How to Remove the SIM Card From Your iPhone

Get that SIM card out of the iPhone

All Apple iPhones have a SIM card. Any time you switch to a different phone network, you need to swap out the SIM card. However, it's not entirely obvious how to access the SIM card slot on the side of your iPhone. For those times you need to get to it and can't find your SIM removal tool, here's how to open the SIM card slot using an everyday piece of office equipment.

Instructions in this article also work for cellular-equipped iPads.

What You Need to Take a Sim Card Out of an iPhone 

New iPhones come with a small SIM removal tool. If you're like a lot of people and have misplaced it, you can use a regular office paper clip to open the SIM card slot.

How to Open the SIM Card Slot With a Paper Clip

Opening the SIM card slot on an iPhone is a straightforward process you can do while the iPhone is still turned on.

  1. Straighten the long end of the paper clip until it projects outward.

    A straightened paperclip for removing your iPhone's SIM card
  2. Look at the side of your iPhone and locate the SIM tray. Most recent iPhone models position the SIM tray on the right side of the iPhone, but early models put it on the bottom of the phone.

    If your iPhone is in a case, you'll need to remove it to locate the SIM tray.

  3. Gently insert the paper clip into the small pinhole opening.

  4. Apply gentle and even pressure inside the hole until the SIM tray pops out.

    An open SIM card slot with tray pulled out on iPhone
  5. Pull the SIM tray out of your iPhone.

  6. Take the old SIM card out of the SIM tray and place the new one into the tray.

    SIM tray pulled out of the Apple iPhone

    A small notch dictates how the SIM card is placed. It will only fit one way. Don't force it.

  7. Reinsert the tray the same way it came out.

What to Do If You Can't Get the SIM Tray Out

Struggling to remove the SIM card tray? Here are some things to keep in mind and steps you can try next. 

  • Try a different tool to remove the tray. A thinner paper clip may be easier to use than one with a plastic outer skin. 
  • Ensure you're approaching the tray from the correct angle. If you twist the paper clip, it might just bend inside your iPhone rather than work correctly. 
  • Don't force it. It should be a gentle pressure at all times—not excessive effort. 
  • If all else fails, take it to your local Apple Store for assistance
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