How to Read Data Stored on a SIM Card

by Kammy Pow
George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Subscriber identity module cards are smart memory cards used by GSM or CDMA cellular phones to store user identity, network authentication, personal security information, text messages and contact phone numbers and email addresses. SIM cards can be read by other compatible cell phones and smart card readers using special software. In order to read a locked SIM card, you should call your cellular carrier to get the personal identification number or PIN unlock key associated with your SIM card. You can then make backups of or modify your contact and text messages on the SIM card.

Step 1

Purchase a USB SIM card reader, such as the Kodak A270 72-in-1 Card Reader/Writer, if you plan to read the SIM card data in a device other than a cell phone.

Step 2

Connect the SIM card reader to a USB port on the computer.

Step 3

Log into the computer with an administrator account to download and install the card reader drivers or install the software from the equipment CD. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Step 4

Power off your cell phone.

Step 5

Remove the back cover of your cell phone and then remove the battery.

Step 6

Remove the SIM card from the phone's SIM card slot.

Step 7

Insert the SIM card into the reader.

Click on "Start," "Programs," "SIM Editor" and then "SIM Card Editor 4.0." Select the SIM card to begin editing and reading the data stored on it.


  • If the Sim card reader does not work, check the device drivers.
  • SIM Card Editor 4.0 is required to read SIM cards on the Kodak A270. Other card readers may require different software.
  • If the SIM card has no entries under the phone book, it may be that your contacts and messages are stored on the phone and not the SIM card. Reinsert the SIM card into the cell phone and copy the information to the SIM card. Then retry using the SIM card reader.


Photo Credits

  • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Kammy Pow studied biological sciences at the University of California Irvine. She spent 13 years as a programmer for the financial, medical research, and healthcare sectors. She has been freelancing since 2005 and currently writes health-care related material and pens the occasional review for Southern California altweeklies.

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