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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…).

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442 Comments

  1. Seriously you are a lifesaver, I’ve never owned a iphone and I just shoved it in there. Thanks!!!

  2. Seriously. We thought what r we gonna do now. It worked on iphone x. We had to use a safety pin instead of a paper clip for the x. Carefully centered the sim card, had my husband hold the phone, then put them in on either side and gently pulled it out. Came out in 30sec. Phew. Thank you.

  3. You saved me!!! I did this same thing and the card got stuck. The paper clip thing worked like a charm so thank you for posting this.

  4. Hi SIM card stuck in my i phone 6 if I take it to a shop will I be charged for this

  5. Tried to get sim out but didn’t want to keep trying incase damage my phone

  6. I did the exact same thing and managed to get the sim card stuck. Here’s what I did: took the 2 screws holding the screen on, gently preyed and separated the 2 pieces with out completely removing the screen, then took a dental pick and slide the sim out. took maybe 5 mins total! Easy fix.

  7. YOU ARE A GENIUS! THANK YOU! JUST TRIED AND IT WORKED IN 2 SECONDS!

  8. I kept trying and now my phone is damage !!! And the sim is deep inside the port idk what to do

  9. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I didn’t even think and just stuck the SIM card in and about cried when I realized what I had done. Your article saved me from a panic attack.

  10. Thank you soooo much it worked for me too just took two tries. Now I have to find the tray to put it back in correctly!

  11. I got a iPhone 8 and I got my sims card stuck in my phone and I was wondering how do you get it out

  12. Thanks! I was able to make it work somehow with one paper clip on one side. Saved us a trip to town and probably some $$$…🥳

  13. Didn’t work and my parents kept scolding me like I’m freaking sick of it 😂. Jesus

  14. Thank you! Paper clips are in short supply since no makes paper copies any longer but I got the tip of a push pin to work. You saved me — mostly from a great deal of embarrassment, as well as a trip to the Apple store! Thank you!

  15. Thank you. I’m going to try your method. I brought my iphone 7 to Apple Store where they could not remove it. They sent it to CA and then notified me they could not do the repair because of “unauthorized modifications that were made to it. Our warranty does not cover issues caused by unauthorized modifications”. What bull. Thanks for the tip.

  16. My SIM card has been stuck for months. You are a LIFESAVER!


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    Dude… You called it! I have this exact same problem. Thank You for taking the time to tell others. Very cool.

  18. Thank you!! I just did this and was panicking and managed to get it out with two needles loool. Lifesaver xo

  19. I did the same🙀🙀 got the darn sSIM card stuck….but instead of a paper clip I used a safety Pin and that worked….Yeah!!

  20. I did the same dumb thing. Unfortunately, I think my earlier attempts with other items, might have damaged the port. But then when I tried this-it did work, here is how it went: Mine was so embedded at the end of the port, and half chewed up from earlier attempts, and leaning to the left, that I had to lay the phone flat down on my counter with the side backed up to the wall-my LED flash light on the counter pointed right to the opening, and I could spot it.
    I used the two clips eventually but when I opened the one clip, it had broken on the side where the curve is and formed a tiny hook, that ended up being the part of the clip that enabled me to move that SIM card to it’s side. Earlier attempts had chewed part of the card away and it was oddly shaped.
    I used that hook side of the clip to move the SIM Card to the side at an angle. Then I got both clips-straight edge, and lined them up against each side and pulled it to the opening front, and I was able to pull it out with my fingers. Unfortunately, I think the inside of that opening is damaged from my earlier attempts, I wish I had known this. Thank you for your help!!

  21. Thank you so much! I did the very same thing and was freaking out. I couldn’t get it out for anything and googled some help and found this article. I was able to get it out the first try!

  22. I used two tiny little safety pins!!!! worked perfect. Thanks for this info☺

  23. We did the same thing. However the paper clip I had was too big. So I went to Apple – they said they didn’t have anything to fix it a d to try Geek at Best Buy. Went there and they said they couldn’t and so my only option was to purchase another SIM card. So went to the Phone section. Two very nice young men asked to see it. They worked on it trying to get it out. Finally I saw those leak off stickers. We took one folded it up and the young man inserted it in and pulled out the SIM card first try. So here is another option!
    Good luck !

  24. Thanks, I started to panic seriously, as it wasn’t my phone that I put the card in wrong.. and then I read your blog And it worked. However I didn’t have paper clips so I very gently used a couple of needles… and I had to make sure I had my cheater glasses and a headlamp on as it was hard to see in the depths of that little slot.

  25. Hi Mark, great Idea. It is indeed a life saver. I thought I had to go to repair shop to get it fixed, Luckily I read your article. Thank You 🙂

  26. THANK YOU! I was just congratulating myself on the pristine condition of my phone prior to giving it to my granddaughter and I made this stupid mistake!

  27. Hey. It happens! And, yes, it happened to me. Same thing, working with my Samsung and my iPhone. Thanks for the help!

  28. i phone 8 stuck sim card without the holder. how can i take it out?

  29. Truly thanks! It really worked, no damage. I didn’t have paper clips but two small safety pins worked with my iPhone 8.