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 SIM tray, unfold a paper clip and stick the straight side in ejector hole until 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 that is used to eject the tray from the side of the iPhone, if it is included in your country and with your network-specific iPhone, is included in the packaging.

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. The tool is a small piece of metal and is attached to a white piece of paper, this makes it easy to accidentally throw out.

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 diameter of the hole used to eject a SIM card tray is tiny. Although there are plenty of straight objects that 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 been used with success:

  • 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 of how thin and flexible it is. A thicker, industrial staple is a better choice.
  • Mechanical pencil: To use a mechanical pencil, give the lead a few clicks to extend it farther than you would to write. Poke the lead in the hole and give it a firm push. It's difficult 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 on most iPhones is located on the right side of the phone. On the earliest models, it is located on the bottom edge of the phone. The SIM tray is a narrow oval with a tiny circle beneath it. The tray slot sits flush with the side of the phone and is covered by any phone case.

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

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