Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsCell Phones & Plans · 1 decade ago

Cellphone: Check SIM?

My cellphone suddenly stoped working. The only thing that appears on the screen is "Check SIM". And when ever I press any button, it says, "Emergency calls only". What does SIM mean, and what can I do? Help

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    SIM=Subscriber Identity Module

    As the other posts said..this is the chip that performs several critical functions on your phone, to include:

    -Provides the wireless carrier (phone company) with a unique serial number that associates billing and authentication to your account.

    -Stores some or all phone numbers that are stored in your phone.

    -Some SIMs may also store some phone settings and functions, but this varies by phone model and carrier.

    The message you are getting is due to the phone not being able to recognize the SIM. SIMs are pretty resilient, and I have seen some even survive salt water immersion (something that usually spells certain death to any electronic device). While the phone could also have a failure where the SIM slot connects to the phone, the most likely culprit is the place where the SIM contacts and the phone contacts meet. Here's the easiest way to fix it.

    -Take out the SIM card

    -Place a little rubbing alcohol or electronic contact cleaner on a paper towel or other clean cloth. Be careful, as rubbing alcohol is flammable! No smoking, lit candles or other ignition sources should be nearby.

    -Lightly clean the contacts on the SIM card with the cloth.

    -Depending on the type of SIM slot, try to LIGHTLY clean the metal contacts where the SIM contacts meet the phone with a cloth or cotton swab with alcohol or contact cleaner on it. Be careful not to push on these too hard or bend the contacts while cleaning.

    -Once the alcohol dries, place the SIM back into the phone and power the phone on. Be careful not to get oil from your fingertips on the SIM while placing it back into the phone. SIMs are usually pretty resistant to this, but oils can attract dirt and dust. Even in small quantities these can compromise your connection.

    I hope this helps! If not, you can usually place the SIM in another phone used by your phone carrier, even if it isn't the same model phone. This will help you figure out whether the SIM or phone is the problem.

    Also, a little tidbit...your phone may show "emergency calls only", even with no SIM installed. This is because the FCC mandates American cell phone providers to never block 911 calls, even on an unactivated phone.

    Source(s): Personal knowledge of cellular phones and communications systems.
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Lookup Unknown Callers
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Get Free Government Phones -
  • 1 decade ago

    Your SIM card is not necessarily your memory card. In fact, it could only store basic phone numbers. More complicated stuff, such as pictures are stored on the phone itself. The SIM card is a card provided by your carrier to tell the phone what service it is. If your SIM card doesn't work, it means that your phone has no idea which tower to connect to. Try taking it out and putting it back in (it's usually under the battery, and says TMobile or Cingular depending on your carrier). If that doesn't work, call up your carrier to request a new SIM card.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    6 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    SIM, you probably need to check the SIM card. its in the phone usually behind the battery. Just see if you can take it out and then put it back in. if that doesn't work you may need to take it back to where you got it...or see someone from your service provider

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    your SIM card is your memory card which stores phone numbers photos and info about your phone whhen your phone tells you to check your SIM card all you have to do is locate it (usually under the battery of your phone) turn your phone off, take it out and reinstall it then turn your phone back on it should work fine

  • 1 decade ago

    SIM is the chip located under the battery. (Maybe it came out of place after being dropped)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    sim is ur memory card its the thing that holds all ur contacts and ****, u can liek take out the battery and see if that hels but if not ur hard drive lil thingy mightve crashed in the cell phone its self adn uve lost all ur numbers, ur memory card probably went bad soo take it to the dealer adn see what they can do if anythign ur proabbly SOL on that one

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