How to fix a Motorola Moto Z3 Play smartphone that cannot detect SIM card, No SIM card error [Troubleshooting Guide]

When your phone prompts a No SIM card error, it doesn’t always implies that the SIM card or relevant component is damaged. In fact, SIM card errors in smartphones are often tied to software issues. Hence it is but recommended to rule out software problems first whenever you will get to encounter this error on your device. If the problem persists after applying some workarounds, then that’s the time to consider opting for hardware damage assessment and/or repair.

Tackled in this post is the exact same problem on the Motorola Moto Z3 smartphone that suddenly failed to detect the SIM card and prompted a No SIM card error. Read on to find out what workarounds to try on to clear out software errors that may have triggered the occurrence of this error.

For smartphone owners who found our site while trying to find a solution, try to see if your phone is one of the devices we support. If it is, then visit the troubleshooting page for that device, browse through it to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. However, if you still need our help after that, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

First solution: Reboot your phone (soft reset).

If this is the first time your phone prompts a No SIM card error, then it could be just a random issue inflicted by minor software glitches. In that case, the first possible solution to try would be a device restart or soft reset. This helps dump cache and errant temporary data from the phone memory that may have caused conflict to the network system. Here’s how to perform a soft reset/restart on your Moto Z3:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds and then release when the Power off menu appears.
  2. Tap Power off to turn the phone off.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button until the Moto logo appears.

A soft reset does not affect any personal information and files you saved on the phone memory, thus you don’t have to create backups before doing so.

Second solution: Remove and re-install the SIM card.

Your phone may be telling you the truth, that it’s not able to detect the SIM card because it’s loosen or dislodged. This can happen especially if you accidentally dropped your phone. In that case, the SIM card just needs to be reseated and that means the need to remove it first. To make sure you’re doing the right thing, refer to these steps to properly remove the SIM card from your Moto Z3:

  1. Turn your phone off completely.
  2. Insert the SIM card removal tool or small paperclip into the provided slot to unlock the SIM card tray.
  3. Gently pull the tray out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the SIM card slot then examine the card for any visible signs of damage. If everything looks okay, you can put the card back in.
  5. Place the SIM card back into the tray with the gold contacts facing up. Make sure the card fits into place.
  6. Insert the card tray with the gold contacts facing up then press in on the tray to lock it into place.

When the tray is secured and locked in place, turn your phone back on and see if the No SIM card error is gone. If the error persists and your device is still unable to detect the SIM card, then move on and try other possible solutions.

Third solution: Reset network settings on your phone.

If the No SIM card error persists after reseating the SIM card on your phone, then try to clear out network settings errors next. Such errors can also be triggered by invalid network configurations on the phone. If the problem started after modifying your phone settings, then you can try to revert the changes you’ve made. Otherwise, perform a network settings reset to erase the phone’s current network configurations and then restore the default or original values. Doing so will let you configure individual options and enable only the necessary features accordingly. Note that your Wi-Fi networks will be deleted in the process, thus take note of your network passwords to reconnect promptly after the reset. Here’s how to reset network settings on your Moto Z3:

  1. Tap the Arrow up icon from the Home screen to view all apps.
  2. Go to Settings-> System-> Reset options menu.
  3. Then tap Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile & Bluetooth.
  4. Tap RESET SETTINGS to continue.
  5. If prompted, enter the PIN, pattern or password for your device.
  6. Finally, tap RESET SETTINGS to confirm.

Reboot your phone when the reset is finished then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Check and see if the SIM card error is fixed.

Fourth solution: Update phone software to the latest version.

Installing the latest software update can also help fix network-related problems including SIM card errors that are inflicted by some bugs and malwares. Updates aren’t only for adding new features but also a way to address existing device issues from random bugs and glitches. If you haven’t set your device to automatically install update, then you can check for and download new updates manually or via over-the-air. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Arrow up icon from the Home screen to show all apps.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Tap System updates. The System update history prompt will then show up.
  5. Tap the option to Check for update.
  6. If prompted, read the information then tap OK.
  7. If an update is available and you’d like to install it, tap Download.

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update file download and installation process. Your phone must have a stable Wi-Fi Internet connection, ample of memory and at least 50 percent battery life for the update to finish.  

Fifth solution: Wipe cache partition on your phone.

Temporary system files or data that are stored as cache in system folders or cache partition can also cause problems especially when they become corrupted. This usually happens when a new platform is implemented. Symptoms may vary depending on what type of cache is corrupted. In this case, it could be that the errant caches were those for the network system. To clear this out, it’s recommended to wipe cache partition if ever your phone starts to act up after a system update. Here’s how to wipe cache partition on your Moto Z3:

  1. Turn off your phone, if necessary.
  2. With your phone turned off, press and hold the Volume Down button and Power button simultaneously for about 3 seconds and then release both buttons when the Boot Options screen appears.
  3. Press the Volume Down button to scroll to and highlight Recovery then press Volume Up button to select. The phone will then show the Motorola logo followed by the Android recovery screen.
  4. Once you’re on the Android recovery screen, press and hold the Volume Up button for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Then quickly press and release the Power button. The Android recovery screen with menu options will display.
  6. Press the Volume Down button to highlight wipe cache partition option.
  7. Then press the Power button to confirm selection.

The phone will then instigate wiping cache partition and then reboots when done.

Other options

Performing a master reset or resetting your Moto Z3 to its factory defaults can also be considered among the last resorts if the no SIM card error persists and that your phone still cannot detect the SIM card. This can be the key to fixing the problem if complex system errors are the underlying cause. This results to data loss though so backing up files is recommended beforehand. A factory reset or master reset can be carried out through settings or via Android recovery mode.

For more help, you may contact your carrier or network service provider. If necessary, you can ask them to replace your SIM card with a new one. Or, you can also take your phone to the nearest Motorola service center in your area for hardware assessment. This is a must do if your phone was previously dropped or got wet.

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