7 Ways to Troubleshoot When Cellular Data Not Working on Your iPhone

7 Ways to Troubleshoot When Cellular Data Not Working on Your iPhone

  • If cellular data is not working on your iPhone, there are several ways to fix the problem.
  • To fix your cellular data, try toggling between Airplane mode and mobile data at the same time in the control center and reseat your SIM card.
  • Here are seven of the best ways to fix your iPhone when your cellular data isn’t working.

It’s the mundane issues with technology that are the most frustrating. Your iPhone is on and apparently connected, for example, but you can’t get data in any app and you see an error message in Safari saying your phone isn’t connected to the internet. If you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, it is clear that your cellular data is not working, so what do you do? Here are the top seven ways to troubleshoot and fix your problem when cellular data not working on your iPhone.

Turn off your Wi-Fi

Sometimes your iPhone can get caught between a Wi-Fi network and a cellular network, and stick to Wi-Fi even when it’s not the right choice. If you’re outside your home, for example, you might be just outside the practical range of your Wi-Fi network, and your iPhone should switch to cellular data. But because the phone can still connect to your Wi-Fi network – barely – it stays connected, even if it can’t exchange any data. The cure? Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to see Control Center and tap the wifi icon to temporarily disable it. Now your iPhone will be forced to switch to cellular data and use that instead.

Switch to airplane mode

While there are many reasons why your cellular data might not be working, a quick and easy trick that often gets it working again is to simply turn your wireless connection off and on again. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to see Control Center and find the Airplane mode icon. If it’s already on, that’s probably your problem here – Airplane mode disables cellular data, so it might have been turned off by accident. But if it’s off, tap the icon and wait for a while, then tap it again to re-enable your wireless connection.

Control Center on iPhone with Airplane Mode highlighted.

Try switching between Airplane mode and Wi-Fi to resolve connectivity issues.

Dave Johnson/Insider

Toggle your mobile data setting

Similarly, you can control your iPhone’s mobile data from the control center, and it’s possible that it was accidentally turned off even if Airplane mode is not enabled. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to see Control Center and find the Mobile data icon, which is an antenna to the right of Airplane mode. If it’s off, tap it to turn it on. If not, tap it to turn it off, wait a moment and tap it again to turn it back on. Now test your internet connection and see if that solved your problem.

Control Center on iPhone with Cellular Date highlighted.

You might be used to using airplane mode, but sometimes you might need to turn on the nearby but lesser-known mobile data button.

Dave Johnson/Insider

Check for carrier settings update

Although rare, sometimes it’s possible that your phone’s carrier settings are the cause of your lack of data connectivity. This is especially true if your cell phone provider recently updated their configuration and the changes weren’t automatically updated on your phone for some reason. To check for a carrier settings update, start the Settings app, then press Generalfollowed by About. If a carrier update is available, you will be prompted to install it now.

Reinstall your SIM card

You may need to reinstall your SIM card, especially if it’s a new phone or if you recently changed your SIM card. It’s not hard to do, but you’ll need to find the SIM card removal tool that came with your phone. If it’s not there anymore, you can also use a thin paperclip. Insert the tool into the hole near the SIM card tray and push gently but firmly until the tray pops out. Make sure that the SIM card is correctly inserted in its tray, then reinsert it carefully. For more detailed instructions, here’s how to remove a SIM card from an iPhone.

A person's hands removing a SIM card from an iPhone.

Take out the SIM card tray, make sure the SIM card is inserted correctly and reinsert it carefully.

Steven John/Insider

Restart your iPhone

Try restarting your iPhone. It can fix many network and connection issues, and only takes a few minutes to turn it off and then back on.

Reset your network settings

If nothing else has worked so far, it could be the result of a corruption of your iPhone’s network settings, which could be fixed by resetting your network settings. Save this troubleshooting step for last because when you reset your network settings, all saved networks, paired Bluetooth devices, and Wi-Fi passwords will be erased, so you’ll have to manually reconnect to all your preferred networks.

1. Start the Settings application.

2. Faucet General.

3. Faucet Transfer or reset the phone.

4. Faucet Reset.

5. In the pop-up menu, tap Reset network settings.

Network Settings on iPhone with reset option highlighted.

As a last resort, you can reset your network settings to resolve a possibly corrupt network configuration.

Steven John/Insider

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