How to replace a lost SIM card

Written by michael belcher Google
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How to replace a lost SIM card
SIM cards let users easily switch phones and use the same carrier's network and phone number. (sim card image by Yury Shirokov from

Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged SIM card is important for regaining a mobile phone connection. SIM cards are small memory cards that are used in cell phones operating on GSM network frequencies to hold the service provider information and phone number. SIM cards are provided by a network service provider for use on their network, and replacement SIM cards must be reprogrammed with the lost card's information.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Contact customer service. If a SIM card is lost or stolen, contacting the SIM card's service provider can ensure that the lost card is turned off and no unexpected usage occurs. Customer service may also be able to locate the nearest retail store that can provide a replacement SIM.

  2. 2

    Locate a service provider's retail store. SIM cards can be delivered by mail but a nearby retail store may be able to replace a lost card more quickly.

  3. 3

    Order a replacement SIM card. Replacement SIMs must be programmed by the service provider with the correct phone number, user information and network settings. Some retail stores may be able to program replacement SIMs on site while others may deliver replacements by mail.

  4. 4

    Insert the replacement SIM card in a phone. SIM card slots are usually located under the phone's battery.

Tips and warnings

  • Not all phones have SIM slots, and some phones are "carrier-locked" to a certain service provider. Verify that the phone you use meets a network's requirements.

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