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Giffgaff SIM Won’t Activate: 5 Steps To Activate Your SIM

Giffgaff SIM Won’t Activate: 5 Steps To Activate Your SIM

Activating your Giffgaff SIM card is easy, but what should you do if it won’t activate?

Below, we will share with you some troubleshooting steps you can take to fix this problem quickly.

Why Won’t My Giffgaff SIM Card Activate?

As with any cellular service, you need a unique SIM card to access a network provider. However, there’s more to a SIM card than meets the eye. You must not only have a SIM card but also activate it for use.

However, you may experience activation issues on Giffgaff—especially if you’re not familiar with the process.

It could also be due to a technical error, phone damage or dust, or a defective SIM card. Either way, it’s advisable that you follow the steps below to ensure you activate your SIM card correctly. After that, you can consider taking other steps or replacing the SIM.

How Can I Fix the Issue if My Giffgaff SIM Won’t Activate?

Follow the Correct Procedure

  • As Giffgaff doesn’t have any physical stores, head on over to the Giffgaff SIM activation page.
  • Find the 6-digit or 13-digit SIM activation code on your SIM card packaging. 
  • Type your code into the activation code box on the Giffgaff activation page.
  • Make sure that you type it in correctly. Otherwise, your SIM card won’t activate.
  • Follow the prompts to activate your SIM card. You’ll need your debit/credit card or a Giffgaff top-up voucher ready.
  • Once activated, you need to wait 24-48 hours for the SIM card to be fully activated. In some cases, it may take longer.

Abide activation laws

Contracts are affordable ways to buy a pricey smartphone or tablet. However, many cellular providers lock handsets purchased under contract to their network. If your mobile device was bought on a contract that isn’t paid off yet—or even—you can’t activate your SIM on it. 

Getting your phone unlocked may be the only way to use it on another network. However, there are some considerations:

  • Using another network SIM card on your contract handset may violate your contract terms. 
  • Breaking your phone contract terms and conditions could incur you penalty fees or justify a costly court case against you. 
  • Sim lock laws vary by country—find out your rights and whether phone locking or unlocking is legal in yours.
  • You’ll need to find a mobile technician willing to unlock your phone if you wish to do so illegally.
  • If your handset contract is paid off and finished, you can sometimes request the network provider to unlock it.

Make Sure That Your SIM Card is Clean

Most SIM cards feature a chip that needs to make contact with the hardware in your phone. Dust and debris on the SIM card or in the slot can cause problems activating it. Oils from food or beauty products on your hands transferred to the SIM card may also cause issues.

To clean your SIM card:

  • Remove your SIM card from your phone and wipe it down with a damp cloth. 
  • If your SIM card has oil on it, you can also use a little mild dish soap. Just be sure to wipe it off with a soap-free damp cloth afterward to remove any soap residue.
  • Dry the SIM card with a clean towel or dishcloth. Ensure that it isn’t dusty or shedding fibers.
  • Make sure your SIM card is clean and dry before placing it back in your phone.
  • Never clean a SIM card with any cleaning products besides mild soap, such as nail varnish remover or a dish scrub. Doing so could permanently damage the SIM card.
  • Also, ensure that your phone SIM card slot is clean and free from dust. You can use a dust cloth or an electronics duster/cleaning brush to wipe it down.
  • Try not to use a very wet cloth or any cleaning products to clean the interior of your phone, either. Doing so may introduce liquids and corrosives into your phone, damaging electronics and hardware.
  • Once both the SIM and SIM slot are clean, slot your SIM card in and try to activate it again.

Only Add One SIM Card Per Giffgaff Account

It’s important to remember that you can only add one Giffgaff SIM per account. Adding a second SIM card will result in Giffgaff swapping your old number to your new SIM. If you don’t want this to happen, you need to create a separate account for your new Giffgaff SIM card.

Make Sure You Have Enough Voucher Credit to Buy Your Selected Goodybag

You can use a Giffgaff top-up voucher instead of your bank card when activating a Giffgaff SIM card. However, if your top-up voucher isn’t sufficient to buy your first selected goody bag, your SIM card may not activate. Ensure you buy enough top-up or opt for a lower-value goody bag to start.


There are many reasons why a Giffgaff SIM won’t activate—but also a few handy solutions to solve the problem. We hope one of these suggestions helped get your new Giffgaff SIM card working!


  • Tauqeer Ahmed

    Tauqeer Ahmed is a technology expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He has a degree in Computer Science and specializes in network security and software troubleshooting. You can find out more about him at

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