How to Remove a SIM Card from an iPhone

Remove your iPhone's SIM card easily!
1 minute

Whether you've bought a new iPhone and need to switch out your SIM cards, got a new SIM card for your iPhone, or are doing some much-needed troubleshooting due to recent cellular service issues, you will need to be able to remove your SIM card. Unfortunately, removing a SIM can be tricky at times, especially if you have never removed your SIM card or don't consider yourself very tech-savvy.

Don't be intimidated by the SIM removal process, I promise it is easier than it looks. All you need to properly remove your SIM card is your iPhone and a SIM removal tool. Every time you buy an iPhone it comes with a SIM removal tool, which looks a lot like a paperclip. A lot of iPhone users accidentally throw out this handy tool. If you no longer have a SIM removal tool, use a paperclip or the back of an earring. Do not try using anything sharp or easily breakable.

Now that you have everything you need to remove your SIM card, let's get started!

iPhone 11 (256GB + Green)iPhone 11 (256GB + Green) ×1

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Before removing your SIM, carefully remove your iPhone's case so that we can get to the SIM card tray. Being careful about this is key. Many cases are on very tightly, so take your time to avoid causing damage to your iPhone.

If you kept the SIM removal tool that came with your iPhone, you are good to go. However, you can always gently unfold a paper clip, use the back of an earring, or try another flat, thin tool that will fit in the hole that releases the SIM card tray.

Your SIM card tray will look like a small, oblong oval with a small, round hole next to it. Depending on the model of your iPhone, your SIM card tray location will vary. I've created the table below to make finding your SIM card tray easier. Keep in mind that regardless of the model of your iPhone, the SIM card tray will be on the sides and/or edges of your iPhone.

If you cannot locate your SIM tray, check out this handy table:

iPhone model Location
iPhone 12 models Left-hand side underneath the volume buttons
iPhone 11 models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone X models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone SE models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone 8 models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone 7 models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone 6 models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone 5 models Right-hand side underneath the power button
iPhone 4 models Right-hand side underneath the power button

The distance of the SIM tray from the associated button noted in this table varies based on the model. Some may be further down, while others are only about an inch away from those buttons.

Here's where the action happens! Now that you see your SIM tray, there should be a small hole underneath it. You are going to insert the SIM removal tool or paperclip into that hole and give a gentle push to release the tray.

Being gentle but applying pressure is key here. You don't want to damage the button that releases the tray. Keep in mind that the SIM tray will not come all the way out. It will usually pop partially out and you will pull it the rest of the way.

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