Verizon SIM card being removed from an Apple iPhone

Every iPhone has a SIM card slot on one of its sides. That slot houses a tray that holds your iPhone’s SIM card. That SIM card lets your phone connect to your cellular carrier so that you can make phone calls and get mobile data.

You might never need to access your SIM card if you bought your iPhone with one pre-installed from the carrier. However, if you buy a phone unlocked and SIM-free, or are buying used, you’re going to need to be familiar with what a SIM card is, and how to swap one out.

Thankfully, accessing an iPhone’s SIM card tray is not complicated, but you will need three things before you get started.

  1. An iPhone (obviously)
  2. The SIM card you want to install
  3. A SIM card removal tool to poke into the side of your iPhone to eject the SIM tray

That final one can be a little tricky. Depending on which iPhone you have, there might be a SIM card removal tool in the box. If there is, you’re good to go. If not, you can buy a SIM removal tool for cheap, or you can also use an unfurled paperclip, a needle, or pretty much anything else that is slim and pointy.

Sim Card Tray Pin Eject Removal Tool

If you can't find the SIM ejection tool that came with your iPhone, these inexpensive replacements will do the trick.

Once you have your SIM card removal tool (or a proxy), poke it into the small hole that forms part of the SIM tray. You should feel some resistance, but you need to push through that a little.

If this is your first time removing a SIM card, it might feel a little odd, but you do need to exert a bit of force to get the tray out. Once you do that, the tray will start to eject, and all you need to do at that point is pull it the rest of the way out.

A SIM card removal tool inserted into the side of an Apple iPhone

Once the tray is out, remove any pre-existing SIM card and install the new one. Ensure that you have the card in the tray the correct way around using the notched corners as a guide. Once the card is installed in the tray, re-insert the whole thing into your iPhone, ensuring the pin hole lines up with the hole in the phone as you do.

A SIM card tray half way out of an Apple iPhone

After the card installation is complete, it should be recognized by your iPhone without any device restarts. If not, try toggling Airplane mode on and off, or restarting the iPhone completely. That should get you up and running just fine.

RELATED: How to Force Restart Any iPhone or iPad

Profile Photo for Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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