TextNow SIM Card Not Working: How to Fix

Are you having issues with your TextNow SIM? You’re not alone.

I got a TextNow SIM card recently. However, when I inserted the SIM into my phone and tried to send a message, it bounced.

After doing some research, I was able to get my SIM to work perfectly.

TextNow SIM Card Troubleshooting

If you are going through the same issue, keep reading to see how to go about it.

In short, if our TextNow SIM Card isn’t working, check that the SIM is correctly installed. Next, ensure that you’ve activated the SIM.

If the problem persists, keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot this.

Troubleshooting Your TextNow SIM Card

1. Insert the SIM Card Correctly

Your TextNow SIM card might fail to work because you haven’t inserted the SIM correctly. As a result, your mobile device won’t receive signals from the TextNow network.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to insert the SIM properly.

In most iPhones, a SIM card is inserted face up. However, Android users mostly insert their SIM cards face down.

If your TextNow SIM doesn’t work after you’ve inserted it correctly, try the next tip.

2. Ensure that You’ve Activated Your SIM

Your SIM card won’t work if you start using it the moment you receive it. Before you can make calls and send messages on the SIM, you need to activate it.

You can activate your TextNow SIM by doing the following:

  • Insert the SIM card into your phone.
  • Turn on the Wi-Fi settings on your phone.
  • Connect your phone to your Wi-Fi network.
  • Download the TextNow app from Play Store or App Store.
  • Once you’ve downloaded the app, launch it.
  • You’ll be asked if you have a TextNow account. Click on No.
  • This will take you to the Create Account page.
  • Choose a Username and Password for your TextNow account and enter them into the boxes provided.
  • Click on Create Account.
  • Next, you’ll need to choose a phone plan. Tap on Choose a Plan. Then select a plan that suits you best among the list of plans available.
  • Enter your credit card information and click on Confirm.
  • Your MSL and Dialer codes will now appear on the screen. Write down your MSL and Dialer codes in a note.
  • After writing both codes, click on the Open Dialpad button below the codes.
  • Now, enter your Dialer Code only and press the phone icon.
  • You’ll see a message asking to reset your MDN and other settings to factory default. Click on Yes (this won’t remove any saved data from your phone).
  • Now, your phone will reboot, and the TextNow SIM will be activated.

After activating your TextNow SIM, use it to make a call. If it doesn’t work, continue to the next step.

3. Contact Your Previous SIM Carrier

If you see the message SIM Not Supported or Device Locked to Carrier on your phone’s screen, the device might still be locked to your previous carrier. As such, your TextNow SIM might not work on your phone.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to contact your previous carrier and ask them to disconnect the old SIM from your phone.

Once your old carrier unlocks your phone, your TextNow SIM should start working.

4. Check if Your Phone is Compatible with the TextNow

Your TextNow SIM won’t work on your phone if it is incompatible with it. To rule out this problem, you’ll need to confirm that your phone supports the TextNow SIM.

TextNow will ask for your phone’s IMEI number when checking the phone’s compatibility with the service. So, you need to find your IMEI number before taking the compatibility test.

Take the following steps to find your IMEI number:

Android Phone

  • Open your Settings app.
  • Click on About Phone.
  • Next, select Status to reveal your IMEI number.


  • Tap on your Settings app to open it.
  • Click on General. Then select About. The IMEI number should be on the list that appears when you tap on About.

Once you find your IMEI number, note it down.

You can now take the TextNow Compatibility Test for your phone.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Enter www.textnow.com/device-checker into your phone’s browser to go to the TextNow Compatibility Checker.
  • Input your phone’s IMEI number in the box provided.
  • Then tap on Check My Phone.
  • TextNow will tell you whether your phone is compatible with the service.

If your phone is incompatible with the service, find an alternative to TextNow and subscribe to it. You can also consider getting a phone that is compatible with TextNow.

But if the TextNow Device Checker says your phone supports the service, proceed to the next step.

5. Turn Off Airplane Mode on Your Phone

If your TextNow SIM card is not working, you might have turned on Airplane mode on your phone. Putting your phone in Airplane mode automatically disconnects the device from your SIM’s network.

Check the top of your phone’s screen to see if the device is in Airplane mode. If so, you’ll see an airplane symbol at the top of the screen.

You’ll need to disable Airplane mode to get your SIM to work.

Follow these steps to disable Airplane mode on your phone:

  • Tap the top of your screen and swipe down to reveal the Shortcuts menu on your phone.
  • Search for the airplane icon on the list. Once you see the icon, click it to turn Airplane Mode off.

Is your TextNow SIM working now? If not, proceed to the next step.

6. Move to Another Location

If you are standing close to a mirror or window while using your TextNow SIM, the SIM might not work. Glass items often obstruct cellular signals.

To fix this issue, you might need to move to a location without any glass items.

If your TextNow SIM doesn’t work after this, try the next tip.

7. Test Your SIM’s Data Connection

If you can make calls from your TextNow SIM, but you can’t surf the internet, the SIM’s data connection might be faulty.

To rule out this problem, you’ll need to test your SIM’s data connection.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Turn off Wi-Fi settings on your phone.
  • Open your browser and enter www.notpurple.com.
  • If the page that appears on the screen is not colored in purple, your data connection is good.
  • However, if you see a purple page when you visit the site, it means that your data connection is problematic. In that case, you’ll need to contact TextNow.

If you’ve confirmed that your data connection is good, but you can’t browse the internet with your TextNow SIM, try the next step.

8. Reboot Your Phone

Occasionally, your smartphone may encounter a functional error. This problem might affect several features on the device, including the SIM.

Rebooting your phone should eliminate this error.

To reboot your Android phone, press and hold the power button until you see the Power Off screen. Then slide the Restart button to reboot the phone.

If you use an iPhone, you can reboot it by pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Power-Off Slider appears. Drag this slider to turn off your phone. Then, wait for your phone to go off before pressing and holding the side button again to turn it back on.

If your TextNow SIM doesn’t work after this, continue to the next step.

9. Update Your SmartPhone’s Firmware

If your smartphone’s firmware is outdated, it might prevent your TextNow SIM from working. This may occur because the old features on your phone are not compatible with the updates on the TextNow app you’ve just downloaded.

You can resolve this issue by updating your smartphone’s firmware.

The guide below will show you how to update the firmware on your Android phone or iPhone:

Android Phone

  • Go to your phone’s Settings.
  • Choose About Phone. Then click on Check for Updates. You’ll see the latest firmware version now.
  • Tap on Install Update to update your phone’s firmware version.


  • Open the Settings app on your phone.
  • Tap on General. Then select Software Update.
  • If your phone’s firmware version is outdated, you’ll see two options: To download essential security updates to your current iOS version or upgrade to the newest iOS version.
  • Tap on Download and Install below the update you want. Then click on Install Now.
  • Your phone will download the firmware now. After your device has downloaded the latest firmware, it will reboot.

Your TextNow SIM should start working once the phone turns back on.

Wrapping Up

Make sure to enter every detail, like your phone’s IMEI number, correctly when checking your phone’s compatibility with TextNow.

If your TextNow SIM doesn’t work after you’ve tried all the tips above, contact TextNow Support.

Also, see how to troubleshoot Voxi SIM and Straight Talk SIM card activation problems.