Got packaging tape? You can use your iPhone 5 SIM card in an iPhone 4

By Nick Mediati (@dtnick) · Published August 28, 2014 at 5:22pm.

A couple weeks ago, I knocked my iPhone 5c out of commission by tossing it across my bedroom in a fit of frustration. It was not my proudest moment: That careless toss killed my touchscreen, cost me $300 in repair costs, and temporarily rendered me without a working phone. While my phone on its way to Apple’s repair depot, I wondered if it was possible to somehow use my iPhone 5c nano SIM in my old iPhone 4’s larger micro SIM slot so I could at least be able to send and receive calls again.

Five minutes and a couple Google searches later, I came across a video by YouTuber Christian Abreu that shows an easy way to jury-rig your iPhone 5/5c/5s nano SIM to get it to work in an iPhone 4 or 4s using nothing but a little clear packaging tape.

It’s a simple enough trick to pull off: Basically, you attach a piece of tape to the back of the nano SIM, position the taped-up nano SIM just right in the iPhone 4’s micro SIM tray, trim off the excess tape with a pair of scissors, re-insert the tray into the phone, and, well, hope it all works.

It works! But…

It was a little tedious to position the nano SIM’s chip in the right spot in the SIM card tray, but using the micro SIM card that came with the iPhone 4 as a template of sorts made it slightly easier to get it just right. In the end, this tip worked for me, and it gave me a working phone while Apple’s technicians dealt with the product of my recklessness.

But any hack like this is not without its risks. If you’re not careful, you could end up damaging either the SIM card or the phone (or both), and any damage you cause might not be covered by your warranty. You’ll want to be careful not to get tape on the nano SIM’s exposed microchip so as not to damage the SIM card itself. I I was also a little concerned that the tape would peel off and get stuck in the SIM slot, thus preventing the tray from sliding in all the way, but fortunately I didn’t encounter this problem.

Also note that this tip may not work on other phones. The only reason it works with the iPhoine is because the iPhone’s SIM card tray provides a surface you can attach the nano SIM card to: If you have to slide the SIM card directly into a slot on your phone—as is the case with many Android devices—the tape trick isn’t for you.

Alternately, you could try a SIM card adapter: These small add-ons are inexpensive and readily available through Amazon and Wal-Mart, among other retailers, and will let you use smaller SIM card varieties in slots meant for larger cards. Unfortunately, you could end up damaging your phone with one if you aren’t careful, as Android Central points out.

So if you aren’t into living dangerously, just bite the proverbial bullet and go a few days without a working phone. Or better yet, try not to break it in the first place.