A SIM card is a chip that allows your telecom network to recognize you to send and receive data. But it becomes somewhat more complex, as the SIM card can store more data than what is required to identify your network settings. This includes phone numbers, text messages, and contact lists. SIM cards can transfer all of this information to a new SIM card-compatible phone or another SIM card. This is all you need to know about SIM card storage before resolving the issue of full storage on the SIM.
What is stored on a SIM card usually?
SIM cards store network-specific information. Such information is used to identify and authenticate subscribers on the mobile network. Some important information related to user data is ICCID, IMSI, authentication key, local area identity (LAI), and operator-specific emergency numbers. The SIM card also reserves other network-specific data such as service provider name (SPN), Short Message service center (SMSC) number, service dialing numbers (SDN), and value-added service(VAS) applications. All this data can be stored only on a SIM card and not on a phone or memory card. And this data can never be deleted from SIM cards.
The SIM card comes in storage capacities from 8 KB to 256 KB. This is not a lot of capacity, but it is enough to store 250 contacts directly on the SIM card. So there is nothing to worry about the contact entries when you change your phone. The contacts go with you along with the SIM card.
SIMs can also store text messages. Most of the files like documents, music, videos, images, apps, etc. are saved to your phone’s memory or a memory card. That means they do not take up any space on your SIM card. In most cases, SIM cards aren’t used as a memory bank since modern smartphones have plenty of memory for storage. Also, nowadays most of the storage is cloud-based, which means you don’t need to store anything on a physical memory device.
What does “SIM Card is full” notification mean?
When a cell phone shows the notification “SIM card is full”, this usually means that the SIM card has reached its maximum storage capacity. You will need to delete contacts and text messages or upgrade to a larger capacity SIM card for more storage space. The memory space of a SIM can be increased, only if your SIM card is less than 256 KB. Furthermore, you can’t find a SIM card of more than 256 KB capacity.
This notification indicates that you can’t store data on your SIM card anymore. So, it is time for some SIM card memory clean-up. It is not a difficult task to clear SIM card memory. Rather, it hardly takes a few minutes to perform this activity.
Ways to clear your SIM card
When your SIM card reaches its maximum capacity, delete unnecessary saved text messages and contact entries. You can free space on your SIM card by going through every entry in your SIM card and deleting it. It would be even better to transfer all the entries in your SIM card to your phone. You can also contact your operator, who should be able to change your SIM card for a newer one with a larger capacity.
Some steps to clear your SIM data to free up space on the SIM card are as follows:
- Go to the text messages menu. Go through all the text messages saved on your SIM card and tap open them and then delete them one by one. You can also select multiple messages from the list and then delete all the marked messages at once.
- Go to the address book and then click open each contact in your address book. Inside the options menu, click “Delete” and repeat the same steps for each contact saved on your SIM card.
- Go to the call log and delete all the received and dialed calls. You have the option to either clear all the call logs at once or delete them one by one.
For Android phone users, the steps are very easy. The instructions are as follows.
- Go to the “Message” menu.
- Click on the three dots on the top right of the screen.
- Select “Settings“.
- Select “More Settings“.
- Then, select “Text Messages“.
- Tap on “Manage SIM Card Messages“.
- Delete the unwanted messages either one by one or select from the list and delete all at once.
The SIM cards can hold a very limited amount of data, that’s why it reaches its full capacity very easily and quickly. They can keep some contact entries, call logs, and text messages apart from Network Identification Codes.
To free up the space on your SIM card, you need to delete unwanted text messages, call logs, and contacts manually. As modern SIM cards contain only 128 KB to 256 KB storage capacity, that’s why you can’t increase the memory of your SIM card. So it is advisable to store all such data in your phone memory.