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What to do when your iPhone cellular data isn’t working

Illustration of iPhone cellular data not working

Cellular data on your iPhone® is crucial so you can connect to your mobile carrier’s network and make phone calls, check emails, stream music and videos, use GPS navigation, and more if you don’t have access to an internet connection. But what if your cellular data isn’t working? You can usually fix it with a few easy steps. We’ll show you. 

Asurion Experts help people solve their tech problems every day, all day, whether your iPhone is stuck on SOS mode or your hotspot isn’t working. Here’s our guide on what to do if your iPhone won’t connect to cellular data. 

Ways to fix iPhone cellular data that’s not working

Are you wondering, why is my cellular data not working on my iPhone?  Here are some fixes to try:  

Check your cellular network and data 

For your cellular data to work, your iPhone needs to be within the cellular network of your carrier. Check your carrier provider's coverage map to find out if you’re in cellular connection range. You can also, check with your carrier to see if there’s a network outage in your area or if you’ve reached the limit for your mobile data plan. Either of these things would cause your iPhone data to stop working. 

Restart your iPhone

Try restarting your iPhone to clear out any software glitches that could be preventing your cellular data from connecting. Press and hold the Power button to turn off your device, wait a few seconds, then turn it back on. 

Check Airplane mode 

Airplane mode disables cellular data, so if it’s turned on, turning it off may solve your problem. Or, turning Airplane mode on, and then off, may also fix your issue. 

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down to Airplane Mode. If it’s turned on, the switch next to it will be green. Tap the switch to turn it off. 

Turn off Wi-Fi

It’s possible your iPhone is trying to make a Wi-Fi connection even if you’re out of your Wi-Fi network range, which could prevent your device from switching to cellular data. Try this:

  1. Swipe up or down from your Lock screen to open the Control Center.
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi icon (three arching lines inside in a blue circle) to turn it off. 

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Turn on Cellular Data 

Here’s how to make sure your Cellular settings are turned on so your data will work:

  1. Open Settings > Cellular. If your Cellular Data is turned off, the switch next to it will be gray. 
  2. Turn your cellular data off and on a few times, making sure the switch is green (in the on position) when you finish.  

Check for a carrier settings update

It’s unlikely, but the carrier settings on your iPhone may be the reason your cellular data isn’t working. Here’s how to check for an update: 

  1. Open Settings > General > About
  2. If a carrier update is available, you’ll be prompted to install it. 

Reinsert your SIM card

If your mobile device has a physical SIM card, it’s possible your cellular data isn’t working because the SIM card is dirty, damaged, or loose. To check it, follow these steps for how to safely remove your SIM card from your iPhone. If your SIM card looks like it’s damaged, contact your carrier to get a new one. Or, consider activating an eSIM on your iPhone

Check for a software update

Make sure your iOS® is up-to-date. An update may allow your device to re-connect your cellular data after you restart. Check out our guide on how to update your iPhone to the newest iOS

Reset your network settings

Still wondering why is my iPhone cellular data not working? Try resetting your network settings: 

  1. Open Settings > General
  2. Tap Transfer or Reset > Reset > Reset Network Settings
  3. If prompted, enter your passcode. Your iPhone will restart.

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.

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