Regular SIM card to Micro SIM conversion

Buying an iPhone4, or an iPad? Your existing SIM cards will not fit into these devices. Yes, Steve Jobs is changing the rules.

For the uninitiated, here’s some news for you – your existing SIM cards CAN be converted to Micro SIMs easily and without having to pay extra dollars to your local telco. Of course, there are Micro SIM cutters that you can buy, but why bother, if you’re only going to ever cut up one of your SIM cards?

What if I make a mistake? Well, you were going to go to your telco and get a new SIM card anyway, weren’t you? No risk here. Having said that, please don’t lambast me if your DIY skills aren’t up to par.

Here’s what you need before we get started (feels like a college science experiment already).

A SHARP pair of scissors
An ACCURATE ruler – don’t go cutting up your SIM cards while using a free Ikea paper tape
A fine-tip permanent marker pen – I used an OHP marker

This is the job brief – turn a 15x25mm SIM card into a compact 12x15mm Micro SIM.

Dump the “unsmart” Nokia, and move to the “slightly-smarter-iPhone4”.

Here’s the Micro SIM holder for the iPhone4, and the regular sized SIM card that needs to fit into it.

With your fine-tip marker pen, draw out the outlines and centralize the golden chip at all times. I coloured in the area that corresponds with the nicked corner, so that I don’t “forget” which way is up.

Brandishing the SHARP scissors, I began cutting along the lines, exactly as drawn. If in doubt, cut slightly less – you can refine it later. Nick the corner you marked out earlier, with the same angle.

When done, try and insert the new Micro SIM into the holder. If it doesn’t fit, shave off a bit more of the plastic.

Insert it face down. Hopefully it will fit snugly. If not, continue shaving to size.

If it works (which it should), do remember TheBackpackr and send over some love!


  1. LiewCF - December 1, 2010

    I cut my SIM using the MicroSIM template (PDF). It make me feel more secure and safer :)

  2. Eirik_japan - December 25, 2010

    On the picture with the Nokia there is two sim cards. A small one and a “big” one. The method described here works with the “big” one but not with the small one… What to do with the small one??

  3. Eirik_japan - December 26, 2010

    On the picture with the Nokia there is two sim cards. A small one and a “big” one. The method described here works with the “big” one but not with the small one… What to do with the small one??

  4. LW - June 28, 2012

    I’ve searched far and wide how to do this, and this was by far the best (and most generic) solution. The key is to keep the golden contact surface in the middle. Keep to this and you’re pretty much set! Thanks for a good guide.

  5. Mengubah Simcard biasa menjadi Micro Simcard | kak eko - July 12, 2012

    […] Mengubah Simcard biasa menjadi Micro Simcard Posted on 12 July 2012 by susiloharjo • Posted in kataku • Tagged apple, ipad, tutorial • Leave a comment Memang kalau berhubungan dengan produk Apple semuanya aneh aneh bin unik, seperti yang satu ini setelah kemarin mencoba memasukkan kartu simcard di Ipad ternyata baru tau kalau simcard yang digunakan adalah Micro simcard, hadeh bingung deh setelah browsing ketemu deh caranya, caranya adalah beli simcard biasa terus potong hati hati dalam memotongnya sangat dianjurkan mengikuti tutorial yang sudah ada contohnya adalah bisa dilihat disini […]

  6. Zoe - November 23, 2012

    I just tried this and it worked! I was nervous about cutting my SIM because the gold chip was so big, but the picture tutorial here gave me the confidence to do it, so thank-you, very much :)

  7. jasmine - November 24, 2012

    This was awesome and great help tactic…yay!

  8. xxx - December 31, 2012

    what do you mean by “…golden contact surface in the middle”. middle of what?
    1 mm from every side golden part of card or what? it looks like he left 1 mm on every side.

    • PhredE - July 3, 2015

      You’re SO right, xxx, this description is about as precise as the diameter of a peeled banana.
      ‘Keeping it centered’ is no way to describe an enginering drawing. I’ve found one graphic that actually gives the specifcation of one of a micro’s edges from a mini’s – 1.85 mm ..say 2.
      As it’s given here, the micro could be anywhere within the mini, and that doesn’t lend confidence.
      I’m shocked as to the imprecision on the web. We may not be able to get cuts exact, but at least we’d know where to aim.

  9. kevin - January 16, 2013

    It didn’t work for me and i followed the instructions verbatim :/ might there be a reason for some sim cards not being able to connect once they are cut? or should it always work?

  10. asdf - March 7, 2013

    Just so everyone knows ( I made this mistake) if you have the sim card with the smaller gold contact area than in this tutorial the contacts must be more to the non-notched side of the card, not centered.

    You can see how it lines up if you put the sim in and our a few times you can see marks where the contacts are.

    Dont keep cutting it down though if you screw up as your sim can get stuck in the phone.

  11. Celina - May 22, 2013

    Yay! Thanks so much. I did this with an old European sim that I needed for my travels, thanks so much.

  12. t - January 27, 2015

    I used the old large version sim card from my 5 year old ATT gophone account and it actually transplanted perfectly into my new iphone!

    THANK YOU to this page!

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