How to open a SIM card tray when an ejector tool isn't around (the MacGyver way)

How to open a SIM card tray when an ejector tool isn't around (the MacGyver way)
Despite being just a fictional character from a TV show, MacGyver was a hero to many kids who grew up during the late '80s and the early '90s. In every episode, he would save the day using nothing but stuff he found lying around. Remember that time when he defused a bomb using a paper clip? Yeah, that's the kind of MacGyverisms we're talking about.

In real life, a paper clip won't be of much use in such a scenario, but it may come in handy for more tasks than just attaching two pieces of paper together. For example, it can be used for ejecting the SIM card tray of a modern smartphone. But it isn't the only "tool" fit for the job. Here's a list of items that can be used for ejecting a smartphone SIM card tray. 

Note: If you ever resort to opening a SIM card tray using any of the tools listed here, make sure you do it with caution. Use your common sense and don't hurt yourself! Also, make sure you're poking your phone in the right hole, not in one where a microphone is.

Using a paper clip, thumbtack, or a push pin



For those who don't have a SIM tray ejector on hand, the humble paper clip is one of the best alternatives. Just bend one of its ends and you're good to go! But make sure you use a paper clip thin enough to fit into the tray's hole. Apply pressure gently so that the metal doesn't get all mangled.

Alternatively, a thumbtack or a push pin could get the job done, but these are usually too thick to fit into most SIM tray holes. We successfully used one with an iPhone XS, but it couldn't fit on our Galaxy S9 or Google Pixel 3.

Using a safety pin or a needle



Safety pins and needles are an essential part of any sewing kit, and we've come across such kits in hotel rooms more than once. And it is not uncommon to find a safety pin on the tag of new clothing. Just be careful when using those. You don't want to accidentally poke yourself with the business end.

Using an earring



Fun fact: the idea for this whole post came when I saw a young lady eject her iPhone's SIM card tray with her earring. Again, not all earrings are thin enough to fit in a tray's hole, but it doesn't hurt to try. Just be gentle when applying pressure. You don't want to ruin a piece of jewelry, do you?

Using a staple



One of the less obvious substitutes for a SIM card ejector is found in your stapler. If you gently push the stapler's head, a single staple should come out halfway, without having its ends bent. Pull it out gently and use it to eject your SIM card tray.

Using a mechanical pencil



The thin piece of lead sticking out of a mechanical pencil, such as the pictured Pentel Twist-Erase, can indeed eject a SIM card tray. However, consider this method a last-resort option, as you don't want any lead chips or shavings to accidentally end up inside your phone. Most importantly, be careful when applying pressure to minimize the chance of the lead snapping.


Using a toothpick



Finally, using a thin toothpick also works with some SIM card trays, but again, don't use one unless you're desperate. Wood splits easily, and you don't want splinters stuck inside your SIM card tray.

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