How to Fix iPhone Won't Connect to Cellular Network

The purpose of cellphones dies if they are unable to connect to the cellular network. Cellular networks allow you the luxury to connect with people that live miles apart from you. Most importantly, cellular networks provide you with fast internet connections when you aren’t within the Wi-Fi proximity. It is the cellular networks that let you surf the web, make video calls, and access social media networks through cellular data.

Not having a cellular connection means that your iPhone is merely an mp3 player or a Gameboy provided that you have already downloaded them beforehand. Many iPhone users have reported that their iPhone won’t connect to the cellular network for no apparent reason. These users have claimed that their iPhone suddenly starts showing No Service or iPhone Might May Searching on the home screen.

Now both these messages mean one thing; no cellular network. This could happen to any iPhone user and honestly, it is not too big of an issue. There could be many reasons why this happens, but likewise, there are solutions for them too. If you are one unfortunate user facing this frustrating issue, continue reading for reasons and solutions below.

Check the SIM Card:

It is often the case that your SIM card stops working temporarily. You would think that it is an issue with the iPhone but actually it is just the SIM Card playing games. To check that if your SIM card is working fine, ask someone to send a message or call on your number. The temporarily disabled SIM might get signals when someone tries to reach you via a text or a phone call.

If that doesn’t work, you need to do a physical inspection on the SIM Card or SIM Card Jack. To do that:

1. Turn off your iPhone.

2. Locate the SIM Card holder on your iPhone. It is placed at the right side of your phone just below the Sleep/Wake button. For the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and original; they have SIM card slots along the top of the iPhone.

3. Now use the SIM Card ejecting tool or a pin to open the tray/holder.

4. Pull it out, inspect if there are any damages on either the SIM Card or the SIM Card holder.

5. Clean the holder with a soft cloth, carefully put the SIM card back, and slowly push the holder back into the slot.

6. Now switch on your iPhone and check if the Cellular Network is working.

Network Providers’ Issue:

If there is nothing wrong with your SIM Card then it could be an issue on network provider’ end. No cellular network works worldwide and therefore it could be the location due to which you aren’t receiving any signals. You must check online for the network provider’ coverage map. This will provide you with an inkling that if the issue is on your end of theirs.

Additionally, your network provider might be facing some technical issues due to which the coverage might be down. It is a rarity but still a possibility, and therefore you can consider asking a friend or a family member using the same network. Service maintenance is another reason why phones do not connect to the network, but companies tend to inform their users about the maintenance schedule beforehand.

Airplane Mode:

If you have already checked for both the options mentioned above and didn’t find any luck, you might have to check various settings in your iPhone. Airplane mode is a feature which allows you to automatically disconnect from the network (Cellular and Wi-Fi). Users tend to use it during the flights or even when they put their iPhones on charging. It is a quick troubleshooting technique to address cellular issues. You can utilize this feature through two methods:

Control Center:

1. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone’ home screen.

2. Locate the option Airplane Mode. It is one with an Airplane icon placed just above the Wi-Fi icon.
Airplane mode

3. Tap on it to enable it. Tap it back to disable it.

4. When enabled, the icon changes its color into Orange, when disabled it remains White.

Via Settings:

1. Tap on the option Settings on your home screen.

2. The first option on the screen would be Airplane Mode.

3. Toggle it on to enable, toggle it back to disable.

The trick, however, is simple; just enable the Airplane Mode for a minute or so, and then enable it back. You might get your cellular network back.

iPhone Carrier Settings Update:

One of the reasons why you aren’t getting a cellular network could be your Carrier Settings Update. It is basically an update from your network provider. It relates to network, calling, cellular data, messaging, hotspot, and voicemail settings. You can check for an update by:

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Next, tap on the option About.

4. You will see the option Update your Carrier Settings only if an update is available. If not, then you will just see the information regarding your carrier.

Date and Time:

Your cellular network may cause issues if your iPhone’ date and time aren’t set in accordance with the current time zone. The simplest solution to address this issue is to set your Date and Time settings to automatic. You can do that by:

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Scroll down, locate the option Date and Time.
Set Automatically

4. Toggle on the option Set Automatically.

Hard Reset your iPhone:

Hard Reset usually troubleshoots most of the issues with your iPhone. So, if you are facing No Cellular Service issue then resetting the iPhone is one of the best bets to address this. You can do that by:

For iPhone 8 or Later:

Quickly press-release the volume up button, then press-release the volume down button in quick succession. Once done, press-hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus:

Press-hold the sleep/wake button in tandem with volume down button for at least 7-10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 6 Plus & Previous Models:

Press-hold the home and side/top button (as per the model) for 10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Reset Network Settings:

Network Settings is central to Cellular Network’ functionality. You may not be able to predict what has gone wrong with your network settings, but you can at least reset them to address the issue. Resetting network settings is quite a straightforward method and importantly, it doesn’t require you to create an iCloud backup. You can do that by:

1. Go to the Settings of your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Now scroll down to the bottom and tap on the option Reset.
Reset Network Settings

4. Now tap on the option Reset Network Settings. Provide your passcode if required, and then let your phone complete the process.

Update the Software:

If you haven’t updated your iPhone to the latest iOS (if applicable) then you will face quite a few issues and the cellular network is one of them. Make sure you update your iPhone to latest iOS as soon as the update is available. Doing it may solve the issue but if it doesn’t, you may have to consider these tips:

  • Turn off your Cellular Data.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Reinsert your SIM Card.
  • Reset Network Settings.

Conclusively, if none of the methods works for you then you should call your carrier provider. Not only that, but you also need to check that if your iPhone is unlocked to all networks. If your iPhone is locked then it will only work on a particular network.