How to Activate a New SIM Card

By Meaghan Ellis

SIM cards, technically known as a Subscriber Identity Module, can be used as an unique identifier for mobile devices and their owners. They prohibit access to your mobile device without your personal authorization. These cards allow you to store personal media, contacts and other information for your phone in way that makes them easy to locate and access. The only thing you need to do to use a SIM card usage is to activate the hardware. Activating a SIM card can be rather easy to do as long as your SIM card is legitimate, unlocked and issued by your mobile carrier for usage purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Unlocked mobile device

Step 1

Place a SIM unlock request with your mobile-service provider. There should be a toll-free number designated for contacting the provider. You will need to furnish your mobile phone number, personal or account information, and unique password to receive any information regarding your mobile device. When you receive the needed information, turn off your mobile device and remove the physical panel that covers your battery.

Step 2

Remove the battery from the back of the mobile device. Place the physical SIM card in the empty, designated area you will see behind the battery. (This area should have visible gold prongs that look similar to the prongs on the back of your SIM card.)

Step 3

Place the mobile device's battery back in place and apply the physical panel to the back of the device. Turn the device back on. When the its initial welcome screen appears, you should be prompted to enter your SIM card unlock code.

Step 4

Enter the code in the designated blank data form. The mobile device should power off automatically to configure the settings, and restart immediately. When it powers on again, your information should be stored correctly. You should be able to access all of your information successfully.

Tips & Warnings

  • The activation and operation of each SIM card is different, depending on the mobile carrier. Make sure you are only using a SIM card that has been issued by your mobile carrier. There is a possibility the SIM card will not work if it is not compatible with one your mobile carrier has issued.
  • Make sure the mobile SIM card you are trying to activate is not locked or currently active. If the card is active, you will not be able to use the card on any other mobile device.
  • Be aware that restrictions may apply for SIM card codes, depending on your mobile provider.
  • SIM card codes may not be available in all circumstances.
  • If you still experience problems with your new SIM card after following these directions, you may have to visit a physical location retained by your service provider to address the issue.