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How to reset a phone SIM card

Updated March 23, 2017

The specific steps for resetting a phone's SIM card will depend on the type of phone you are using and the data stored in the card. Although the menu settings vary for each device, the general process is basically the same. When resetting a SIM card, the end result should be its default state: an empty memory card. There are a few ways you can accomplish this task.

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  1. Insert the SIM card into your cell phone's SIM card slot. Place the back cover securely and turn on the phone.

  2. Access the "Settings" menu. A number of options should display for modification, including "Display," "Time and date," "Phone," "Reset" and others.

  3. Click on the "Reset" option. A list of options should display prompting you to select the area you wish to reset. Check the necessary areas if applicable, or click on "Reset All."

  4. Insert the SIM card into your phone.

  5. Access the "Phonebook" menu options and select "Management" or "Settings."

  6. Choose "Delete All" and confirm the action. The phonebook has now been reset to default status.

  7. Access the "Messages" menu options and select "Settings." Choose "Delete All" from the available options. If this is not an option, access the "Inbox" and view one of the existing messages. Click on "Options" and select "Delete All."

  8. Depending on the cell phone you use, the options might vary. It might be necessary to click on "Delete Multiple" and then select "All." If none of those options is available, delete each entry individually.

  9. Access the "Call Log" menu options. Click on "Call Manager" or "Settings." Click on "Call Duration," then click on "Options" and select "Reset All." Repeat the same steps for "Missed calls," "Received calls," "Dialed calls" and "Recent contacts," if necessary.

  10. Obtain a USB SIM card reader. Insert the SIM card into the SIM card reader's slot.

  11. Connect the SIM card reader using the corresponding USB cable, and plug it into an available USB port in your computer.

  12. Launch the SIM card reader program if it does not launch automatically.

  13. If necessary, obtain the driver that corresponds to the SIM card reader's program, install it in your computer and follow the installation wizard until it is finished.

  14. The corresponding driver for your SIM card reader should come in a CD format when you purchase the device. If not, you may also download the driver for the specific SIM card reader through the manufacturer's webpage. Recognise the driver by its name and file extension, ending with ".exe." For example: "sim_card_driver.exe" for Windows, or a folder ending with ".dmg" for Macs.

  15. View the contents of the SIM card reader program. A user interface window should display with menu options to manage the contents. Locate a "Reset" button within the application's menu. Access the "Help" menu, if necessary, and search for a "Reset" feature.

  16. View the contents of each section (Phonebook, Messages, Call logs or other), select all, right-click on the selection and choose "Delete."

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Things You'll Need

  • USB cable (optional)
  • SIM card reader (optional)

About the Author

Emilio Alvarez

Emilio Alvarez has a Bachelor of Science in computer science from San Diego State University and a minor in music composition from Southwestern College, San Diego. He has been writing since 2002 and has published short stories with Editorial Dunken (Buenos Aires, Argentina), where his work is part of a Spanish anthology: "El libro de talleres."

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