Not Receiving SMS After SIM Change – SMS Not Working

SIM Change and getting a duplicate SIM card for your existing mobile Number is not a big deal. But SIM changing or duplicating SIM taking in some countries needs some security checking and additional restrictions in some countries. Especially in India, you should know about the SIM changing procedures and the security measures taken.

It should be understood clearly, as you will face the following issues after taking a duplicate SIM or while doing the mobile number portability. After exchanging or upgrading the SIM card, you may not receive any SMS on your new SIM card. Many users are used to logging complaints with customer care regarding this.

But it is not an issue with your operator such as Airtel, Vi (Vodafone Idea), etc. As per TRAI’s rule, any duplicate will not receive any SMS 24 hours from activation. This will happen for BSNL users in some cases if upgrading the current 2G or 3G SIM card to BSNL 4G SIM.

Incoming SMS get blocked after SIM change

The new rule says that any duplicate SIM issued will not receive any SMS on that particular Number for the next 24 hours from activation. However, the outgoing SMS will work like before. You will also receive calls and can make outgoing calls, data, etc. The only issue is with the incoming SMS. It includes all the categories, such as personal SMS, OTPs, and other promotional SMSs.

How to Fix the Issue of Not receiving SMS on your Number

First, it is considered a security feature and not an issue. Hence, the resolution is automatic. The problem gets resolved automatically after 24hrs, and you will receive an SMS. For this, no need to contact or log a complaint with customer care. Just wait for one day, and things will get sorted automatically.

Reason For Blocking Incoming SMS after Upgrading the SIM

As per the new rule, the SIM card of any operator, whether of Airtel, Vi (Vodafone Idea), etc., will hold a temporary ban on Incoming SMS for 24 hours. It has been implemented to ensure the safety of the user. Several cases in which SIM fraud has been reported resulted in the loss of money from the Bank account.

Fraud action occurs in which thieves and criminals may take a duplicate SIM of users. The original SIM user will be unaware of this. Once a duplicate SIM card is issued, the original SIM with the actual person will get automatically disconnected. Further, all the calls and SMS will be received on the duplicate SIM card with the criminals. They can use this to receive OTP from banks to steal money from the bank account of the SIM owner. Since the number gets disconnected, the user will not get any information about this.

So, such cyber fraud activities cannot occur during these times. To avoid this fraud activity, temporary blocking is implemented if you take a duplicate SIM. In the meantime, the original SIM owner can report the issue to its operators. So that the duplicate SIM can be deactivated if the owner did not take the duplicate SIM.

Drawback of the SMS Blocking with the Duplicate SIM

The feature ensures the customer’s safety; however, it may cause issues for the original user. During the 24 hours, the user will not receive any SMS, including regular SMS, OTP, etc. If you frequently use a bank account for online transactions, this might cause a problem. You will not receive any OTP from the bank to make any transaction during these times. Also, if you are about to receive any vital SMS, you may miss them.

Another important thing is that you cannot register for applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Duo, etc., using the OTP message during this time. Alternatively, WhatsApp and some other apps provide OTP over the call that can be used to solve this issue. But for all others needing OTP over SMS, you must wait 24 hours.

New SIM SMS Not Working

New SIM SMS Not Working is still an issue due to limited knowledge. As per the telecom regulatory rule, SMS service will be stopped for 24hrs from the time of new SIM activation. Then after 24hrs, the SMS service will be restored automatically.

However, many people are still unaware of this rule and think it is an issue related to their number and SIM. Nowadays, telecom companies are used to inform customers about this regulation, and an automated SMS will be sent to the customer’s mobile number once the SMS service is restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have received a few common questions via email for the past few months. We are so adding the answers here.

Why Airtel SMS Not Working After SIM Change

All the telecom companies, including Airtel, put a Temporary Ban on incoming SMS as a security measure. Once the new SIM gets activated, the SMS feature will be disabled for 24hrs. After 24hrs, the blocking will be removed automatically. This option was implemented to safeguard the user from fraud.

Online fraud and illegal fund transfers were reported using the SIM Swap and the transaction OTP. After this implementation, fraud cannot take any duplicate SIM of the target user and hence won’t receive the transaction OTP.

Vi SMS Not Sending

If you are a Vi (Vodafone Idea) user and can’t receive SMS, you need to check the active plan on your Number. If your current plan offers the SMS feature, you need to contact customer care and inform them about the issue. Also, note that the No SMS from 24hrs during the SIM change applies to Vi.

It is also to be pointed out that the vi SMS not sending may also happen due to the network issue. Recently we have seen that the network issue caused no calls or SMS for some users in some areas. In that case, you can check with other users in your area. If the same happens to all, it might be a local network issue in your region.

Why I am Not Receiving OTP on Airtel

If you change the SIM, you won’t receive SMS and OTP for 24hrs. After that, the blocking will be lifted automatically, and you can receive OTP as before. If you cannot receive OTP after 24hrs, you need to contact customer care and log a complaint.

How Much is the Airtel duplicate SIM Activation Time

As per the company, the airtel duplicate sim activation time is 4hrs. But we can see that the SIM gets activated even before that in most cases. It can take around 2-4 hrs in most cases. If your SIM is not activated even after 4hrs, you can contact customer care or the retailer.

Why am I not able to send SMS from Airtel?

If you cannot send SMS from airtel after the SIM swap, you need to wait for 24hrs, and after that, the SMS feature will be enabled automatically. If you cannot send SMS from your Airtel number even without the SIM change, you need to check whether you have an active Plan available on your Number. If you have a plan, try to use the same SIM on another handset; if you can send an SMS from that, the issue might be with your handset. But, if you cannot send an SMS from another phone, please contact customer care and inform them about the issue.

How to Activate SMS Service in Airtel?

May users are still asking how to activate SMS service in airtel. Here you need to know that the SMS service is already enabled on all the SIMs, and no special activation is required. However, the telecom companies recently introduced some new recharge plans that do not provide the option to send SMS. So if you use a data-only or voice-only plan, the SMS feature gets disabled, and you can’t send any SMS using the Talktime balance.

On the otherside, it is also to be noted that, if you have taken the duplicate SIM card, SMS service will be stopped for 24hrs time. In that case also, you dont have to activate SMS service manually. SMS service will be activated automatically after 24hrs.

Telecom companies offer cheap unlimited plans to their users but disable the SMS feature in that plan. So to activate SMS, the user needs to recharge with a higher plan.

Note: Due to some network outages and other technical issues, some users report that they cannot receive the SMS even after the 24hrs period. If the same happens to you, we recommend contacting customer care immediately and reporting the issue.

27 thoughts on “Not Receiving SMS After SIM Change – SMS Not Working”

  1. This should change… If it is the same owner. Y can’t u release the services… Has u take id proof of the person.. So that u can activate the sim

    • It is kept for an added security. There are cases happened before in which the duplicate SIM of the owner has been taken by fraud group in order to receive OTP after hacking their credit/debit card details.

      To avoid this case, the no SMS period added for the duplicate SIM. But sure, it will be a headache for the real owner.

    • Absolutely, every time when you change the sim you have to provide your original documents so I don’t understand still how this fraud happens

  2. After activating duplicate Airtel SIM card …..even after 22 hrs I can not able to send SMS…I understand about blocking the incoming messages for security reasons, but there is no point in blocking outgoing messages!

  3. I was replaced my airtel prepaid on 30th may 2020 sim due to unable to send or receive any messages. Even I tried for porting that also not working..

    Its Wonder till my problem was not solved 🤷‍♂️ so here if any expert candidate available can you please suggest what I can do??

    • Then some issue with you connection or phone. Hope you already tried sending message using another handset with your sim inserted. if not, please try that. Also make sure an active unlimited plan or any smart plan with enough balance to send SMS. However the incoming SMS should work even though u don’t have any plan active. You need to contact customer care for this issue if still persist.

      • I have changed handset but same problem coming and ur customer care number is not connecting can u pls help me because I m totally frustrated I m unable send port msg

        • If you have changed the handset and not the SIM card, there won’t be any blocking from the service provider. You need to check whether the SMS center number is correct. Also, to troubleshoot the issue, you can try your sim card on another handset (if possible).

  4. its been more than 48 hrs and i am not reciveing any incoming message and the customer care is also not helping what should i do

    • In that case, it might be either an issue with the handset or from the network side. It is sad to hear that the Customer support team also not helping you. They are the ones who should look into it.

      Please call the nodal officer in your circle and inform the issue.

  5. This is idiotic. Even for a duplicate SIM, the stores ask for original ID documents and also take photo of the person who is being given the duplicate SIM. They why are they punishing the users? Should the user commit a fraud, are the photo and ID documents not used to trace the fraudster?


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