iPhone Says SIM Failure after iOS 17 update, How to Fix

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
3 Min Read

Are you getting "SIM Failure" error prompt after updating your iPhone to iOS 17? There could be several issues that can result in a “SIM Failure” error after an iOS update. This is an important problem that needs immediate attention because if your SIM does not work, your iPhone won’t be able to make or receive calls, and your cellular data connection may not work. It appears that this issue affects users who use an eSIM in their iPhones and those who use a physical SIM card. This issue occurs because your iPhone is unable to detect or read the SIM card. There could be a hardware or software issue causing this. In this article, I explain what you can do to fix this SIM problem.

SIM Failure message


If your iPhone says “SIM Failure” after iOS 17 update, it can mean that the SIM hasn’t been inserted properly, the SIM is damaged, your carrier account may have an issue, or the iPhone itself may have an issue. All can be fixed, however.

Note: Information in this article applies to the iPhone 11 series, 12 series, 13, 14, and 15 series iPhones.

How to fix iPhone “SIM failure” after iOS 17 update

1. Restart your iPhone

I myself experienced this problem after updating my iPhone to iOS 17. When I restarted my iPhone, the problem was gone. Here is how you can restart your iPhone:

iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15:

  1. Press and hold the volume up (or down) and the side button together until you see the power off slider.
  2. Drag the slider from left to right.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to turn off.
  4. Press and hold the side button to turn it back on.

iPhone SE (2nd generation) and iPhone SE (3rd generation):

  1. Press and hold the power button until you see the power off slider.
  2. Drag the slider from left to right.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to turn off.
  4. Press and hold the power button to turn your iPhone back on.

2. Update your iPhone

In the past, we have seen a few instances where a new update, especially for Betas, has caused SIM failure issue. However, Apple was quickly able to fix it with an update. Thus, it is recommended that you update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS 17. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. If there is an iOS update available for your iPhone, download and install it.

3. Check for carrier Settings updates

Especially after major iOS releases, carriers may release updates to ensure that their service is working perfectly with iOS. If the SIM failure issue is widespread, your carrier may have already released an update to fix it.

You will usually be notified if there is a carrier settings update, but you can manually check by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select About. If there is an update, a popup will appear.
  4. Tap Update.

Please ensure that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, as this requires an active internet connection. If you do not have Wi-Fi, find a Wi-Fi and try this step again.

4. Remove and insert the SIM card again

You may encounter SIM failure problem on your iPhone if the SIM card is not placed correctly. Try removing your SIM card and putting it back. You can do this if your iPhone has a SIM tray. For example, iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models do not have a SIM tray. Here is how you can remove and then insert the SIM card:

  • Get a paperclip and straighten it out to form a straight piece of wire.
  • Then locate the SIM card tray on the side of the phone and pop the end of the paperclip into the tiny hole.
  • Now give it a very slight but firm nudge to pop the SIM tray out.
  • Remove the SIM. Gently clean the SIM with a dry and soft cloth.
  • Put the SIM in the tray again and push the tray back into the phone.

Is something wrong with the SIM card?

There may be something wrong with your SIM card. To rule this out, try the following:

  • Take out your SIM card (see the steps above) and put it in a different device if you have one.
  • Does this device show the SIM Failure message too?
  • If you see SIM failure on the second device, contact your carrier and ask for a replacement, as we explain in the next step.

5. Contact your carrier

If your iPhone is still showing SIM failure message, then the next step is to contact the phone carrier. You can contact your carrier by phone or by visiting their local store. Tell them about your problem. And ask them for a SIM card replacement. Carriers will either replace the card at no cost or for a nominal fee.

6. Contact Apple Tech Support

If non of the above troubleshooting steps fixed your problem, then you likely have a defective iPhone. The only course of action in this scenario is to contact Apple Support and arrange for the phone to be sent back for repair or replacement.

Share This Article
By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
Leave a comment