Whether you come across a phone that has been out of use for some time or simply want to test the SIM card to be sure it is operable, you can do so directly from the phone--without the assistance of a cell phone technician. A SIM card is the removable card that goes into the backside of a phone and stores information such as contacts and downloaded images and text.
Slide off the back cover of your phone and remove the battery and SIM card inside. If the SIM card has not yet been installed, skip this step.
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Wipe any dirt or dust particles from the SIM card using a clean cloth. Tissue may be too delicate--leaving behind broken pieces and lint--so opt for a clean cloth when possible. Microfiber cloth, on the other hand, is durable and made to attract and catch trapped dirt.
Remove dust and dirt from the slot dedicated for the SIM card. Gently blow directly into the slot to dislodge and remove debris. Up to three puffs should be sufficient.
Fit the SIM card into the slot. Follow the arrow or maker indicating which side is up and in which direction the card must face to work properly.
Return the battery back to your phone.
Power on your phone using the "On/Off" button. Enter your four-digit pin or password, if requested.
Make a phone call using the phone book to find contacts saved to your SIM card. Look for a phone icon or the words "Phone book" or "Contacts." If your phone does not turn on, contact the manufacturer of your SIM card and have the card tested for damage.