Fix the SIM Not Supported Error on Your Second-Hand iPhone


By Jack Lin

Update on

SIM not supported

When you insert your SIM card into your second-hand iPhone, the iPhone will show you the message, SIM not supported.

This is quite a common problem that most users that have purchased a second-hand iPhone face; how do you solve this issue?

When you see any of the following messages, your iPhone device has been locked to a specific carrier.

  • SIM not supported. The SIM card that you have installed on your iPhone has been provided by a service provider that is not supported by the activation policy currently assigned by the activation server. This problem is not related to the hardware of the iPhone. You will have to contact the service provider to unlock the device or insert another SIM card from a supported service provider. Please contact Apple for additional information.
  • SIM not valid. The card that you are using currently.
  • SIM not supported. This SIM card you have inserted is not supported.

The problem here is that the error’s disappearance is not guaranteed, even if you insert the SIM of the correct network.

It is obvious that you might face some struggles while dealing with this problem. However, we are here to help you resolve this issue and make use of your iPhone for any carrier.

Part 1: SIM Not Supported – Things You Need to Know

We will go through some important due to which you see the message SIM not supported on your iPhone device.

  • You will have to unlock your iPhone device if you wish to use your locked iPhone on a different carrier.
  • If you want to connect your iPhone device with more than a single network carrier, you need to unlock it. This is because a locked iPhone is only limited to a single network carrier.
  • You will have to get in touch with the carrier to unlock the network; this is the official iPhone unlock method. However, you will have to complete the payment plan, or the agents will not help you.

From the above, you will understand that to unlock and connect your second-hand iPhone, the carrier must first unlock your phone.

Before diving into solving and unlocking the SIM not supported problem, you first need to know how the carrier works.

What is a Carrier Lock, and How Does It Function?

A carrier lock is not exactly a thing that most people would know about unless you are into technology. The concept is quite new for most people who do not know exactly how a carrier lock works.

Once you buy an iPhone or sign a new contract with a carrier, they will install custom software on it. While this software does not hamper the iPhone’s normal features and functionalities, your SIM card’s working gets limited in more than one way. Some types of carrier locks include:

● Subscriber Lock

A subscriber lock’s function blocks all SIM cards except the original one. This means that you cannot use another SIM, even if the same original carrier provides it. This is perhaps the biggest restriction that you might face.

● Network Lock

As the name suggests, your network will get locked if it does not belong to the original carrier. You cannot use another carrier’s SIM card unless you pay to unlock the device.

● Carrier Lock

This lock will stop you from using SIM cards to text or make calls when you visit other countries. While this feature is not used much anymore, the rates of your roaming data, texting, and calling increase substantially when in other nations.

Besides, here is everything about how to unlock SIM Cards and unlock Version phones for your reference.

What is the Method of Checking Which Carrier the iPhone is Locked On?

If you wish to check on which carrier lock your iPhone is locked to on your own, the method is not so easy. You might realize that you would require the IMEI number of your device; thankfully, an iPhone IMEI checker will prove to be helpful for you.

You will find your iPhone’s IMEI via online IMEI checkers. However, most of the online IMEI checkers are quite old; hence the databases have not been updated. These companies do not generate accurate reports and waste a lot of time with the people.

We recommend that you make use of the services provided by the WipeLock iPhone Carrier Checker. This is software that is unlike most online IMEI checkers; it will check the IMEI manually to provide you with a 100%-accurate report. Additionally, WipeLock can also check the iCloud and Blacklist status for you.

It is important for you to know whether your second-hand iPhone device is blacklisted or not. If yes, unlocking the device will get a lot more difficult for you.

SIM not supported – Things you need to know

Once you get to know your IMEI report, you can get rid of the carrier locks on your iPhone device. Read on further to understand how to do so in any carrier.

Part 2: SIM Not Supported – Top Two Ways of Resolving the Problem

Of course, you would wonder if the SIM unsupported problem can be solved on the latest iOS 16. The answer is yes. If you follow the methods mentioned below, you can unlock all the iPhone models running on various iOS.

By the way, here is the top software to unlock phones to any network for your reference.

Method 1 – Fix the SIM Not Supported Error Simply by Getting in Touch with the Carrier

This is perhaps the simplest and most popular method of removing the SIM not supported error from your device; this method can be used for free since you have already completed the contract’s payment plan.

However, you will have to wait until the contract finishes if there are still a lot of months to go; alternatively, you can also use the IMEI unlocking service.

As mentioned above, you need to make use of a reliable iPhone Carrier Checker to check which your iPhone is locked to which carrier. Once you know this, you can get in touch with the carrier. Today, most carriers allow their customers to unlock their iPhone devices. The three steps of doing so include:

● Checking Whether the Carrier Supports Unlocking

You first need to find out whether unlocking is a feature supported by your carrier. Luckily, most do, and you will be able to fix your SIM not supported problem easily.

All you need to do is head over to Apple’s support site; here, you will find the list of all available carriers in your region. To know which carrier can be unlocked, you will see an ‘unlocking‘ feature right underneath its name.

This means that the carrier can be unlocked from your iPhone. You can get in touch with the customer care agents directly as well.

Checking whether the carrier supports unlocking

● Contacting for Carrier Unlocking

Now that you know how to unlock your iPhone device, you can go ahead and call for an unlock request. While doing so, you need to remember a few pointers:

  • Most carriers will charge you to unlock your iPhone; hence, you need to know that your next payment could be higher than anticipated.
  • If you have not been paying your payments on time, it is possible that your request might get denied.
  • Your carrier might deny your request for monthly contracts, like paying $50 per month for a year.
  • Contacting your carrier will differ from one user to another. You can usually call them, and they will ask you a few security questions. Or else, you will be logged into the carrier’s online dashboard with your account information.
Contacting for carrier unlocking

Once your request has been submitted successfully, you might have to wait 3-5 working days for your iPhone to unlock.

● Start the Unlocking Process

While waiting for your iPhone to get unlocked to fix the SIM not supported problem, you can complete backing up your device.

This process will help you minimize unnecessary data loss after your device gets unlocked.

Start the unlocking process

Your carrier will send you a notification that your device has been unlocked. Once done, you need to do a few things. You first need to remove the old SIM card from your iPhone device and insert a new one; after that, you must set up your device again.

After setting up your phone, you will not see the SIM not supported error message again. You can also simply restore your backup if you lose contact information or important text messages.

Method 2 – Using IMEI Unlocking Service to Unlock Your iPhone

If you do not wish to go through all the complicated processes above, you can use IMEI unlocking services like ExpressUnlocks and DirectUnlocks. Below, we will talk to you about DirectUnlocks.


DirectUnlocks is a service that will enable you to unlock your iPhone device for any carrier, unlock your Cricket phone and use it in a different network, and fix your SIM not supported problem without having you to work for it.

Here are some great features of DirectUnlocks:

You will not have to jailbreak your iPhone device; jailbreaking tends to cause heavy damage to your iPhone’s firmware.

  • Using this software is much more affordable than paying your carrier for a network unlock.
  • You do not have to install any additional software on your iPhone device.
  • The program will work perfectly for unlocking any iPhone model, including the latest iOS 16.
  • Your iPhone will be permanently unlocked, so your iPhone will not be locked again.

How Do You Solve the SIM Not Supported on iPhone?

DirectUnlocks is the best choice if you want to solve your iPhone’s SIM not supported problem.

To fix your SIM not supported error on your iPhone, all you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below:

1: You need to visit the service page of the iPhone Unlock.

2: You need to tap on the model of your iPhone.

3: You have to select the country where you are residing and your iPhone’s network carrier; you also need to type in the IMEI number of your device just below


4: In the following window, you need to follow the payment instructions; your order will be placed once done.

Once your order is placed, the processing will be done in less than 24 hours. And once your iPhone gets unlocked, you will receive a message. Then, you will not see the SIM not supported error message anymore.


Bonus: How to Know Whether the SIM Not Supported Problem Has Been Solved?

If you are not very sure whether the method has worked, you can make use of this guide to check whether your iPhone has been unlocked or not:

  • 1: First, you need to turn off your iPhone device; with the help of a paperclip-like tool, you need to remove the SIM card.
  • 2: In the SIM slot, you need to insert another carrier’s SIM card.
  • 3: Turn your iPhone device on and check if your carrier is being recognized and there is no SIM not supported error; you can try to make a phone call

If these steps have not worked out, you might have to try another method instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I determine if my iPhone is carrier locked?

To determine if your iPhone is carrier locked, contact your carrier’s customer support and provide them with the device’s IMEI number. They can verify the lock status and guide you accordingly.

Q2: Can I remove the activation lock myself?

No, you cannot remove the activation lock yourself. The activation lock can only be removed by the previous owner of the device. Contact them and request them to remove their iCloud account from the iPhone.

Q3: Are all SIM cards compatible with any iPhone model?

No, different iPhone models support different types of SIM cards. It’s important to ensure that you are using a SIM card that is compatible with your specific iPhone model.

Q4: Do I need an active SIM card to update iOS?

No, you don’t need an active SIM card to update iOS. You can connect to a Wi-Fi network and update your iPhone’s software without a SIM card.

Q5: What should I do if none of the solutions work?

If none of the solutions mentioned in this article work, it is recommended to visit an authorized Apple service center or contact Apple support for further assistance.

Final Thoughts

If you ever face error messages like SIM not being supported, unlocking your iPhone device is one of the best options that you can try to solve this problem.

Of course, dealing with these SIM not supported messages and carriers can prove frustrating; additionally, it is also very expensive.

Hence, we recommend using tools like DirectUnlocks to solve such problems.


10 years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.