Activating a Verizon Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE without a Sim Card

I’m in the USA quite regularly so it seemed sensible enough that I’d purchase an Android tablet that supported a local US data network. I had planned to cover a few Californian airshows so it made sense that I’d have reliable high speed wireless access to upload videos and audio to a few different websites.

I purchased the awesome Galaxy Tab at a Verizon store near South Coast Plaza in California about 5 weeks ago. They assured me that I would be able to activate the tablet locally but, obviously, the LTE modem would be useless. For that reason, they denied my request for a sim card saying that it wouldn’t be necessary.

Not having an Australian data-enabled device didn’t bother me at all. The very small amount of connectivity I require via a tablet (I still carry a laptop) could be accomplished by creating a portable hotspot via my Nexus’ generous 3G connection.

Needless to say, I got the tablet back to Australia and the welcome screen immediately called for a sim card. Bugger!

After five phone calls to the Verizon store over three weeks I had assurances from sales staff on each occasion that they would send me a sim card via express post. It didn’t happen.

Ken Pascoe happened to be in the area about three weeks after I’d made the purchase so he was kind enough to stop by the store and repeat my request. His little goatee must give him some sort of Jedi power because they gave him a sim card to pass onto me without requiring he make a purchase.

The above title should read “Activating a Verizon Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE without connecting to the Verizon network”. The sim card didn’t help (the little activation message is a little misleading).

To cut a long story short, before the sim card made its way to Sydney in the post, I’d already departed back to LA. A quick trip to the Verizon store and they acknowledged that their ‘bloatware’ was poorly manufactured and required access to their network despite an outright off-the-shelf purchase. The sales clerk made about 30 attempts to activate the tablet before it sprung to life and activated the setup process (it wasn’t until I got back to Sydney I realised the reason it took so long is because he wasn’t following the correct steps). At the time, he claimed to be reading off the Verizon website… despite a reflection clearly revealing he was reading off a popular Android forum.

It turned out that my clueless sales clerk interrupted the setup process when he shut the tablet down. In doing so, and in combination with Verizon’s poor attempt at branding their machine, it introduced all sorts of errors. Solution? A factory reset.

It was clear that a fix for the Verizon setup issues was now known (I had spent virtually a full day searching and making phone calls a few weeks prior without success). A search of a Samsung help forum revealed the activation sequence.

In summary: the Galaxy 10.1 is awesome. Verizon is not.

After using the Galaxy, I’d be prepared to use my iPad 64GB 3G Wi-Fi tablet as a doorstep were it not required for a single application.

Activating a Galaxy Tab 10.1 without a sim card and without Verizon 4G access

Touch the top left corner, then top right corner, then bottom left (just above the android controls, and then bottom right (above the status tray) and last volume UP once. All five steps are done relatively quickly and in sequence. Your tablet will spring to life.

Thanks to Verizon, you’ll have a short message display every time you start the device asking you to install a sim card. They really can’t be blamed for this since the purchase of this particular product from their store suggests network-specific use. Their short sighted approach to a broader customer base, though, is appalling. It turned out my sim card was useful after all.

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    • matt

      Try holding it longways, so that the camera is on the top, and the volume buttons are on your left. It didnt work for me until I turned it that way. I was trying it with the camera to the side, like a book.

    • andi

      Thanks bro, i can use the tab in Indonesia, with this way, pres up left corner, then up right corner, down right corner, down left corner, then press volume – & + then on/off button untill show in screen language & start

  1. Muris

    Thank you very much! I bought my verizon branded galaxy tab in new york and was dissapointed when I couldn’t start it here in Sweden. With your insructions it now works perfectly!!!

  2. Pingback: sim card needed to operate phone - Android Forums

  3. Jesse

    Please, I need help as the steps described her will nor work with my Verizon 4g Tablet. I bought it used from ebay and I think it comes updated to the latest software which includes touchwiz cause I can access to the mini apps but nothing else, get stuck at the insert sim message. When I try the steps it just volumes up but nothing else. Went to a verizon store but they want to charge me almost $65 for opening a contract (even if it will not be a plan) and for the the first month data fee . I really dont need 4g at all and want to use wifi only (Bought the 4g cause it was really cheap, US $180 for the 16gb almost new) . Any help ?

  4. Tardoo

    Hi Marty, thank you so much for your activation steps, it worked for me, but the device cant find local network here in Nigeria. What do I do?

  5. Chris Luong

    Thanks a lot. It worked for me. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in SHC-I950 16Gig Wifi 4G
    But I cannot see why when reading books, touching the words does not give me
    the definition, copy…of the words…as I saw in a Verizon store, on a smaller tablet.

  6. Harmonix

    Thank you very much, I have realized the procedure without the SIM card in of the device and it has worked without problem, the steps must be realized after the equipment has started after SIM appeared the message of warning of on the screen.

  7. KM Reddy

    Thanks Mr.Marty,
    your tip has worked like any thing, in flash the problem resolved.You Racks!!thanks.

    Mr.Marty ,does it possible to use this tab with local (INDIA) 3G SIMS?

  8. Raihan.a

    Touch top left corner, top right corner, then left bottom, rght bottom, then push volume down then up and then on/off button until show language & start on screen, and then push start, you can see on youtube : samsung galaxy tab 10.1 activation

  9. KAROL

    The above instructions isnt working for me,

    Is this step supporsed to be carried while the Tab is off or ON and after does it restart or it just continues ,because i can only see short cuts but cant access my TAB…Its giving me the “insert Sim” or “simcard is required,turn your device off”

  10. Joseph Paul

    Please what can i do, i’m in Nigeria and my samsung galaxy verizon 4GLTE 10.1 is not recognising any of the Nigerian sim cards please help me its urgent!

  11. Mario Cuesta

    Thankyou so very much I spent all day watching any kind of videos and web sites to solve the poblem , I was almost desperating, but thanks to you I can go to sleep

  12. DDDD

    thank you….did this three years ago….worked then….HOWEVER…I reset my TAB 10.1 and I could not get past the insert a sim card setup…I TRIED touching corners but failed on up volume double press! THANK YOU!!!!!

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