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How to fix invalid SIM card on Android (2022)

invalid SIM card on Android

SIM card issues are quite rare but unexpected things can happen considering how fragile the technology that utilizes them is. Some users report that they repeatedly get an Invalid SIM card prompt on Android and they’re not sure what’s the deal with that. Obviously, you can’t make outgoing calls on Android without a functioning SIM or e-SIM card. We made sure to explain why this might occur and what to do to fix it. You can find everything below.

Why does it say I have an invalid SIM?

There are multiple reasons why you might get an invalid SIM card message on your Android. You need to ensure that the SIM card is properly placed first. After that, you need to confirm that your SIM card is active and that the problem isn’t on the carrier side. Also, in case you identify that the SIM card is damaged, make sure to replace it. This isn’t the same as the No SIM card, Emergency Calls only error because, with an Invalid SIM, the SIM card is recognized but not usable.

1. Restart your Android

The first thing you should do is restart your device. This might be a temporary problem and a restart usually deals with it. On the other hand, if the message keeps popping up and you don’t get any cellular signal on your phone, you might check some other things. For example, navigate to Settings > Connections and make sure that the SIM card is not disabled.invalid sim card android

More times than not, the problem comes from external causes related to the carrier. Make sure that your SIM card is active and check if it’s placed properly in the SIM card tray.

2. Check the SIM card placement

Removing and placing your SIM card back into the tray is a good idea. Make sure that the SIM card sits properly. If you have a dual-SIM device, try switching places and check if there are any improvements. If you still get the Invalid SIM card prompt, contact your carrier.

Prepaid SIM cards can expire if there were no recharges after some time. You need to actively use your number and charge the credit regularly. This expiration date can vary based on your region, carrier policies, etc.

3. Confirm that your SIM card is active with your carrier

This, besides physical damage, is the main reason why a certain SIM card would be invalid. Check with your carrier and ensure that the SIM card is active and that you’re not due some payments in case you have a postpaid plan.

In the end, the SIM card might be damaged so you should probably replace it with another one. All carriers offer SIM card replacement and it’s usually free so, of course, you get to keep your number.

4. Replace the SIM card

Although SIM cards can last for years, it’s still not impossible for them to eventually break. As we said, it’s usually completely free to get a new SIM card with the same number in case the current one doesn’t work or doesn’t get recognized by the device.

Get to your carrier support center and you should get a new SIM card if not immediately then in a matter of day or two. However, if the SIM card works on a different Android device, you should go with the reset network settings first. If that fails, perform a factory reset or take your device to a service.

And that should conclude it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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