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How to: Remove Galaxy Note 3 SIM Cards (Updated)

galaxy note 3 sim

This morning, I attempted to remove the SIM card out of my international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variant and struggled mightily until giving up and going with a pair of pliers to snatch the little guy out. You see, Samsung chose not to spring-load their SIM slot on the Note 3, so you can’t use a nail to press the SIM in to release it. It’s a weird move, since almost every other phone on the planet has a spring-loaded SIM Slot. It definitely threw me for a loop, causing way too much stress over something as minuscule as a SIM card.

As it turns out, I’m not alone in struggling with the Galaxy Note 3 SIM removal process. I took to Twitter to see if there was a personal lack-of-SIM-removal-DNA on my part or a wide-spread dealio and was told that many have struggled to remove the SIM from their Note 3. Some used paper clips, others used mighty amounts of pressure from their now-purple fingers, and a couple worked with extra sticky tape. As much as it makes me feel better than I wasn’t alone in the process, I need to point out that we are all fools. Samsung had us covered from day 1, we just needed to dig a little deeper in the boxes that our phones arrived in. 

You see that little metal paperclip looking thing in the image above? That was included in both my international and Verizon variants of the Note 3. You know what it is? A SIM removal tool (S Pen removal tool originally). It’s in the same baggie as the replacement nubs for your S Pen, which you also probably overlooked and never found.

Update:  To clarify, the metal tweezer tool is officially for changing out nubs and not actually a SIM removal tool. At least it works at removing the SIM card as well! It’s a multi-purpose tool in our books and will still save you a trip to the toolbox or with any variety of methods you can think up to remove these things.

Once in hand, the little tool can be used to pinch (since it has teeth on one side) your SIM card to help slide it out. It’s not a flawless tool or process, but it certainly works and doesn’t require a toolbox. Check out the video below to see it in action.

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  • Pfft

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • brad russell

    Honestly, I could not get this to work, but the scotch tape idea you mentioned in the video worked perfectly the first time!

  • g

    saved my life. bought at full retail and my sim was already inserted but i needed the sim card number for activation. “sim card removal tool” haha hardly, but it did work after your video gave me the needed confidence. what a joke, samsung.

  • KOBALT

    I freaked out when my VZW rep used a pair of scissors to remove the SIM

  • ForTehNguyen

    just use a piece of scotch tape….

  • steve james

    Hey Droid Life community help! I know it has been asked before but I can’t find it. I have my newly upgraded to Note 3 in hand and my toggle widget that turned on my hotspot on the downlow on my Galaxy Nexus now brings up a must subscribe dialog! How do I get tether back? I am not paying for data twice. Please tell me there is a no root way to accomplish this?

  • AMGala

    My old Blackberry had a very hard to remove SIM card. I used a pencil eraser to press down on it and get enough grip to remove it.

  • Guest

    Or just use tape…

  • disqus_FqWw4DiohB

    My GOOOOD, was that a lot of work to get out. They I had the Verizon Rep on the phone an extra 10 minutes on the phone trying to pull that thing out. My husband and I took turns sliding it out and pulling at it. My tweezers wouldn’t work. I didn’t try the S – pen tool. Thanks for that in case I ever have to again!!!

  • http://www.tech-compass.com/ Tech-Compass

    A good tip!

  • Icemann

    I used a pencil eraser! Works like a charm!

  • Peer Linder

    SIM-card looks like new after that :D

  • Jeremiah Taylor

    It’s really not this complicated. Just just push down and as you push down on it you pull it backwards with the same finger you are pushing down with.

  • Jason Parr

    Lol…. my sim card was jammed in so tight the tool dogs not actually work. …. Had to grab tweezers.

  • artsr2002

    I had issue removing the sim from a phone I had at one time. I ended up taping a piece of clear tape on it that was longer than the sim itself and folded over the end to create a “pull handle” if you will. Still thin enough that it rested on top of the battery and made no difference to the back cover.

  • Hatyrei

    Or just use tweezers :)

  • s0uth

    i just use my finger. lol.

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    I used a pencil eraser. Just enough grip to gently slide it out without damaging anything.

  • Jason M

    Masking tape works perfectly.

  • Bigsike

    Android Dev Designgears just said and I quote “Very possible I have the puzzle pieces to get the bootloader unlocked”. Holy God let this be true.

  • Andrew T Roach

    Attention to detail is not one of Samsung’s strong suits.

  • Anthony Tyson

    Had no problems taking out the one in my att version

  • James Hill

    Tweezers are probably a better option.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    As someone who SIM swaps almost daily. I’m GLAD I didn’t buy the Note 3. Stupid Move Samsung. My S4 is spring loaded. BUT My Commando IS NOT however. They made the slot with enough open space in the tray to grab the sim card and remove it. http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd260/xmguy/1381879278641_zpsafc82702.jpg

  • Jeff

    This was one of the most annoying/embarrassing moments when you get angry over removing a Sim card out of this phone. Especially if you have taken many other phones apart to repair. Sammy gets a fail on the Sim card tray. Kellen should do a poll on how long it took you to get yours out. 5-10 minutes I’m guessing I’d average lol

  • aznmode1

    I actually use the SD card as it has enough sharp edge to dig into the sim cards back to be able to push it out. More convenient than that large twissors lol

  • Alex Fischer

    First world problem.

  • Juanpa Robledo

    Really?

    It’s as easy as taking out the microSD and then press down and slide the microSIM.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWC8HgzAOY

    • Steve B

      Different phone dumbass.

      • Juanpa Robledo

        Dumbass are all up to you…

        Oh look, it’s the same brand and the same slot for cards in both phones.

        Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy Note 3. Therefore will be taken equal, ignorant.

        • Steve B

          You see how easily it slides out of the Mega? Not the case with the Note 3 dumbass.

          • Juanpa Robledo

            Mister, I love bring a battle with you. But I don’t fight with unarmed/delayed/blinded people.

    • tom

      Very good~!

  • Ryan Stewart

    Meh, its kind of a non issue really. Most phones i had you needed a pin or something to release the tray so this isnt much different. And I doubt most people are ever removing their sim.

    I have two and I have only swapped them back and forth twice so far.

  • Jim Kalista

    @kellen does your camera lens on the back of your note 3 look crooked compared to the White one? Mine does.. and also everyone I’ve looked at in a store..

    • 6stringslinger

      Mine looks straight. Got the black one.

  • seryozha

    hmm and i thought they were just to replace the tip on the spen WHAATTT

  • @thead3pt

    its actually an s pen tip removal tool, however it can be used for the sim card as well

  • Shon

    With regular Sim I can understand it but with micro Sims and nano Sims coming you need a spring Sim slot …I personally am use to it because before I got my note 3 I use to have a galaxy mega and it was the same thing with the sim

  • Just this guy

    Hey Droid Life! On the Video we can clearly see the ESN!!!. As a guy who works at the wireless store, we can easily look up the device id and know what your number is and such. I recommend taking action!

  • jim

    got my hands on a note 3 today, loved it, and I have no idea why everyone is complaining about the back, it has a great feel, I think its great and that phone is far and away the best phone out period

    • 6stringslinger

      Yeah, I like the look and feel of the back too! I just hope it doesn’t tear and get ragged….but I guess if it does I’ll just throw a new back on it.

  • tharealoc

    Pretty sure that tool is meant for pulling out the tips on the s-pen…that’s why there are “teeth” on it. The s-pen tip fits in the groove of the puller. But great way to use something they provided to fix a problem.

  • duke69111

    That’s ridiculous.

  • Ben Edwards

    I can’t help but think that this seems like a more expensive option than spring loading the sim slot.

  • New_Guy

    But why not just spring load it?…

    • Adrynalyne

      Would cost too much in RnD and delay the device. Then Verizon would have had tot est it for an additional 6 months.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Knowing Verizon, they did this to discourage people from inserting their Unlimited LTE SIM cards into tablets and Jetpack devices. F-U Verizon

      • Peter Souza

        … it’s like this for the T-Mobile, Sprint, Korean, and other international market variants too. Verizon didn’t have a say in this.

        • NIGHTSCOUT

          Then it’s a collaborated effort for the same reason. Here is a photo if what the inside of a SIM slot looks like, the spring mechanism uses less material than that huge “tool”. The spring is the thin bar on the right.

          • Adrynalyne

            The Verizon hate runs deep with this one.

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            I’m a VzW customer that is waiting for the right time to jump ship

          • Big_EZ

            The right time is when T-Mobile has good coverage, hopefully in the next few years.

          • Pedro

            @Big_EZ:disqus
            T-Mobile may have good coverage now. Where you live. Where you work.

            You won’t know until you try. Buy an unlocked phone. Try T-Mobile. It’s $30. Try AIO. It’s more, but maybe it’s needed.
            What’s guaranteed is that you will pay less if you leave VZW.

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            At my place of employment, the only phones that have a connection at all, are Verizon phones. All other carriers permanently lose connection when employees step into this building. This is why I have Verizon, and cannot leave yet.

          • michael arazan

            Me too and was hoping for a Dish Google network to jump too, but there has been absolutely no word since January on what is going on or if it is still going to happen. Dish did say that it was planning on starting by the end of 2013. I wonder if the clearwire purchase slowed them up a bit, and if Google was bank rolling them to buy up all the spectrum they have been purchasing.

          • Peter Souza

            It could be for any number of reasons… you could be (partially) right, that Samsung doesn’t want SIM swapping in an effort to ship more units (I doubt this is a carrier thing)… or it could just be that they’re trying their damnedest to make the unit as light as possible, saving tiny fractions of ounces here and there by removing metal components where possible.

            I still can’t blame Verizon on this one (even though I loathe them too).

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            Ok, well if the device weight will be less, what about the shipping weight? That included tool definitely weighs more than the tiny spring inside the SIM slot. What do you think matters more to Samsung, device weight or shipped weight?

          • Peter Souza

            I don’t think it matters — bulk electronics retail freight ships by volume overseas, yeah?

            But if they can boast that their actual unit weight is a few grams cheaper than their competitor, that’s a big deal for a lot of people.

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            The Note II weighed 182 grams. Note 3 weighs 168 grams. It seems they did cut the weight dramatically, but I’d say it was elsewhere, not on a SIM spring that weights 1/50th of a gram.

      • 6stringslinger

        I’m sure VZW would do this or anything to discourage us unlimited folks.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Cost. Im sure it saves at least a fraction of a cent per unit that goes to its shareholders in exchange for your inconvenience.

  • sc0rch3d

    have a hard time getting a grip…eh?

  • Pedro

    I thought it was an antenna.

    Oh, wait. That wasn’t me.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      The joys of an unboxing! I should put together a self-shaming blooper reel.

      • Mike Hilal

        Wow…come on dude, you’re killin me

      • Pedro

        Maybe something for the Holiday season. Or release it on a Friday. Keep us all busy until Monday :)

        I say that as someone who isn’t nearly brave enough to post anything live online. You have my utmost respect, and multiple daily webhits.

      • http://allaboutsamsung.de/ Lars

        Dude you’re totally wrong. Here’s the proof. Check 1:46http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y73fRbBTdhw&feature=youtube_gdata_player&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dy73fRbBTdhw%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata_player

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          Seriously Samsung blogger, go away. The tool works just fine for doing both. Learn something new every day. :)

          • http://allaboutsamsung.de/ Lars

            It was no offense :) I was also wrong in my unboxing (but not creative enough to use it for the SIM) so I did the other video. Btw: If you change the tip of the S-Pen be sure to set the changed one tight as if you don’t you will lose it in the S-Pen slot. Happened for me and it was quite a mess. All the best from Germany, Lars.

          • http://www.mobiflip.de/ Benno

            Thanks for clearing that up!