Sim card pin recovery

Written by amy mcclain
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Sim card pin recovery
Unlock your SIM card using your carrier's default PIN code. (sim card image by Renato Francia from

If you're using a cell phone that operates on a GSM network (such as AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile), your subscriber information is stored on a SIM card. You can secure your SIM card to protect it if it is lost or stolen by setting a unique PIN code. If you've inadvertently locked your SIM card and are unsure of the code, there are a few steps you can take to reset the PIN and unlock your card. Carriers set a default PIN, and your card also has a unique PUK (PIN Unlock Key.)

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Type in the default PIN code as set by your carrier. (AT&T Wireless uses "1111"; T-Mobile uses "1234.") Press "OK." If you receive an "Incorrect Code" message, proceed to the next step.

  2. 2

    Re-enter the default PIN code until your phone displays "Enter PUK Code." (Three incorrect PIN entries will require the use of the PUK code.)

  3. 3

    Contact your wireless provider's customer service department by calling the toll-free number. (This is generally listed on your invoice.) Request the PUK code for your phone--you will need to verify your account before the code is released to you.

  4. 4

    Type in the eight-digit PUK code and press "OK." You will be prompted to enter in a new PIN code.

  5. 5

    Type in a new four- to eight-digit PIN code of your choosing, then press "OK." Re-enter the new PIN code to confirm. Press "OK." Your phone is now unlocked.

Tips and warnings

  • There is no way to recover a forgotten PIN code, as carriers do not have access to a code once it has been changed on your device. Resetting a forgotten PIN is your only option.
  • If you receive an error message at the end of step five, you have entered one of the codes incorrectly. Re-enter the PUK code carefully and try again--10 incorrect entries will result in a permanently locked SIM card. Re-verify the PUK code with your provider if necessary.

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