How to Fix It When Your iPhone Has No Service

A troubleshooting guide to help you uncover where the problem really is

If your iPhone has no service, either because you see an error message or can't make or receive phone calls, there are several potential problems. You may be experiencing service issues, such as a problem with the cellphone carrier's service plan, a hardware issue with the phone, or a misconfigured setting.

Reasons Why Your iPhone Says 'No Service'

There's no single reason why an iPhone may report it has no service, so you need to troubleshoot the problem, trying the easiest and most likely solutions first.

Service interruptions may be caused by a simple setting change, such as Airplane Mode or carrier settings. In a few cases, the iPhone needs to have its cellular settings updated through a software update from your cellular service provider. Less often, you need to reset or replace the phone's SIM card. It's also possible that there's a problem with your cellular service plan.

How to Fix Your Phone When It Has No Service

Before changing any iPhone settings or performing more time-consuming troubleshooting tasks, some simple steps may quickly resolve the problem. If those don't solve the problem, move on to more advanced potential fixes.

  1. Make sure the phone is not set to Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode disables cellular and Wi-Fi service. The phone is in Airplane Mode if you see an airplane icon in the upper-right corner of the iPhone screen, where the signal strength bars usually appear.

  2. Toggle cellular data off and on again. Sometimes, especially when you are on the edge of a service area or you lost service and should be back in service, switching your cellular service off and then on again fixes the problem. Select Settings > Cellular and ensure Cellular Data is on. If it's on, toggle it off and back on.

    Turning Airplane Mode on and off again accomplishes the same thing.

  3. Make sure you're within a coverage area. If you're deep inside a building, underground, or in a rural area, you may not have service in that location. Check for signal strength bars in the upper-right corner of the screen.

  4. Restart the phone. Like toggling Airplane Mode, completely restarting the iPhone might wake your cellular service and return it to normal operation.

  5. Turn on Wi-Fi Calling if you have poor service. If you find that you regularly have poor service or no service somewhere that you spend a lot of time, such as your home, enable Wi-Fi Calling on your iPhone. This is a great solution if you move to a new house or apartment and find it's in a cellular dead zone for your wireless provider.

    If you live in a cellular dead zone, consider purchasing a signal booster for your home, which amplifies the cellular signal so you can use the iPhone normally. Signal boosters are available from retailers, as well as most cellular providers.

  6. Check for a carrier settings update. Carriers occasionally release updates that affect the device's ability to connect to the cellular network. It's possible your service might be affected by a new update you installed on your iPhone.

  7. Reset the network settings. The iPhone settings may have been corrupted in a way that prevents you from getting cellular service. Reset it back to the factory conditions.

  8. Remove and replace the SIM card. It's possible the SIM card is not working properly, either because it isn't seated correctly or is damaged. Inspect it for damage and gently clean it by blowing on it or wiping it with a cotton swab or cloth, then replace it.

  9. Check with your carrier. If you still have no service, contact your cellular service carrier and ask about any local outages, problems with your service plan, and if your device is blocked.

    Customer Service Contacts for Major Cellular Providers
    AT&T 800-288-2020
    Sprint 888-211-4727
    T-Mobile 800-937-8997
    Verizon 800-922-0204
    MetroPCS 888-863-8768
    Boost Mobile 866-402-7366
    Cricket 800-274-2538
    Virgin Mobile 888-322-1122
  10. Have the iPhone serviced by Apple. If all else fails, contact Apple support to see if there is a problem with your iPhone. There are a number of possible problems that you can't fix.

  • How do I fix iPhone water damage?

    To dry and fix a wet iPhone, remove the case, shake out the water, and wipe it with a dry cloth. Remove the SIM card and leave the device in a dry place. You can also try silica gel packets or putting the iPhone in rice. Newer iPhones have water damage resistance and survive water damage much better.

  • How do I fix the charging port on an iPhone?

    You can try to clean your iPhone's charging port if it's not charging correctly. Taking it to Apple or a professional repair shop is recommended. You can also try compressed air (Apple doesn't recommend this, so you're taking a risk), a toothpick, or a hand-held vacuum to loosen debris.

  • How do I fix an iPhone screen?

    You'll need to have your iPhone's screen fixed by a professional. The best options for iPhone screen repair include taking it to Apple or a certified professional. Ideally, you should have a warranty, AppleCare, or insurance. Check to see if you're eligible for a discounted upgrade to a newer model.

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