How to Open an iPhone SIM Card Without an Ejector Tool

Plenty of tiny objects do the trick on the iPhone

What to Know

  • Hands down the best non-standard tool: a paper clip.
  • Next best non-standard ejector tool: a safety pin.
  • To reveal the SIM tray, unfold a paper clip and stick the straight side in the ejector hole until the tray slides out.

This article explains how to open an iPhone SIM card without an ejector tool. Instructions in this article apply to all iPhone models.

Finding the iPhone SIM Card Ejector Tool

The SIM card tool for ejecting the tray from the side of the iPhone comes in the box as long as your country and network-specific iPhone include it.

In the U.S., iPhones include documentation, such as legal notices and getting-started guides. The SIM ejector tool may be hidden in these papers. It's a small piece of metal attached to a white piece of paper; this makes it easy to throw out accidentally.

If you can't find the tool or bought an iPhone secondhand, there are other ways to open the SIM tray to add or replace a SIM card.

Try These Items to Eject a SIM Tray

The opening used to eject a SIM card tray is tiny. Although plenty of straight objects might work, the SIM hole requires something sturdy with a narrow dimension.

Watch your thumb when pushing any of these tools you may have around the house into your phone. Most of them are sharp and could pierce the skin.

Here are some ideas that have worked:

  • Paper clip: Most small and average size paper clips work by bending one side. If you don't have a SIM removal tool, a paper clip works well.
  • Safety pin: Not all sizes of safety pins work. Find the smallest safety pin possible to fit inside the hole.
  • Earring: An earring works in a pinch. Take off the earring back and insert the post into the SIM tray hole. Be careful because soft materials such as gold bend easily.
  • Staple: A standard staple can come through in a pinch, but it may be hard to use because it is thin and flexible. A thicker, industrial staple is a better choice.
  • Mechanical pencil: To use a mechanical pencil, give it a few clicks to extend it farther than you would to write. Poke the point in the hole and give it a firm push. It's challenging to use because of how brittle the lead is, but it's a common item found around the house or in a backpack.
  • Toothpick: Most toothpicks are a little too wide for the iPhone SIM hole. Whittle away some of the wood to make it fit and break off the tip.
  • Fishing hook: Fishing hooks come in various shapes and sizes, so if you're off on a boat and need an emergency SIM swap, try one of these.

Many cellphone carrier stores have extra SIM card ejector tools if you'd prefer to stay with a proven and guaranteed method of extraction.

How to Open iPhone SIM Card Tray With a Paper Clip

A paper clip is one of the easiest and most common objects to use when you don't have an ejector tool.

  1. Start with a small or medium-size paper clip.

  2. Unfold one straight side, so it's sticking out.

  3. Stick the straight side of the paper clip into the SIM card ejector hole as far as it will go.

  4. With the paper clip in the hole, use your thumb to press firmly until the tray protrudes. It should slide out slowly rather than pop out.

iPhone Models and SIM Tray Locations

The SIM tray, a narrow oval with a tiny circle beneath it, is on the phone's right side on most iPhones and sits flush with the side of the phone and isn't visible if you're using a phone case. On the earliest models, it's on the bottom edge of the phone.

The iPhone XS Max was the first iPhone to switch the SIM card's direction rested on the SIM tray. Instead of sitting in the tray facing you, the SIM card sits on the backside of the tray.

  • How do I remove my SIM card from my iPhone safely?

    To replace your SIM card, gently take the old SIM card out of the SIM tray and place the new one into the tray. A small notch indicates how the SIM card is placed. Reinsert the tray the same way it came out.

  • Why does my iPhone say there's no SIM card installed?

    If your iPhone says “No SIM Card,” the device doesn't recognize the SIM card. The simplest solution is to take it out and reset it.

  • Can I back up my contacts to my iPhone SIM card?

    No. You can't back up contacts to your iPhone's SIM card, but you can import data from an old SIM card. That said, it may be easier to sync or import contacts from the cloud, a computer, or software.

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