Common solutions to Giffgaff problems

Are you having a problem with your Giffgaff SIM card or phone? In this article, we explore a few of the most common problems experienced by Giffgaff customers and offer some potential solutions. Let’s take a closer look.

1. I need to unlock my phone

In order to use a Giffgaff SIM card, you’ll need to make sure your phone is unlocked. You won’t necessarily have to unlock your phone, but if you think you may need to, Giffgaff have a really helpful guide to help you out. Take a look here to find out more.

If you’re an O2 customer, you’re in luck – Giffgaff is actually owned by O2.

2. I’ve only just joined – why don’t I have any signal?

Your activation probably isn’t complete. You can check whether your SIM activation is complete by logging into your Giffgaff account. Head over to the website and click ‘My Giffgaff’ – and if your SIM is fully activated, you’ll see your phone number listed under your member name. You’ll also be able to see the credit or goodybag you’ve purchased. Give them a call if you are struggling with this.


It’s worth bearing in mind that activation can take up to 24 hours, so be patient before you start to worry. If it’s been longer than 24 hours and you’re still having issues, get in touch with a Giffgaff agent.

Your phone may still be locked to another operator. If your phone is showing “Invalid SIM” or “Enter Network Unlock Key”, you should check whether your phone is still locked to another operator. How this works depends on which operator you were with previously (see previous ‘I need to unlock my phone’ section).

3. I had signal before, but now I’ve lost it

  • Is there a service outage in your area?

It could be that the network is temporarily down in your area, and engineers are working on getting it back up and running. It’s easy to check this by using Giffgaff’s mast checker. If the coverage checker says you’ve got good coverage in your area, then your phone or SIM card could be the problem.

  • Is your phone faulty?

If you can, it’s worth trying your SIM card in another unlocked (or O2-locked) phone. If it works there, your main handset could be causing the problem. Your first port of call should be to try a hard reboot (how you do this depends on your individual handset, so check out your phone manufacturer’s website for specific details).

  • Is your SIM card faulty?

If an error message comes up on your phone (for example, “SIM not recognised” or “SIM not valid”) – or your SIM doesn’t work with another phone – you could try cleaning the SIM. Just give it a wipe to make sure it’s completely dirt-free and give it another try. Be as gentle as you can so you don’t scratch the gold chip.

If your SIM is active, it should be working. But if it still doesn’t work after you’ve cleaned it, and your phone isn’t faulty, it’s likely that you’ll need to get another SIM from Giffgaff.

  • Has your SIM card been inactive for a long time?

If you haven’t used your Giffgaff SIM card in a while, then your number may have been disconnected. To make sure it stays active, you must have used it at least once in the last six months (for example, you must have made a call, SMS or MMS to another number or connected to the internet). If your SIM become inactive, you’ll lose any credit you had left.

4. My mobile internet isn’t working

  • Do you have the right settings?

If your calls and texts are working, but your mobile internet isn’t, you may need to adjust your APN (internet) settings to make sure they reflect giffgaff’s APN (internet) settings. You can find out more about this here in Giffgaff’s guide.

  • Check your credits, goodybags and gigabags

You can check whether you’ve still got data available by heading to the “My Account” section on Giffgaff’s website. If you don’t have any left, you can top up your account in order to gain access to mobile internet.


Need to call Giffgaff?

If you’ve tried and failed to solve your problem on your own, it’s time to get in touch with Giffgaff.

You can take a look at their online guides first if you wish. But if you can’t find the solution you need, you can always reach out their customer service agents. Just bear in mind that it can take around 24 hours to get a response.

Call Giffgaff on 0871 244 4842

Connection call numbers like these cost 13ppm plus your company’s access charge. Contact Numbers UK provides a call forwarding service and are not associated with Giffgaff.