Call history or call log was one of the key components of a mobile phone since its release, and people often associate it with a SIM card. However, as you’ll come to find out, that assumption is untrue. We get where people are coming from since that might’ve been a rare case in the past. We owe this to technological advancements of devices. Simultaneously, these golden chips that provide identity on the network didn’t change significantly. This is something we pointed out in articles related to embedded and virtual SIM cards. Nonetheless, here’s our analysis on whether you can delete call history from your SIM card.
Can you delete call history from a SIM card?
Instead of looking for ways to do so, we must check whether that’s even possible. From the get-go, we regret to inform you that you cannot erase call logs from a SIM card on modern devices. That’s because modern devices never keep call history on SIM cards. This has to do with what’s stored on a SIM card and its limited storage. Providers primarily reserve it for SMS, SIM toolkit, contacts, and data tied to authentication on the network.
Keeping this information is unreliable. This is regardless of the fact it only contains a phone number of the caller and the recipient, date and time, and perhaps duration for established calls. Simply put, restricted storage means people may quickly run out of space. This would cause a plethora of problems carriers rather wouldn’t deal with. Employing internal storage, which is nowadays often in the range of 32 GB to 512 GB, is a more dependable solution. With those numbers, even users who never clear their history can’t fill it up in a lifetime. If they never added other data, that is.
Are call logs stored on old SIM cards?
Though still extremely rare, you may find some old devices capable of storing call history on a SIM card. Those that did, came with a rudimentary operating system and still used internal memory as the primary storage. These devices perhaps only transferred a few call logs when it was full—users couldn’t interfere with the process. For those reasons, we wouldn’t worry about it remaining there. Well, unless the phone was in use recently, such as by the elderly. If so, even if a few ended up on a SIM, deleting all call logs should get rid of it.
Furthermore, though unlikely a call log was stored on a SIM, calling or receiving calls will automatically erase the old ones. For instance, Nokia 3310 can only store up to 10 missed and received calls, and up to 20 dialed numbers. Moreover, inserting the sixth SIM card automatically erases this data—the device cannot store information for more than five at a time. Thus, disposing of your phone or performing a factory reset should let you sleep peacefully. Even if you insert the old SIM card into a new device, call records will not be there.
Who holds the call logs for my SIM card?
Try to use common sense. Or, recall if you’ve seen crime-oriented pinpointing in media. In both cases, you can conclude your mobile network carrier has a detailed history of your phone number, oftentimes called “a listing”. Thus, even if you removed all calls and wiped the device clean, exhaustive call logs remain with your mobile network provider. Except in privacy-friendly countries, mobile companies are required by law to collect and store user information—call, text, and MMS included—for a certain period.
These can be requested by court order, and are automatically wiped after the specified time expires. Unless you have an outstanding reason backed up by official institutions, carriers will flat out refuse to eradicate your call logs. Don’t count on someone doing you a favor, as they would be committing a crime. The time depends on the country. For instance, call records can remain for 3 or 5 years for countries with a high degree of criminal activities that involve phones. In contrast, the period can be as short as a year and a half.