An active SIM card represents the one that is working and is usable. On the other hand, a deactivated SIM card is not usable. A SIM is in inactive mode before the activation process. Then, if active SIM cards remain dormant for a long time, they get deactivated. Once the active SIM card becomes disabled, it is impossible to use it again. Also, when you don’t use the SIM card for a long time (duration varies from carrier to carrier) the SIM gets deactivated, and the phone number is recycled.
In this article, you will get to know about the different situations that lead to the deactivation of your SIM card. Also, you will understand the consequences when your SIM becomes disabled. You will learn what you lose and what you don’t upon the deactivation, too. It is important to note that lost or stolen SIM cards are deliberately deactivated by the owner, and they don’t lose anything from the old SIM card. Hence, this article will not include lost or stolen SIM cards that are turned off by the carrier.
Reasons for SIM card deactivation
In the following situations, the SIM card gets deactivated:
- If the SIM remains inactive for a long duration (depends upon your carrier)
- If you transfer (port) your number to another service provider
- When you deactivate your SIM due to theft, fraud, abuse, or loss
When the SIM card is likely to be deactivated because of inactivity, the user will be informed within a few weeks via SMS or call. If the SIM remains inactive, the user may be reminded before a day or two to avoid deactivation. If the time is up and no necessary action is taken to avoid deactivation, the SIM card deactivation process will be initiated.
When are SIM cards called inactive?
It is considered inactive when the SIM card has not been used for a long period. This long duration could be anything, and it entirely depends upon your carrier. Generally, it varies from 45 days to 365 days. To avoid deactivation, do the following things before the SIM card gets deactivated:
- Make or receive at least one call, and send an SMS/MMS to another number except for the emergency numbers
- Access the internet at least once using your mobile data
- Buy a plan or reload/recharge your SIM card at least once
What happens when your SIM card is deactivated?
When your SIM card gets deactivated, you lose all your remaining credit balance in your account. That’s why it is recommended to use the remaining credit before the SIM gets deactivated. Along with that, your action plan or service will also expire forever. Moreover, you will lose your phone number too. You cannot recover back your credit balance, active plan/service, and your phone number once the SIM is deactivated.
After you lose your phone number it is recycled. It means after a certain duration your SIM card’s phone number will be included in the pool of the carrier’s available mobile number. To clarify, it will be allotted to a new user. Mainly, your deactivated SIM card’s phone number is not assigned to anybody within one year of deactivation. Again this could vary from carrier to carrier and country to country. Know that a turned-off SIM card can never be reactivated unless it is the fault of the carrier that has disabled it by mistake.
What to do after the SIM card is deactivated?
You can’t do anything about the deactivated SIM card. Destroy the SIM card properly before disposing of it appropriately. It is because even if the SIM card is put away from service, a hacking expert can extract your data saved on it. If you still require the service of the carrier whose SIM got deactivated, you will need to buy a new SIM card from that carrier as a new customer. The phone number will, of course, be different. However, you can enjoy its plans and network again.