How to fix a Blackberry that won’t detect SIM Cards or signal


The Blackberry radio isn’t exactly one of the best radios to come to devices. A typical scenario is when your friend has full signal on his Nokia torch light phone and you have SOS on the same network on your Blackberry. Did I hear you say annoying? The issue of a Blackberry not detecting signal or not even detecting SIM cards at all is rather common and mostly not so difficult to fix. In this tutorial, we’ll not only be demystifying the issue of a Blackberry not detecting SIM cards or signal but also recommending some known & working fixes.

What could cause a Blackberry not to detect SIM cards or signal?

A Blackberry device not detecting SIM cards or signal could be as a result of a series of potential software issues (see for Android) or hardware issues. Some common causes are:

  • The SIM card not being properly inserted: If the SIM card is not properly inserted then you shouldn’t exactly expect the Blackberry to detect it properly or detect signal
  • The SIM card being damaged or deactivated: The SIM card in question might be damaged or have been deactivated by the service provider
  • The SIM slot being corroded: A corroded SIM slot could hinder proper contact with the SIM card
  • Network control toggle is set to OFF: The network control toggle might be set to OFF
  • You’re in an area with poor network coverage: You could be in an area with very poor signal or your service provider is having issues at the moment
  • The Blackberry OS has encountered a temporary error: The Blackberry OS might have encountered a memory issue or partially crashed due to some rogue process.
  • The Blackberry is locked to another service provider or network: A Blackberry locked to a particular network or service provider will only support the SIM cards of that service provider
  • Network selection mode is set to manual and no network is selected: Setting network selection mode to manual without selecting the correct network is a drowning ship.
  • The phone is set to 3G/4G only in an area where 3G/4G is unavailable: If you set the Blackberry to 3G or 4G only in an Edge only area then its only logical for your Blackberry not to detect any signal
  • Hardware issue: Either the SIM slot or the radio hardware is damaged

How frequently must this issue occur before I can tag it “abnormal”?

If it starts to annoy or inconvenience you then its ABNORMAL.

Why do some service providers lock Blackberries to their networks?

Business! If you’re forced to use only their SIM because other network’s SIMs wont work then they are not only blocking their competitors potential customers but also keeping a firm grip on theirs.

How do I fix a Blackberry that won’t detect SIM Cards or signal?

Here are a number of fixes:

  • Ensure the SIM is properly inserted
  • Test the SIM card on another device to be sure its still active and in good condition
  • Remove dust, rust or any foreign material inside the SIM slot
  • Ensure ‘Mobile networks’ is set to ON (Go to Home screen > Manage connections > Ensure Mobile networks in set to ON)
  • Take a stroll in search of signal if you suspect your immediate environment has a poor network coverage
  • Remove the battery for 15 seconds then slot it back in and boot
  • Wipe the phone or do a factory reset (See )
  • Upgrade / update the OS (See )
  • If the Blackberry is locked to another network then read  to get the unlock code
  • Ensure network selection mode is set to ‘Automatic’ ( Home screen > Options > Network > Set network selection mode to automatic )
  • Set the Blackberry to 2G & 3G/4G and not 2G only or 3G/4G only
  • Register Host Routing Table and Service Books (Home screen > Options > Advanced options)
  • Set the SIM to make proper contact with the SIM slot reader ( Turn off the BlackBerry > Remove the battery cover and the battery from the back of the phone > Unlock and remove the SIM card from the phone, then close the SIM card latch > In the top centre of the latch there is a rectangle with a metal tab in the middle; GENTLY push the metal tab inward using a toothpick or small screwdriver > Open up the latch and put the SIM card back in, when you close the latch there should be more resistance > Put the phone back together and turn it back on )
  • If all the above don’t work then you might have a hardware issue on your hands. You should have it looked at by a Technician.

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