Wondering why my phone says no SIM card emergency calls only? It’s simple!
When you see this message on your phone’s screen, in most cases that’s a prime indication of a non-recognized SIM card.
In some rare cases, the SIM card could have been displaced when the device has been dropped or physically damaged, so users need to take care.
When a phone says “No SIM Card”, users need to take out and reinsert the SIM card in the correct way. In case that doesn’t help, the network settings of the device have to be reset so the SIM card can be recognized and enabled.
Keep reading the entire guide since in some cases this will not be enough!
To solve the problem we need to follow a chronological solutions list, to help us not only solve the issue but also recognize where the problem is coming from.
In that regard, we strongly suggest following the solutions in order and not skipping anything for the entire guide!
The very first step is the simplest. We need to understand whether the device is experiencing problems that could be preventing the SIM card from being detected.
Hold the power button of your device until the Shutdown prompt appears.
Choose to Shut Down your device and not restart it. It works differently!
After a few moments, hold the power button again to turn the device ON and test whether the SIM card will now be recognized.
When you see the PIN menu on your screen, you would know that the SIM card has been recognized by the device, hence, the problem is solved.
One of the best-working steps is to take out the SIM card from the tray and re-insert it in the correct way for the device to be able to recognize it.
To open the SIM card tray, you would need to acquire the SIM ejector tool or a thin and sharp object such as a needle.
Here’s how to reinsert the SIM card in the correct way:
- Locate the SIM card tray pinhole on the side of your smartphone.
- Using the SIM ejector tool, reach in the SIM card tray pinhole.
- Push inwards until the SIM card tray comes out.
- Take out the tray with the SIM card embedded.
- Remove the SIM card from the tray.
- Clean the card holder tray.
- Position the SIM card inside the tray in the correct manner.
- Push the SIM card tray inside the smartphone’s compartment.
- Unlock your smartphone to test.
A few moments after the SIM card is inserted, on the screen of your phone should appear the keypad to enter the PIN code.
In case it does not appear, the SIM card is still not recognized, therefore we need to proceed with some more serious solutions!
When the SIM card is not being recognized by the device even when the card is properly embedded into the holder, the problem might be related to some of the settings.
In that regard, the very first step would be to reset the APN (Access Point Name) which allows the LTE/5G.
Note: Resetting the APN settings won’t make any changes to your device!
Reset APN Settings on Android:
- On your device open Settings.
- From there choose Connections and tap Mobile Networks.
- Press on Access Points Names.
- Hit the menu with the 3 x dots.
- Choose Reset To Default.
Reset APN Settings on iOS:
- Open Settings on your iOS device.
- Choose Cellular and select Cellular Data Network.
- Press on Reset Settings.
When the APN settings are reset, you should reboot your device. Once the restart is over you should wait for the PIN requirement screen and activate your SIM card.
Note: You should be prompted to enter the SIM card PIN code shortly after the device turns ON.
Another powerful solution for when the “emergency calls only no Sim card” error appears is to reset the network settings and check whether this will help.
Unlike resetting the APN, clearing the network settings will erase information such as WiFi and Bluetooth connections!
Reset Network Settings on Android:
- On your device go to Settings.
- From there select System and open General Management.
- Choose to Reset Options.
- Then, press on Reset Network Settings.
- Lastly, enter your PIN to confirm.
Reset Network Settings on iOS:
- From the Settings go to General.
- Then choose Transfer or Reset (Device Name).
- In there tap on Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Those steps should have helped you to reset the network settings of your device.
You will notice that your device will immediately disconnect from the WiFi and Bluetooth and any VPN settings will be permanently gone.
Don’t worry, these things can be set up in a matter of minutes.
What’s important is to test whether the SIM card will now be recognized by the device!
Another quick solution to test out is to turn ON and then turn OFF the Airplane mode!
This is a feature that any device that supports a SIM card has and can usually be found in the scroll-down menu from the top. The Icon of the feature is an airplane.
Simple turn ON and OFF the Airplane mode to solve the SIM card problem!
The Airplane mode disabled ALL connectivity features and essentially restarted ALL the services which in most cases helps when a device can’t recognize a SIM card.
In case this method does not help, feel free to proceed with the next solution.
Alert: Make sure that you don’t forget the Airplane Mode turned on!
To answer the question “why my phone says no SIM card emergency calls only?” we need to test whether your device will be able to recognize another SIM card.
It’s pretty easy to acquire one from a family member or a friend, just to test since there is no point in proceeding further without knowing.
Use a different SIM card to test your device!
In case of the new SIM card works, you don’t need to proceed with solution #7 and you’ll need to contact your service supplier to inspect the card networking.
In case, however, the other SIM card is not being recognized by your device jump into the final step!
This is the final and most powerful solution so far. In case nothing so far managed to help with the SIM card, the factory reset is your way to go.
This will not only clear the networking settings on your device but wipe out everything including apps, data, images, and so on…
It’s strongly recommended to create a backup of our Phonebook and download any files that you want to keep on a computer for easier retrieval later.
When you’re ready to factory reset your device, follow the steps below:
- On your device open Settings.
- From there choose General & Backup.
- Choose Reset and tap on Factory Data Reset.
- Select Reset Device.
- Press on Delete ALL.
iOS users simply need to go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and choose to Erase ALL Content and Settings.
When the reset is over the device will turn ON and you’ll see that the settings are reverted back to their factory state.
On both Android and iOS you would need to carry out the initial setup, and by now you should have activated the SIM card by inserting the PIN code.
Note: The factory reset takes time, based on the device’s storage and performance!
In case the problem is persistent, you need to seek help from the service provider.
When they assure you that there is no problem with the SIM card, test the card on another device.
When you confirm that the issue is related to your device, consider bringing the unit for repair or purchasing a new smartphone.
Hence, your phone says “No SIM Card” because the card is not being recognized. In such cases, users need to restart their devices, re-insert the SIM card and make sure that it’s embedded the correct way. In case that doesn’t help reset the APN settings.
Read Next: Why Is My Phone Roaming at Home?
Here we’ve learned why my phone says no SIM card emergency calls only and how to localize and solve the problem in a matter of minutes.
We hope that this post was helpful and for more relevant content, check our blog to find the solutions you need.
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.