Cellular Data Not Working, Fix

This article explains how you can fix if cellular data is not working on your iPhone or iPad. This is an important problem. Cellular data is how your iPhone or iPad access the internet by using the cellular data network offered by your carrier such as Verizon, AT&T,  when there is no Wi-Fi. This means that, if you are having this problem, you will not be able to send iMessages, use FaceTime, send emails, watch YouTube or Netflix and much more when your iPhone or iPad is not connected to a Wi-Fi connection.

See also: No Service Or Searching On iPhone? 

Here is how you can fix this:

After trying each step below, test your device again to see if you’ve fixed your cellular data issue.

Are you really sure that cellular data is not working? Before you go further, please make sure that:

  • iPhone or iPad cellular data is turned on. On your device, go to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Data or Cellular Data) and ensure that the cellular data option is enabled.Cellular Data
  • You are in a covered area especially if you see no signal bars.
  • You have cellular data turned on for the app if you are experiencing this issue with a particular app.

See also: Cellular Data For Apps Keeps Turning Off On iPhone

1. Airplane Mode.

On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings and turn on Airplane Mode. Wait 30 seconds. Then turn off Airplane Mode.

Airplane Mode

2. Restart your device.

Here is how you can restart your device:

  • iPhone X, 11 or later and iPad with Face ID models: Press and hold the power (side or top) and volume up (or down) together until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Wait 1 minute until your device completely turns off. Then press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo.
  • Other iPhone or iPad models: Press and hold the power button (side or top) button until the power off slider appears. Then drag the slider. Wait 1 minute. Then press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears.

3. Update your carrier settings.

Sometimes your carrier may release updates that are designed to improve your cellular data performance. Check to see if there is an update and if there is an update, update your carrier settings. Here is how:

  • Make sure that your iPhone or iPad is connected to a Wi-Fi network since cellular data is not working.
  • On your device, go to Settings > General > About. A popup will appear if there is an update available saying “Carrier Settings Update. New settings are available. Would you like to update them now?” Tap Update.

Carrier settings update

Cellular update failed?

4. Update your device.

Update to the latest versions of iOS or iPadOS. Here is how:

  • Settings > General, then tap Software Update. This will check for software updates. And if there is an update available, then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the update.

Software Update

Please note that you can also update your iPhone or iPad by connecting it to your computer.

Again for this, you will need a Wi-Fi connection.

5. Reset network settings.

Misconfigured network settings may cause cellular data connection problems. Resetting this may resolve your problem. Please note that resetting this will erase your Wi-Fi, VPN, and other network settings. Here is how:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  • If asked, enter your passcode.
  • Your device will restart.

Reset network settings

6. Contact your carrier.

So you have tried everything and still no luck? There might be a service outage or you may have an issue with your cellular provider. Perhaps the issue is not at their end. Maybe you have reached your data limit. Maybe your account is suspended. Or maybe there are outages in your area. Contact your carrier for more help.

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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