We all know that our Android devices have many pre-installed apps which we don’t even notice working in the background. Most of these apps are made by Google and your phone manufacturer. These apps are known as “system apps” since they help run your phone as it should. But that is SIM Toolkit and what does it do on my phone? You must be wondering about the app and have multiple questions. In this article, we are going to see everything you need to know about SIMToolkit.
- 1 What is SIM Toolkit?
- 2 What feature does the SIM Toolkit offer?
- 3 How does it work?
- 4 Can you disable SIM Toolkit on Android?
- 5 How to Access SIM Toolkit Android?
- 6 How to Install SIM Toolkit Android?
- 7 Summary
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
What is SIM Toolkit?
Now as our phones get more and more capable with new features, they will need different system apps to maintain them. SIM Toolkit helps our phone provisioning or set up SIM cards. This app is used by developers to make provisioning easier on your phone and implement features such as SMS center number, mailbox, MMS server name, and more. Different operators will provide different data on your phone and this is where SIMToolkit shine.
SIM Toolkit is also known as “SIM Application Toolkit” or “STK”, it is a set of commands available on your physical SIM cards that tell the specifications. This includes information such as if this SIM will be activated for a particular user or not due to some networking event. Now, these commands come pre-installed on your SIM card and the SIM itself is a type of mini-computer.
SIM Toolkit is used by the developer to run applications directly on a SIM card since the GSM network determines specifics. These specifics include the service providers and network operators to execute various services on your phone. The carrier can implement the value-added service to offer custom UI along with different menus on different phones.
We can understand it as, the network provider using the code on your SIM to give you options that you can use. If there was no SIM Toolkit, then you will have a hard time finding things that you can actually use.
This is why the Toolkit app is pre-installed on your phone and it’s programmed into the SIM card itself. It helps your phone by providing interactions or communication between the network and your phone. Not only network interactions, but the app also provides you with network control access and mobile equipment interface.
You may have seen this if you ever tried changing or resetting the network carrier manually.
What feature does the SIM Toolkit offer?
SIMToolkit has several different functions on your phone, we will put them in separate categories to understand them better.
The SIM Toolkit is responsible for refreshing your SIM card, switching it on & off, enabling/disabling events, checking poll interval, getting reader status, and more.
It allows your phone to open & retain channel status, open the browser, send & receive data, and more.
User Interface Control
The app allows your phone to display text, support different language notifications, play tones, section menu options, and more.
It allows your phone to set up calls, send & receive short messages, DTMF & USSD information, and more.
SIM Toolkit provides access to local phone information and allows timer management.
In simpler words, we can say that the SIM Toolkit allows your phone to use your operator’s value-added services. Or we can say, it allows you to use your phone to make calls, get & send messages, see the correct time, and more.
Now, depending upon your network operator, you will have different services like International calls, sports scores, notifications for missed calls, caller tunes, and more. These services are known as “utility services” and these depend on which operator (network company) you use.
Along with it, SIMToolkit also provides the phone user with digital transactions with encryption and verification which improve the overall security. So, we can say that SIM Toolkit makes our life a lot easier and safer.
How does it work?
The most amazing thing about the SIM Toolkit app is that it works independently of your phone’s model. It means all Android phones will have this app working the same way as it does on your phone.
The only thing which needs to be dynamic (change) is the available options depending on your operator and region. The options will be different since every region has limited utility services. If you don’t know what are the utility services, then please check out the previous section.
We can say that the SIM Toolkit app allows you to start and maintain communication between the network and your phone. Speaking in technical terms, SIM Toolkit acts as client-server relation which allows your phone to act as the client when you insert a SIM card.
Now the SIM Toolkit app has multiple layers to work properly on your phone and we are going to see all of them here:
It is the interface that allows you to read application-level messages by showing them in the menu and options on your phone.
RIL is the vendor-side software that let you use its services when you insert their SIM into your device.
It is the machine-level code that handles the raw text from vendor-side software and the application on your phone.
Before phones we powerful enough to handle multiple applications installed, the SIM Toolkit app was locked with a lock or PIN to protect it from being misused. Once the app is locked, you will not be able to access any of the applications from within the phone without the SIM card.
This was true for all phones before 4G came, that time the SIMToolkit was based on GSM 11.14 standard. Nowadays, the current standard for your SIM Toolkit is 3GPP 31.111. It has the USIM application Toolkit which still relies on the 3G network.
Can you disable SIM Toolkit on Android?
If you are wondering if you can disable the app altogether, then the answer is unfortunately NO. This is because the SIM Toolkit app is integrated into the phone via your SIM which allows the network operator to activate SIM, enable/disable features, and more. And since the app is an integral part of your phone, you can not uninstall or even disable it on your phone.
We can understand it as the app being a very very important part of your phone and if you removed it. Then you will not be able to use your phone without having multiple issues.
But even if you could remove the app, we would not recommend it since it does not consume any significant RAM space or battery. You will not even notice the app running in the background without looking for it specifically.
How to Access SIM Toolkit Android?
For most users, accessing the SIMToolkit will not even be a question, since they don’t even know about it. But if you want to access it, then you are in luck since we can achieve it. Now, remember that any SIM card has an immense amount of data and you should look out for it. Follow the steps mentioned below to get started:
- Wake up your device and open “Settings”.
- Look for “Apps and Notifications” and tap on it, now tap on “See all apps”.
- Click on the three vertical dots and a drop-down menu will open, tap on “Show system”.
- Now, scroll through the list of apps and look for “SIM Toolkit”, once found tap on it.
NOTE: The app name may vary for different phones, but it will have a similar sounding name.
- Once you tap on the app, app details will be visible. Now from here, you can access all the different options available for the app along with different information. Remember that, since it’s not a normal app, you can not open it and see all the contents.
How to Install SIM Toolkit Android?
If you are concerned that your phone does not have the important SIM Toolkit app. Then you should not worry since it’s automatically downloaded and installed once you reset the SIM card. But, you have the option to download the app from PlayStore or third-party app stores.
In this section, we are going to see how you can download the app on your phone and install it with a few simple steps.
Follow the steps mentioned below to install SIMToolkit:
- Wake up your phone and open Google PlayStore and search for “SIM Toolkit” or click here. Alternatively, you can download the app from APK mirror by clicking here.
NOTE: We would recommend sticking with Google PlayStore since all apps are verified and will not harm your phone.
- Once you download it, it will be installed automatically if you used Google PlayStore. But if you are using APKMirror, then you will have to install the app manually.
- And you are all done!
In the article, we saw the SIM Toolkit app and what it does on your phone. We also learned how we can disable the app if required and install a new version from Google PlayStore and APKMirror.
We would suggest you do not mess around with the SIM Toolkit app, but doing so will not affect your data or security. If you missed any section in the article, then we would suggest you go through it again to get a better understanding of the app and it’s working. But if you have any query which is not in the FAQ section, then feel free to drop it down in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here, we are going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the SIM Toolkit. Before we start, we would recommend you go through all the sections to understand the topic better.
SIM Toolkit is an essential system app that allows your phone to communicate with the network provider and gives you services like calling, short messages, caller tunes, and more. Along with it, the app also provides increased security and universal system time.
Without this app, you will not be able to use your phone for calling or any other network-related function. The app is a very critical part of your phone, but interestingly it comes pre-installed on phone and uses commands from the SIM card.
The short answer would be YES, you can disable the SIM Toolkit app if you want. But we would not suggest it since it’s a very critical app that your phone requires to work properly.
You can do this by opening the SIM Toolkit app in the phone’s Settings, and then clicking on “Flash”. Now you can simply click on the “Activation” option and you will be able to deactivate it.
If you did not change any settings related to SIM Toolkit then it will be running fine. But if you feel like there might be a problem, then you can do it by opening Settings and looking for the SIM Toolkit app.
Once you find the app, check for Flash options and then open the Activation option. Now from here, you will be able to enable and disable the app.
But if this does not work, then you can install a new version of the app from PlayStore. Please check the previous section to see how you can download and install the app.
We have already seen this in the initial section of our article, but in short, the SIM Toolkit app allows you to make calls and receive messages along with different services. The app establishes and maintains communication between your phone and the network carrier. This is why the app is a critical part of your phone.
This will not ruin your phone or affect the working in any way, but if you clean the app data. Then all your records, chats, and other data related to your SIM card will be gone. You should not clear the data if possible, but clearing it does not remove any important data.