Why Isn't My iPhone Getting Service?

As long as you are inside your wireless provider's coverage area and your cellular account is in good standing, your iPhone should connect to your carrier’s cellular network. If there isn’t a problem with your carrier’s network, troubleshooting your iPhone’s settings, wireless connection features and the SIM card can help to determine the cause of the problem.

Enable Cellular Data

Activate the Cellular Data feature to see if your iPhone can connect to the cellular network. When your iPhone has a cellular data connection, the corresponding cellular data icon appears in the status bar, such as 3G.

Activate your iPhone's Cellular Data feature.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Tap the Settings icon on the device's Home screen to open the Settings menu, select Cellular and then slide the Cellular Data switch to the On position.

Check the SIM Card

Open your iPhone's SIM card tray by pushing the SIM eject tool into the tray's hole. Remove the SIM card from the tray and inspect it for damage. If there is any visible damage, such as a crack, your iPhone may not be able to connect to the cellular network. Ask your wireless service provider for a replacement card.

Disable the Airplane Mode Feature

If you inadvertently activated Airplane Mode, your iPhone is unable to make any wireless connections. You can turn off the Airplane Mode from the Settings menu or the Control Center.

Airplane Mode disables all wireless connections.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Open the Settings menu and then slide the Airplane Mode switch to the left to disable the feature.

You can also activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from the Control Center.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Swipe a finger up from the bottom of your iPhone's screen to open the Control Center. The Airplane Mode icon is highlighted if the feature is active. Tap the Airplane Mode icon to disable the feature.

Reset Network Settings

Resetting your iPhone's network settings clears all of the stored cellular network data, which may be preventing the device from connecting to the network.

Step

Open the Settings menu and then tap General.

Open the General screen.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple
Scroll to the bottom of the screen to locate the Reset option.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Step

Tap Reset at the bottom of the screen to open the Reset screen.

All the iOS Reset settings are on the Reset screen.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Step

Select Reset Network Settings from the list of Reset settings.

Enter your passcode to proceed to the next screen.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Step

Enter your iPhone's pass code if you have activated a pass code for your device.

Tap Reset Network Settings from the menu.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Step

Tap Reset Network Settings from the pop-up menu to return the network settings to factory defaults.

Check for a Software Update

Apple periodically produces iOS updates that are available for installation from the Software Update section of the Settings menu. Updating iOS can rid any bugs that may be causing a cellular connection failure.

Review the update's description.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Open the Settings menu, tap General and then select Software Update. Tap Download and Install to install the update.