the SIM card in your iPhone or iPad when changing carriers using this handy guide.
On your iPhone or iPad, it’s the SIM Card that does the job of providing cellular network services on the go. The SIM — or Subscriber Identity Module — is a tiny physical card that goes into your device and tells it to connect to a particular network that it is configured for. At times, you may need to remove the SIM card from your iPhone or iPad. You may be traveling internationally and may want to switch to a local SIM card in your iPhone, or you may want to temporarily switch to a different carrier network for some time. By following this detailed guide to removing the SIM card from an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to swap the SIM in the iOS device in just a few simple steps.
Now that we have the necessary tools to eject the SIM Card from iPhone or iPad, let’s go ahead and locate the SIM tray. Depending on which generation or model of iPhone or iPad you have, the location of the SIM card tray on your iOS device will vary. But it’s fairly easy to find the location of SIM tray — you just have to look at the sides of your iPhone or iPad and locate a slim cutout with a single pin hole. This hole is where you insert the SIM ejector tool or metal paperclip as explained above.
Find where your SIM tray is located on your iPhone or iPad model
Almost every iPhone comes equipped with a SIM card tray*; if you have an iPhone 4s or newer, you have a SIM card slot.
*The only exception was the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4.
Here is where you can find it, given your iPhone model:
- Original iPhone/iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS: On the top of the iPhone in between the headphone jack and power button
- iPhone 4s and later: On the right side of iPhone, the side opposite your mute switch and volume buttons
Only cellular-capable iPads have SIM trays. If you have one, here is where you can find your SIM tray:
- Original iPad: Along the left side of the iPad towards the middle, opposite the side that contains the mute switch and volume buttons, near the bottom
- iPad 2/3/4: Along the left side of the iPad, opposite the side that contains the mute switch and volume buttons, near the top
- iPad Pro/Air/Air2/mini (all generations): On the bottom right side of the iPad, the same side that contains the mute switch and volume buttons
How to Remove the SIM Card in iPhone or iPad
Now that we have the tools required to eject the SIM card from iPhone or iPad and now that we know where the SIM tray is located on the iOS device, let’s look at how to actually remove the SIM Card from an iPhone or iPad.
- Hold the Apple SIM ejector tool or the metal paperclip in one hand.
- Carefully and slowly insert the tool into the hole of the SIM card slot without applying any pressure.
- Gently apply pressure on the pin, making sure that the PIN is being pushed straight inside and not at an angle.
- With a little pressure applied, the SIM card tray pops out of the slot.
- Carefully pull out the SIM card tray out of the slot with your fingers.
- Proceed to Add, Remove or Swap out the SIM card in the SIM card tray.
To insert the SIM card tray back into the iPhone or iPad, you don’t need the SIM ejector tool. Simply place the SIM card onto the SIM tray in the correct orientation, then insert the tray back into the SIM slot and gently push it back into the slot.
Be careful never to apply a lot of force or pressure. You’ll always need to apply gentle pressure, both while removing the SIM card from the iPhone or iPad and also while inserting a SIM card into the SIM slot of your iOS device.
When should you remove your SIM card?
Some people think that removing your SIM card makes your phone untraceable. In truth, your phone can usually be tracked even without a SIM card in place.
You should remove your SIM card if you want to move it to a new phone, or need to return it to your service provider. If you’ve been issued a new SIM card, you’ll also need to remove and replace the old one.
Additionally, if you’re going to be sending in your phone for repairs, take 30 seconds to remove your SIM card. SIM cards aren’t expensive, but they do contain personal data that could lead to costly problems if you lose the card or it falls into the hands of a scammer.
If you’ve gotten a new SIM card and a new phone, you should still remove your old SIM card. Keeping it inserted means that anyone who calls your old number will still make your old phone ring.
Removing the SIM card will disable your ability to make calls, use mobile internet, and send or receive SMS text messages. On an iPhone this isn’t always a problem, as you can still connect to Wi-Fi and use it to send iMessages — but at that point, you may as well buy an iPod Touch.
Removing a Sim card from your iPhone is easy. Simply follow the steps above and you should be able to get your iPhone working again quickly.