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SMS not working after SIM change: Quick Fix

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  • 3 min read

SMS might not be the preferred mode of communication these days, but it is still very much a necessity. While your cellular functionality should remain unaffected when going through SIM changes or SIM swaps between devices, there are chances that you might sometimes run into issues.

In this article, we’re looking at what to do if your SMS is not working after a SIM change. 

Contact the Carrier

In such a scenario, the best action to take is to contact the carrier your phone is locked on to and request them to unlock the phone. However, depending upon circumstances, that might not be easy.

If the phone is stolen or blocked, the carrier may require you to fulfil specific requirements or provide certain documentation before unlocking the phone. You may also be charged a fee for the process. Lastly, some phones come with a built-in or linked phone number. In such cases, getting the phone unlocked is quite hard if at all possible. 

In some cases, carriers like Jio, Airtel or Vi block incoming messages for up to 24 hours when you issue a duplicate SIM. 

Also read: Sim card not working: 9 Fixes

Restart your phone

The first step of troubleshooting any device is restarting, and it stands for our smartphones as well. If something is acting up, chances are rebooting your phone can fix that.  

Toggle the Airplane mode

Toggling the Airplane mode on and back again has roughly the same effect on your device as restarting, except it affects the network more than the device. 

If you’re having trouble with SMSs, pull down the notification shade to access the Airplane mode setting. Toggle it on, wait for all the connectivity to drop dead, and then turn it back on again. 

Reinsert the SIM Card

Sometimes the issue can be as simple as the SIM card not being inserted properly. It could also be dusty and not make proper contact with the terminals on the SIM slot. 

Try switching off your phone, removing the SIM card and then inserting it again. If you can make phone calls or are getting network coverage now, an improperly inserted SIM card was causing your issues. 

Also read: Sim not provisioned for voice: 5 fixes

Reset your phone’s network settings

Incorrect network settings can cause all sorts of problems, including SIM cards not being detected or malfunctioning. Doing this resets your WiFi networks, Bluetooth connections, cellular and even VPN settings.

Check out our detailed guide on how to reset network settings what doing so can do here

Automate the network selection

Selecting the wrong network in your phone can also often cause this problem. Check to make sure that network selection is set to automatic.

How to fix 'phone not allowed for voice'? | Candid.Technology
  • Head over to your phone settings and tap on Network & Internet.
  • Tap on your SIM card.
  • Tap Advanced.
  • Make sure the Automatically select network option is enabled. 

Now restart your phone, and it should be able to connect to the network and send SMS messages.

Update your phone

At times, an update to the phone software can also help get rid of network-related issues. If there’s a bug in the OS or an issue with the current software version installed on your phone, updating it can eliminate any such issues at once. 

Also read: Your SIM sent a text message: What does it mean and how to stop it?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: