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6 Best Ways to Fix the ‘Invalid SIM Card’ Error on Android

Use these quick fixes to restore the network connection.

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Troubleshooting your Android smartphone is not a difficult task, but sometimes the most basic problems can be the trickiest to fix. Your Android smartphone displays the ‘Invalid SIM card’ error when there’s no SIM inside it. It can get confusing when you receive that error message even after inserting a SIM. In this article, we bring you the 6 best ways to fix the ‘Invalid SIM card’ error on an Android smartphone.

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Restart your smartphone

Restarting your smartphone is the first step you should take upon encountering any SIM-related problem. A simple restart stops all the background processes and refreshes the mobile connection on your device. To restart your Android smartphone, press and hold the side key and select ‘Power off’ from the power options. If long pressing the side key triggers the Google Assistant on your device, simply press and hold the side key and volume up key to access power options.

Toggle Airplane Mode

Switching your phone to Airplane Mode turns off the cellular network on your device. Once you turn off Airplane Mode, your device starts receiving network signals again. Turning off the Airplane and then turning it back on refreshes the network on your device. It can come in handy when your phone displays the ‘Invalid SIM card’ error. If it doesn’t work, move on to other fixes.

Manually select a network operator 

Most of the time, your smartphone is connected to your SIM’s network carrier. Most service providers tie up with other carriers to increase their coverage in a region. This means that even though you may be using the SIM card of a specific service provider, your phone may be utilising the network of another carrier. This is a smooth process that your smartphone carries out automatically. But on some occasions, it may cause some issues. Here’s how you can switch back to your network operator.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Connections.

Step 2: Select ‘Mobile Networks’.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Network Operators’.

Step 4: Turn off the toggle bar for ‘Select automatically’.

Step 5: Your phone will scan available operators near you. Choose your service provider from the list.

Reinsert your SIM card

If you recently dropped your phone, the impact may have caused the SIM card to change its position slightly. Your smartphone may not be able to read it anymore, thus displaying the ‘Invalid SIM card’ error. To fix this, simply take out the SIM card from your phone and place it in its correct position again. Use the SIM ejector in the retail box to pop out the SIM tray. Make sure there is no dust on the SIM card or the slot. Push the tray back in and restart your device.

Buy a new SIM card

If your smartphone fails to read the SIM card even after it has been reinserted, there may be something wrong with the SIM card. This is a very common issue that surfaces after years of use. Even though the SIM card is not subject to any wear, it can still become outdated. Go to your network carrier’s nearest support centre and request a replacement. You will be charged a very nominal fee for the new SIM card.

Reset Network Settings

If none of the fixes mentioned in this list were helpful, your last resort is resetting the network settings on your device. Your phone will forget all established WiFi and Bluetooth connections and you will need to carry out the pairing process again. You will also lose your custom settings, as all the network settings will be set to default. Here’s how you can go about it.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select ‘General Management’.

Step 2: Scroll down and select ‘Reset’.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Reset Network Settings’.

Step 4: Select ‘Reset Settings’.

Step 5: Enter your PIN to confirm your selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix an invalid SIM card on Android?

To fix an invalid SIM card, simply pop out the SIM tray and reinsert the card into your device. Perform a quick restart and check if you are still getting the error message.

Why does my phone say that my SIM card is invalid?

When your smartphone is not able to correctly read the SIM card, it displays the ‘Invalid SIM card’ message. To fix this, reinsert the SIM card into your device and make sure it is not a loose fit.

Why is my phone not getting any network signal?

If you are not getting any network signal on your Android smartphone, go to Settings>Connections>Mobile Network>Network Operator and manually select a network operator.

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These are the 6 best ways to fix the ‘Invalid SIM card’ error on your Android smartphone. Most of the time, when you get the ‘Invalid SIM’ error, it is because the SIM card is placed in the wrong position. Always keep a SIM ejector tool handy for these situations. If your SIM card is faulty, you will need to present your verification documents to the network provider in order to receive a replacement SIM card.

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