Are you tired of fixed mobile contracts that leave you broke and unsatisfied? Giffgaff founder Gav Thompson sure was—that’s why he founded Giffgaff, the first member-run mobile network. Giffgaff is a Scottish phrase meaning mutual giving.

And that’s precisely what Giffgaff members do—they help each other out! Plus, they get rewarded by Giffgaff for doing so with points for cash and phone credit. Of course, you may already know this if you are getting started as a Giffgaff user.

However, what you may not understand is why your new Giffgaff SIM won’t activate. Let’s break it down for you and give you some pointers on how to get the issue resolved!

Why Is It That My Giffgaff SIM Won’t Activate?

Trying, but my Giffgaff SIM card won't activate.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

As with any cellular service, you need a unique SIM card to access a provider network. However, there’s more to a SIM card than meets the eye. It’s not only necessary for you to have a SIM card, but also to activate it for use. Luckily, you can activate your Giffgaff SIM easily at home yourself. 

However, you may experience issues, such as your Giffgaff SIM won’t activate—especially if you’re not familiar with the process. The reason why your Giffgaff SIM won’t activate may be because you’re not following the correct activation procedure. 

Or, it could 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 are activating your SIM card right. After which, you can consider taking other steps or replacing the SIM.

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

man using smartphone
Photo by NorWood Themes on Unsplash

If your Giffgaff SIM won’t activate, you’re likely sitting without a usable phone for the foreseeable future. Let’s share some helpful tips to get your SIM card and phone active ASAP!

Follow the Correct Procedure to Activate Your Giffgaff SIM Card

As Giffgaff doesn’t have any physical stores, you need to activate your SIM card yourself. Luckily, activating your Giffgaff SIM card is a very easy process. 

Let’s recap to ensure that you’re doing it right. If you only tried to activate your SIM card once, it’s also worth trying again in case a random technical error occurred the first time around.

To correctly activate your Giffgaff SIM card:

  • 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 around 24 hours until your Giffgaff SIM card gets fully activated. In some cases, it may take longer.

Only Try to Activate a Giffgaff SIM Card on an Unlocked Phone

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 is—your Giffgaff SIM won’t activate 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 per country—find out your rights and if phone locking or getting your phone unlocked 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

clean sim card
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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 fibres.
  • 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

If your Giffgaff SIM won’t activate, 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 goodybag, your Giffgaff SIM card may not activate. Ensure you buy enough top-up or opt for a lower-value goodybag to start.

Conclusion

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 active! If not, you can also try these Three SIM card and Vodafone SIM card activation tips.