How to get a SIM card out of an iPhone if you put it in without the tray…

Never put your SIM card into your iPhone without the tray

Just now I made a stupid mistake: I changed the SIM cards in my iPhone and my new Galaxy S3 to test if the Galaxy was SIM card locked (it wasn’t). But after putting the original card back into the S3 (just push it in until it clicks), I wasn’t thinking what I was doing when putting the other SIM back into my iPhone. The iPhone has a small tray where you need to put the micro-SIM in, so that it fits (great design Apple…). But because Android phones don’t have a tray I totally forgot about the tray and popped in the SIM without it.

The moment I did it I knew I made a mistake, because it did not click, and I realized I forgot the tray. When I tried to get the SIM out I saw it got stuck and there was no way to get it out. A quick Internet search gave me a lot of solutions (go to the Apple store, use Scotch tape, use a set of tweezers, use a toothpick and even use a vacuum cleaner!). Well, the Apple store is always a last resort solution, so I did not try that. The Scotch tape may work if the SIM is only inserted a little bit, but mine was in way too deep for that to work. The tweezers at home are too thick, just as the toothpicks. And well, the vacuum cleaner I decided not to try…

So then I started thinking, the tray has a few millimeter on each side, so there must be space on both sides of the SIM card. There should be a way to insert something on both sides of the card and then try to pull it out. But what? At that point my eye fell on the paperclip that I had used to get the SIM card tray out (another fantastic Apple design… for some reason people seem to be afraid to criticize Apple, but their products sure have some design/UX flaws). The paperclip fit in next to the SIM card, and when I got a second paperclip it just fit in on the other side! Then I started to pull slowly. At first I did not see any progress, but then I noticed the card had come up a little bit. So I tried again, and again, and again. And finally after about 2 minutes the edge of the SIM card came out. One extra pull with both paper clips and I could use my fingers to get it out! The SIM card was not damaged and it worked fine again.

Why did I post this here? Not because I think any of my regular readers will have this same problem, but more because my blog has a pretty high Google ranking and this problem may be something that others will encounter as well. I hope I can save people who Google the problem some time and expensive trips to the Apple store, where they may need to take your phone apart in order to get the card out (another great Apple design…).

124 Responses to “How to get a SIM card out of an iPhone if you put it in without the tray…”

commenter

You could use the vacuum cleaner, though put a pair of used stockings in the tube..so the sim doesn’t end up in the dustbag.

Stick some tape on the simcard using tweezers, tootpicks etc…which then would allow to pull it out.

Marc van der Chijs | June 17th, 2012 at 11:15 pm
commenter

Thanks Marcel, good tips!

commenter

I just had pretty good experience with taking my iPhone in for service here in
Shanghai after I had fallen into our Koi pond. The Apple store will take reservations and when we showed up we got going on time. They have way to check that
you got it wet so I had to pay BUT it was
less than at Non Apple alternative that wanted to use recycled parts. And two
hrs later, as they promised (we had dinner), it was done and works fine.

But I don’t like having regular SIM and micoSim – you have to cut the regular one
and you can take a cut micro and put it back in regular SIM slot, keep the extra
from when it was cut, but it can get stuck. With “regluar” SIM slot, it is fairly easy to “unstick” since you open the back and can see everything.

commenter

TNX DUDE.

commenter

just did that yesterday and was beating my iphone on the desk to get it out, finally got it out

commenter

Just happened to me. A friend used a razor blade and did it in 1 minute…lol.

commenter

try using a U shaped bobby pin if tweezers are too thick to get in.

commenter

thank you! same thing happened to me!

commenter

Saveԁ as a favorite, I like уour
website!

commenter

My daugher has just done the same, brand new phone and sim now stuck in Iphone 5. Phones works so will it be safe?

commenter

This just happened to me (new iphone user). Paperclips don’t seem to be doing the trick for me or I am just useless with them. *This* close to braking down. ;___;

commenter

Many thanks, mate. Bought the phone as a Christmas present for my wife, and inserted the card without the holder. Bummer! Knew that I’d done wrong straight away. But the paper clips worked a treat. Have to admit that I was sweating it prior to reading this, and getting the card out in about 30 seconds. Thanks again.

commenter

Just did the same thing. Thank you for this tip, saved me a trip to the apple store!

commenter

Hmmm… how stupid i felt! I was doing the same, i had the sim card out of my iPhone (3GS) to test another phone which does not have a sim tray, put it 3 quarters of the way back in the iPhone and realized what I’d done! Unfortunately i pushed it in further with tweezers.. DOH!!! The paper clips worked, thanks.

commenter

My son had his iphone5 for 3 weeks and did this. I was going to play it safe and take it to the apple store but I decided after reading this that I could do it. I used a metal dental pick…like a real one that dentist use. Took me 10 minutes…I was worried about damaging the sim card with the metal pick, but it works fine!

commenter

you are an absolute legend! I just did it and freaked out! So glad you posted this or I would have gone insane!

commenter

Did the same thing…sed the paperclips after all else had failed and they worked..Thank you..you are a Genius and saved alot of heartache and frustrations

commenter

Worked for me too but the sim card looks a bit rough…hoping for the best. Thanks!

commenter

Excellent worked after a few tries don’t worry if it goes back in keep trying and it will come out ….paper clips saved a drive to the apple shop x

commenter

Thanks dude!!. The trick wrked for me!!.. Instead of paperclips, i used the sim card eject pin provided by apple itself!!..

commenter

Great, thanks! Was able to get it out with one large paperclip :)

commenter

THANKS A LOT!!

commenter

I didn’t have paper clips on hand so I asked my girlfriend for 2 bobby pins. I think this may work better due to the bobby pins having small bulblike things at the end. Pulled it out in my first attempt

commenter

your tip just saved my a$$

thanks

commenter

Worked like a charm. Thanks.

commenter

O-M-G! What a great help you’ve been. It worked! I was panicking, but then I saw this site. Thank you, thank you so very much :-)

commenter

I made the same mistake thank for letting me no what to do.

commenter

Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I
stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read through content from
other authors and practice a little something from
their sites.

commenter

I have the iPhone 5 and didn’t have the nano SIM card so I tried to cut my own and it wasn’t working and I had pushed In the SIM card without the tray and it won’t come out. Any help?

commenter

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH

commenter

I have been trying to get my SIM card out for 30 minuets! Then I saw how you did it, I tried and it worked! Thank you sooo much!

commenter

Thanks a lot dude! Took a little longer than just 2 minutes though. Had to use a safety pin as well because the card got stuck at the end, so had to tilt it a little at the end, but it sure worked. Thanks a lot! :D

commenter

thank you so so so much it worked within 1 mintues

commenter

im struggeling :(

commenter

Thank – you so much! Just got mine & hubby thought he’d help & jammed the sim card in there good – so glad this worked, I was freakinng out!

commenter

Thanks so much…managed to do this to my iPad mini….you saved my day and alot of money.

commenter

Thanks a lot Marc, mine was removed in under 15 seconds. Sincere appreciation for this tip as it saved me a huge headache, that too while i am Stockholm which is thousands of miles away from home.

commenter

Two metal (uncoated )paperclips one on each side and pull outwards worked like a charm..used thin steak knife to leverage last bit of sim card loose ..thanks for suggestion was out of country so saved me a big headache !!

commenter

I unwound the paper clips and straightened them and wedged them in, lo and behold the card came out with a little help from tweezers. No trip to Apple tomorrow !!!
Great help thanks !

commenter

Thank you so much! Life saver. I feel less stupid now that I’ve seen other people have done it too!

commenter

Thank you very much!My heart can beat again. It started with the phone just dieing so i thought that if i took his out i could get to the battery like in my old style phone.Little did I know. Also found the hold the home and sleep button to reboot it. Thanks again.

commenter

Thanks for the suggestions,this site gives me hopes,I was so panicked,but instead of using paper clip,I cut a small piece from the hard plastic cover from the ipad charger and put in between the simcard,it come out immediately

commenter

You’ve actually saved my evening and my Iphone with this information! Thanks a lot!!!

commenter

Great hint with the paperclips – phone back on.
Thanks a lot!!!!

commenter

Thx dude great tip. The paperclip works

commenter

OMG thank you so bloody much! It took me not even a minute to get it out with an open paper clip and pair of tweezers!! You are a LEGEND!! Not only have you saved me a trip and probably a cost by not going to apple. You have also made me feel less of a retard knowing others have done it too lol :) YOU ROCK!!!

commenter

Made same blunder – card in without tray. Narrow piece of cardboard, slick on one side, slid under card worked. Pushes card against roof of slot and pulls sim card out far enough for tweezers or finger nail with no damage to card. Photo print paper, if rough enough on one side should work well.

commenter

OH MY GOD THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH, just had exactly the same problem, my mum was screaming at me haha, you literally saved my life, worked straight away!!

commenter

Thank you much for this information. I also made the same mistake with my sim card and tried the paperclip idea. It worked fast as you said. Thank you so much for sharing your info.

commenter

I have done a stupid mistake as well by inserting the iphone 5 sim card to my iphone 4s along with tray…. And now, i couldn’t pull out the tray anymore and it really baffles me to pull it harder thinking that it might caused further damage on my phone… Please help…..

commenter

Same mess here. The phone stopped working (wouldn’t start, etc.) and was in a desperate need to find a solution as I was in a hurry to contact someone. Found a link to press Home and Lock button simultaneously for 10-15 seconds, and the phone started. I already had the metal SIM holder out of the phone, and I hurried to place the SIM in the slot, without thinking of the metal holder.

K-Boom! Problem no. 2! I was lucky I had 2 paper clips, so I placed myself lying on the bed with my a** touching the wall and held my phone with my knees (that means I was sort of upside down – legs up, but in a crouched position so I could have the phone near to my eyes – I held it horizontal-ish – imagine a line connecting your two eye-balls -> the phone was parallel with that line). I did that in order to use gravity as a friend. So it turned out I only needed one paper clip and pushed the laterals of the SIM more than 5 times per side and it eventually fell a little more out of the slot and was able to get it out with my freshly cut nails (I’m a man). That was a bit of a struggle too, but didn’t want to push it back again.

Very dumb thing to do! Getting things done in a hurry seems to lead to other problems.. At least I ended up with a good story for a good laugh while having a beer with my bros.

commenter

Hey, just read Nik’s post!

“Nik | March 25th, 2013 at 10:33 pm
commenter

Thanks dude!!. The trick wrked for me!!.. Instead of paperclips, i used the sim card eject pin provided by apple itself!!..”

I’m ashamed to say I didn’t think about that, and I’m an engineer! :( Did that actually work? ‘Cause I’m sure as hell I won’t be trying that again! :)

Thanks everyone!

To the moderator: Perhaps Nik’s method is actually the fastest and most logical… Maybe you should include it in your post above next to a bold text that says: “SOLUTION” right at the beginning.

Just a suggestion! Thanks!

commenter

OMG!!! I honestly cannot believe that I nearly completely screwed my new iphone up by pushing the sim in without the holder!!!! Kind of glad that I am not the only person who has done it…!!!! Got it it out with a very thin sewing needle in the end but at one point I thought it was going to go in so far that I couldn’t eve see it!!! I have no idea why I did it…!!! STB!!!

commenter

Yup, I’m an idiot too, I inserted without tray! Thank you so much for the paperclip rescue. Your awesome!

commenter

LEGEND!!!

Thanks :)

commenter

The paperclips didn’t work so much for me, it only advanced to where the Sim card was a milimeter away from the edge of the surface. iGZNJSDGNKLeZSKVSDJgnz.

commenter

I’ve gotton mine stuck in an iphone 3 and I can’t even see the sim card, I have used a bobby pin but I can’t get it, and I don’t have a paper clip, is there anything else I could use?

commenter

Thanks man!! I didn’t know what to do but your stuff worked

commenter

Ik las net dat je een nederlander bent. Nogmaals bedankt trucje heeft gewerkt en je helpt zoveel mensen ermee. Groetjes

commenter

I stupidly put my sim card into my iPad without the tray pls help

commenter

Thanks for the tip on how to get the SIM card out that I put in with no tray. Worked great!

commenter

i used the sim tray pin that comes with the iphone – the pointy end is slim enough to slide down the sides and then work on each side gently it will eventually push the sim card so that you can reach it with a pair of pointy tweezers

commenter

This is the best, most useful blog I’ve read! On my new iPhone I managed to get the SIM card stuck and thanks to this post I was able to get it back out! Tip for anyone else though; don’t poke around with it once its stuck, focus on easy, safe ways on how to get it out. My sim is scratched and I’m in need of a new one now.

commenter

THANK YOU! Oh, my stars! I thought I had killed my phone.

commenter

thank you for thinking of others… I googled how to do this and found your page.! worked and saved me a trip to the apple store with 2 babies.. much appreciated

commenter

THANK YOU!!!! Just did the same and used your idea – took about 10 seconds!I cannot thank you enough

commenter

Well Google is really a great place for tips like this…Believe it or not, I had almost the same thing happen to me except it was just putting a SIM into my iPhone-4-S. I had someone showing me how and did just that. I promise, I worked on getting this thing out for Hours, an since it is a company phone, I didn’t want to call it to anyone’s attention for being so careless. I mean I did every one of those things you mentioned but in addition, I took the back off and tried to access it from there, No Luck! Even removed about 8 of the t-tinny screws and couldn’t get to it. I thought about using paper clips but there are electronics in there and I was afraid of cross circuiting and burning the whole thing up. I Googled it and looked at a bunch of videos but none gave me a good tip until yours popped up. Less than one minute after bending some paper clips just so, the SIM was out…Thanks a bunch for this tip. I recommend just a slight modification to the paper clip, bend an 8th of an inch slight bend to assist with grabbing it, worked like a $100 tool. Again Thanks

commenter

after much spousal derision for even trying the paperclip…worked in about 3.5 seconds

note it needs to be a long paperclip to work

commenter

Thankyou so much, loaned my phone, returned without the sim tray, neighbour having problems with her phone – she put her sim in with of course no tray. The two paper clips worked fine. Now need to by a tray for sim card. Thanks Beth Tasmania Australia

commenter

thanks mate,
youve saved me a trip to apple, and a few quid inot the bargain,
cheers

commenter

Thank you so very much! I just did this not realizing it wouldn’t come out and frantically went straight to google and your page popped up right away!

commenter

Thanks for this! Had my phone less than an hour and was just about to run back to the store to make them deal with it or replace it. I didn’t have paperclips but cake testers are thin and flexible and it took very little time to get it out with one.
:-)

commenter

Thanks! It worked for me. Used a thin knife to lift the card up behind a blocking edge in the slot.

commenter

Thanks :-) Although I managed to sort of reef it out with one. Once a small bit was outside I got it with a fingernail.

commenter

Thank you for this suggestion, worked perfectly:)

commenter

Everyone loves it when people get together and share views.
Great site, continue the good work!

commenter

So glad I found this! I used 2 straightened out hair clips… same method though! They have a nobble at the end which helps to grip.

Thank you!

commenter

What a big relief. Experience the same trouble and followed your tips. Thanks a lot.

commenter

That trick just save me! Just before christmas, I had screwed that stupid Sim tray with the Sim in it without the drawer! I use a regular paper clip, forget the tool provide with the phone, just use the normal small paper clip then pull it from one side, it will turn then will show up a bit, then you may use your nail to finish the job!

Phew… man !! Got it out now! YES!!!

commenter

Dude you saved my life …. I did this to my wife’s iPhone. Thanks a ton for this post!

commenter

Thank you soo much! You’ve made my Christmas.

commenter

I used a pair of pliers to bend the tip of the paperclip into a small L shape and it pulled right out.

commenter

Thankyou so much , just got the new i phone of my son for christmas . P ut the card in without the tray , nearly having a break down trying to get it out like you nothing would work . Followed your instructoins and yes its work , cant thak you enough

commenter

I was in a similar situation and tried a few different things that did not work then I used Google and came across this article. Great tips and advice. I managed to get mine out with a paperclip. Thank you so much.

commenter

I got my iPhone on Saturday and have just done this, I felt sick thinking I’d broke it! It was pushed right down as well but I managed to get it out using the end of an ear-ring, came out within seconds!

commenter

I made the same mistake earlier. Thank you for the advice. The metal paper clip did the trick! :-)

commenter

This massively helped! Thanks so much!!!

commenter

Thanks! I probably damaged the sim car with tweezers, but the paper clip got it out in 10 seconds. I’m so used to android phones, which do not need a sim card tray.

commenter

Could someone give me adivce on how to do it as I’ve tried so hard but it won’t work

commenter

Thanks. I ended up using one bobby pin and the apple key that comes with the iphone. The key is sturdier (less bendy) than pins or paperclips, giving just the right effect.
Thanks.

commenter

Thankyou. Worked like a charm and it was really really stuck way down too!

commenter

Thanks so much got it out

commenter

I used a paper pin,made a very small bent at the pointed end with the help of a plier and inserted it very next to the sim,reached the inside end of the sim,hooked it and pulled it out.Don’t forget to power off before inserting the pin.

commenter

thanks a lot dude , it really helped ..i was so freaked out!!! But just as u said it came out in just 2 mins from one corner … i had been trying since an hour !!! :( .. Thanks again !!!

commenter

Just done this in my iPhone 3G. Tried a chewed DSi Stylus, just broke the case and pushed the sim card in even more. Will try tweesers and paperclip. I thought my phone was a goner

commenter

THANK U SO MUCH I JUST DID THIS TO MY IPHONE 5 S U A ED MY LIFE

commenter

Saved my bacon. After struggling with the phone company for three days on other issues my new phone arrived and I like a dumb dumb shoved the sim card in with out the tray THEN shoved it in all the way with the tray!!

Googled my issue and your blog popped up! Thank you SO SO SO SO SO much..I won’t be on an episode of Snapped because of you!!

Also only took about a minute. :)

commenter

Genius!! (worked on my Droid too)

commenter

Thx the paper clip trick worked like a charm for me.

commenter

Ha, me too! thanks – couple of paperclips and few mins and panic over! Funny how many dozy people there are…

commenter

2 needels…. THX MARK!

commenter

thanks for the help. it was just easy with the use of paper clip. took me just a minute. -from Philippines

commenter

Seriously. Thank you SO much!!!!!!!!!!!! Best advice EVER!!!!!!

commenter

THANK YOU – YOU SAVED MY LIFE!

commenter

i just want to sat that you saved my life.
thank you 4ever

commenter

Very good info. Lucky me I found your site by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve bookmarked it for later!

commenter

I had same problem, stuck the card into new iPhone 5 without the tray. I tried paper clips, wouldn’t budge, then found super small crochet hook thingy that did the trick immediately! It’s about the same girth as paper clip.

commenter

OMG i just got my new sim card and was SO excited and i was stupid and forgot the tray, lake you and i was SO sad.. got a new iphone 5 today thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

commenter

totally just did this and was relieved to find i’m not the only muppet that did this :) thanks for the tips!

commenter

Awesome! The paper clip trick worked for me on my wife’s iPhone5. It is a serious design flaw on Apple’s part like many of their designs.

commenter

Thanks so much I used the paper clip! I thought i was over

commenter

My tray pinged out across my office and before I knew it and obviously without thinking I had inserted the SIM without a tray and got it well and truly stuck. I had to persevere with the paperclip and the iphone pin thingy and after about ten minutes I finally got it out! I also found the tray. Yay!!!

commenter

I just purchased my first ever I-phone and inserted the SIM card directly into the phone! I tried the paper clips, the vacuum cleaner, and a needle and after much effort, was able to retrieve the SIM card by using a pair of earrings. THANK YOU for the advice. I’m sure it was a combination of all these things that finally did the trick.

commenter

Dude this advice was awesome!!!!!

commenter

I love u u saved my life

commenter

Thank you soooo much the paper clip works!!!!

commenter

My sim card with small tray got stuck in Samsang Glaxy Q phone, where only bigger sim card can inserted. I tried all different ways but its not working, please help me so I don’t break my old phone as well. thanks

commenter

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOUUUUU!!!!!

commenter

OMG I just did the same thing and did the paperclip trick! It worked! Thanks!

commenter

I LOVE YOU!!!

commenter

Thank you SO much. I used a Bobby pin & a plastic tootpick. It worked. Like many others who have commented, I was totally freaking out & was sure i would have to have apple take the phone apart.. Anyway yeah it worked pretty quickly. I don’t know why I didn’t think to put pressure on both sides like that.

Thanks again :-)

commenter

it workd thnx

commenter

An unfolded paperclip worked a treat.
I couldn’t co-ordinate holding two paperclips steadily very well, but I could get it out with a single paperclip down the side.
Immensely relieved.
Thanks.

Leave a Reply:

Name (required):
Mail (will not be published) (required):
Website:
Comment (required):
XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>