How to fix Galaxy Note 8 “SIM card not inserted” error [troubleshooting guide]

“SIM card not inserted” error is usually caused by bad SIM card or improperly inserted one. However, there can also be other reasons why it would pop up. In this post, we cover “SIM card not inserted” error on the #GalaxyNote8 so we hope you’ll get something out of it.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that if you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Solution #1: Reboot your Note 8

Whether you’re troubleshooting a phone or a computer, a basic troubleshooting step that should not be missed is a restart or powercycle. In an Android device, a simple restart refreshes the operating system and its apps. Since the “SIM card not inserted” error can be caused by an OS bug, it’s good if you kick off your troubleshooting by restarting the device. A restart in this case will also re-establish a connection to your network, where the issue may possibly lie as well.

Solution #2: Reseat the SIM card

Over time, the SIM card may move inside slightly causing improper connection, which in turn, may lead to the “SIM card not inserted” error. Removing the SIM card tray may fix this temporary issue.

Also, there’s a chance that there’s some dust or dirt build up on your phone causing contact problems between the SIM card and the metal connectors. If you think the SIM card is dirty, try to wipe it with a clean soft cloth. To remove dirt from the card, try using some amount of rubbing alcohol.

Unlike older Galaxy models where the SIM tray lies beneath the battery, a Note 8 is pretty much built as one unit so checking the SIM tray is out of the question. What you can do though is to remove the SIM tray and make sure that the SIM card is clean. Once you’ve done that, put the SIM card back to the tray and ensure that you reinsert it properly.

Before you remove the SIM card tray from the phone, make sure that your Note 8 is off. The same should be true when re-inserting the SIM card.

Solution #3: Turn Airplane Mode on and off

Some users were able to find success in troubleshooting“SIM card not inserted” error before by toggling Airplane Mode so be sure to do it as well. When Airplane Mode is enabled, all network capabilities of your Note 8 will be suspended, including all SIM card functions. To see if it will help you fix the problem, turn the Airplane Mode and observe the device. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Move Airplane Mode slider to the right.
  4. Turn Airplane Mode off by sliding it to the left.

Then, wait for minute to allow your Note 8 to establish a connection to your network again.

Solution #4: Change the network mode

Aside from allowing the device to automatically connect to the network by toggling Airplane Mode on and off, you can also manually change your device’s network mode. If your device’s network mode is not set to the correct mode in the first place, “SIM card not inserted” error may occur so it’s good if you can double check it. To change the network mode in your Note 8, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Tap Mobile networks.
  4. Tap Network mode.
  5. Select Auto. Some devices may display LTE/3G/2G (auto connect) so you can select this as well.

When network mode is set to auto, it’s your device that will find the best available network mode for itself. This eliminates the possibility that your phone is set incorrectly, especially if there’s a network issue going on.

Solution #5: Select the right network operator

Just as your device may be set to the wrong network mode, there’s also a chance that it be using an incorrect network operator. This issue is especially rampant for Note 8 devices with dual SIM capability. To ensure that your device uses the right network, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Tap Mobile networks.
  4. Tap Network operators.
  5. Tap Search networks. Let your Note 8 for available networks for a minute. Once it’s finished, tap Select automatically.

Solution #6: Replace the SIM card

If the “SIM card not inserted” error continues even at this point, it’s high time that you check if you have a SIM card issue, or if it’s something else. Try using a different but compatible SIM card and see if that will allow your Note 8 to detect it. If it doesn’t, then you need to get a new card from your provider.

Solution #7: Wipe your Note 8 and begin from scratch

One of the possible reasons why your device may have the error can be an unknown software glitch. To see if that’s the case, you need to begin from scratch by doing a factory reset. This procedure will wipe your data so be sure to back important files up before you proceed.

We also suggest that you take note of your Google ID and password that you use in this phone so that you won’t be locked out of your device after the reset. If you’re not sure about your login credentials, it’s better that you disable the Factory Reset Protection of your Note8 prior to the reset and here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap on your Google ID email address if multiple accounts are setup. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  6. Tap 3 dot icon.
  7. Tap Remove account.
  8. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

Once you’re ready to reset your phone, follow these steps to bring your phone back to default settings.

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Solution #8: Contact Samsung

Should all the solutions above won’t fix “SIM card not inserted” error, that means that a hardware malfunction must be causing it. To see where the problem lies, send the phone in so Samsung can repair it.


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