM card chip. That can happen only manually from your side so let’s learn how.
To reactivate the wireless service of your SIM card, follow these steps:
- Go to myAT&T account and head to Overview.
- Scroll down to “My Devices”.
- Press the device you wish to unsuspend.
- Choose “Manage device & features”.
- Press on “See device options”.
- Next, hit “Reactivate” to make the SIM card active again.
Note: Make sure that the SIM card is inserted within your phone during this solution at all times.
If you have the latest AT&T SIM card model, it may be incompatible with your device’s OS.
That’s why you should get it updated to the latest version available and then test the SIM card on your device.
To update most of the mobile devices, follow these instructions:
- On your mobile device, go to Settings.
- Head to “Update” or “Software Update” in the settings tab.
- Press on “Check for Updates”.
- Wait for updates to be found and verified.
- Press the “Update” button to start the firmware update.
Alert: Don’t turn off your mobile device while the updating is still going to avoid further OS complications.
If your SIM card is still not working, there’s a high chance that your phone is out of coverage.
Obstructed spaces, such as basements or rooms made of thick walls can actively block the signal which will prevent the SIM card from working.
Dead cellular zones could be the following:
- In the forest, too far away from a radio tower.
- Obstructed places, with no windows or openings.
- Rooms are made of thick walls.
- Basements and other underground compartments.
Tip: The best way to avoid cellular dead zones is to go out.
If nothing worked so far, perhaps the carrier settings of your phone are incorrect.
In case the SIM card worked on a different device, but your current one doesn’t recognize the card, it’s time to perform a factory reset.
This method erases absolutely everything from your device so a backup is highly recommended.
When you’re ready, here’s how to perform a factory reset:
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down and tap “Reset”.
- Choose “Reset Everything”.
- Confirm the reset with a passcode.
- Wait for the reset to be completed.
With every mobile device, the factory reset settings are located in different tabs so you would need to find them.
In case the device asks you whether you want a complete or partial reset, it’s always better to choose to delete everything.
Pro Tip: Most smart devices use a cloud to create backups upon a factory reset.
In case your brand new AT&T SIM card is not being recognized by the device, there are a couple of things you should check out and test.
Before that, ensure that you’ve gone through the troubleshooting for the AT&T SIM card above so the solution can be complete.
Here’s how to fix a brand new AT&T SIM card that won’t work:
- Re-insert the SIM card on your mobile device.
- Clean the SIM card holder using a wet cloth/napkin.
- Disable Airplane mode on the device you’re having SIM issues with.
- Restart your device.
- Test the SIM card on another device.
- Call AT&T for help activating the SIM card.
New SIM cards take up to 12 hours once they have been activated. It’s better if the SIM card doesn’t work on ALL devices instead of only one.
This is the best way to understand whether the activation of your SIM card is delayed or the problem is from your device.
If your AT&T SIM card isn’t working on your iPhone, there are multiple device-specific methods you should test out.
Just make sure that you’ve applied all of the solutions above for troubleshooting the AT&T SIM cards in general to complete the guide.
Here’s how to fix the SIM card problem on your iPhone:
- Update iPhone iOS at Settings > Software Update.
- Update the carrier settings at Settings > General > About > Update.
- Reset the network settings at Settings > Reset > Network Settings > Reset.
Note: Ensure that the AT&T SIM card is inside of your iPhone while executing all of these solutions.
The solution to a non-working AT&T SIM includes activating the wireless service, moving out of dead coverage zones, and re-inserting the card. Further methods such as updating and resetting your device can also be of assistance so it’s worth testing.
Read Next: AT&T WiFi Calling iPhone Not Working?
Now when you know why your AT&T SIM card not working and what the solution includes, you’re ready to solve the problem and never look back.
The operator will definitely help you with SIM card problems so as a last resort you can contact them for support.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.