Whether you’re using an Android device like a Samsung or Huawei smartphone or you’re using an iPhone, having cases where the device develops issues with the network is fairly common, and these issues can be one hell of a deal-breaker for smartphone users.
We are putting this article together to help users solve SIM card and network work issues such as the “SIM card inserted, but no service” issue on Android and iPhone and the “phone recognizes SIM but no signal bars” issue.
Since your phones show that a SIM card was inserted, the issue is, in many cases, with your phone, not your SIM card, but we have seen cases where users have experienced these issues, and it happens to be an issue with their SIMs.
We’d be exploring different fixes to the “SIM Card Inserted but No Service” and “Phone Recognises SIM but No Signal Bars” issues in this article.
SIM card inserted But No Service on Android? Quick Fixes
- Connectivity Status: Ensure your mobile data plan is up and running with your carrier. Also, do a quick check on the signal reception in your area.
- Flight Mode: Ensure it’s grounded. Head to Settings >> Connections >> Airplane mode. Slide that button.
- SIM Card Shuffle: Gently remove and re-insert your SIM. Got a backup phone? Test your SIM in it with a quick call.
- Data Switch: Flip your Mobile Data on and off.
- Device Refresh: Give your phone a moment and restart.
- SIM Verification: If you’re a dual SIM user, ensure the right one is activated.
- Settings Update: Refresh your APN settings.
With these handy fixes at your fingertips, the “no service” issue on your Android will be a thing of the past.
Read also: Can A SIM Card Go Bad?
Tips for When Your Phone Recognises SIM But Has No Signal Bars
Whenever I notice that my phone recognizes that there is a SIM card but my phone has no signal bars, there are a couple of different things I do straight up to troubleshoot it. Rather than this being one specific fix, it is a checklist of things that could be wrong with your device, things that you could instantly look at to rectify this problem.
- Rebooting the phone and checking that the SIM is installed properly has worked for some; since we have noticed that the issue disappears within a few minutes or after the device has been rebooted, it’s the first thing we would recommend that you try.
- The second thing you want to do is confirm that your phone line is active. While this shouldn’t necessarily cause the signal bars to disappear, it could be a cause. If the line is active, you might try this checklist’s next point.
- You also want to check if you are within your carrier’s coverage area. Whether it’s AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, if you are outside the coverage area of your mobile operator, chances are that your Android or iPhone will recognize the SIM but won’t show any signal bars.
- The airplane mode is another culprit when my phone has no signal bars, but a SIM card is inserted. This one is fairly easy to check.
- If you have Wi-Fi calling on your carrier plan, then confirm that Wi-Fi calling is turned ON. If it’s not, turn it ON and see if that fixes the problems.
Fix 1: Change the SIM Card
Another quick fix to detect if everything is okay is to insert another SIM card into the SIM tray where you find the SIM card that isn’t showing any signal bars and insert that SIM (the one not showing signal bars) into another device.
If the SIM works on another device, with the service coming ON, then chances are it’s the SIM tray of the former device.
In cases where inserting a new SIM into the SIM tray of the former device displays signal bars, then it could be a case of the device selecting SIMs or the SIM selecting devices.
Read also: What Does SIM Failure Mean?
Fix 2: Check the Network Settings If the Phone Recognises SIM but No Signal
If the phone recognizes SIM but has no signal, then you want to try adjusting the SIM card network settings of the device to find mobile networks automatically.
You also want to give the highest network preference.
Depending on what type of phone you use, checking the network/internet settings to automatically switch between 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G makes it so that when you are in an area that doesn’t have higher network coverage, the device automatically switches to something lower.
Fix 3: Check the Network Rating of the SIM and Phone If the SIM Card Is Inserted but No Service
If the SIM card is inserted but no service, you want to check the network rating of the device in question. If your SIM card is older, say a 2G SIM, a more advanced phone with a 4G and higher network spec might not work fine with it.
You’d need to upgrade the SIM card to between 4G and 5G. This has been the case for people who have the “my phone has no signal bars” and “my phone says no service” issues on Android phones like Samsung Galaxy devices.
I noticed the smartphone could be the issue when my phone says no service but a SIM card is inserted. If the smartphone (Samsung or iPhone) is rated 2G or 3G, putting a SIM card on a 4G or 5G network would probably end up showing no service, and there would be between very few and no signal bars showing.
Fix 4: Maybe a faulty SIM board
While other fixes for when the phone recognizes SIM but shows no signal is pretty based on settings, this and the next will focus on more technical possibilities.
If you try using the SIM on other phones, and it works well, and try using other SIMs on the phone and they don’t work, chances are that the phone’s SIM board is faulty and might need a professional to check it.
Fix 5: Damaged SIM cards
You would also want to check the SIM card in question. If you notice that the copper plating on the SIM card has no chips or it has discoloration, it just might be time to have it changed.
Your mobile carrier will be able to replace the SIM if the SIM card is the issue. As a rule of thumb, recreate the issue on multiple devices to be sure it’s the SIM.