How to Get a Jammed SIM Card Out

Removing a jammed SIM card can be a pain in the neck.
Image Credit: Eduard Lysenko/iStock/GettyImages

My SIM card is stuck, now what? Dealing with a jammed SIM card is not always a simple matter and removing the card is a delicate process. The card tray and the actual card are small, sensitive and breaking either can damage the phone. Removal requires a strategic approach or professional repair to safely remove the card.

Check the Warranty

Before removing a jammed SIM card, check the warranty for the phone. Removing the SIM and causing damage may not fall within the warranty. If the warranty does not cover this action, do not remove the card. Causing damage to the phone without coverage can quickly result in a financial loss.

If the phone is older and expendable, removing the card is not a big issue. A high value phone without warranty coverage however is a good candidate for professional repair. Even a warrantied phone is worthy of professional repair. Many cell phone repair experts will have a system in place for removing jammed cards.

If removing the card yourself is the only or best viable option, take minute to consider the process before attempting to pull the card. Tackling the removal with a proven strategy will increase the chances of safely removing the card without causing damage to the card or card tray.

Cleaning the Tray

SIM card trays fail to eject for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the tray is dirty and the debris is actually preventing the ejection from occurring normally. Take a wet wipe or even a damp cloth and clean the area around the tray. Using a cotton swab with a touch of alcohol can really clear grime from the crevasses as well.

Use a paper clip or ejection tool to press the eject button and ideally the tray will function again. If this fails, turn the phone upside down so the tray is facing the ground and press the ejection button several times. The extra force of gravity may help the tray spring loose.

If the cleaning process fails, the tray requires a different approach to pull it away from the phone without causing damage. Adhesives are one low risk option that can help guide the tray out of the phone.

Use Sticky Adhesives

Adhesives are a viable option and often are very effective at removing a stuck SIM card. Do not apply an actual adhesive like glue to the tray because it will set and only help to cement the tray and SIM in place permanently. Use an adhesive like double sided tape or a sticky mounting adhesive like those used to hand posters and pictures.

Roll up the tape or cut the mounting adhesive into a thin strip. The trick for using this technique is to only apply the adhesive against the tray. If the adhesive sticks against the phone area outside of the tray, it will pull against the solid surface rather than the movable piece. Work over the adhesive until it roughly matches the shape of the tray.

Press the adhesive against the SIM tray and press and hold the ejection button while quickly pulling the adhesive away from the tray. Ideally, this will be enough pressure to pull the tray free and remove the stuck SIM card. If this does not work on the first try, continue attempts until the tray finally ejects. If the tray only partially ejects and remains relatively stuck, use tweezers to carefully grip and pull the SIM card free.

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