Fix iPhone Cellular Data Problems by Resetting Network Settings

Jan 11, 2010 - 11 Comments

network-icon I love my iPhone but it’s had a share of networking quirks, and one of them is the seemingly random inability to access the cellular data network. I don’t know if this is an AT&T problem or an iPhone problem, but it’s really annoying to not be able to use 3G/4G service when I need to. I went looking for a solution for the problem and came across a pretty simple and straightforward fix after digging around for a while, and it’s extremely easy to do. What you’ll want to do to resolve your cellular or general network data problems is reset the iPhone Network Settings, which we’ll show you how to do.


This only takes a few seconds and can be done on any iOS device the same way, though our focus here is for the iPhone since it’s cellular capabilities are essential to the hardware functioning properly.

How to Reset Network Settings on the iPhone

This applies to iOS in general with all cell capable iPhones, regardless of carrier. That means whether it’s from Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, or whoever else, it’s worth a shot when troubleshooting network difficulties, and it may even fix wi-fi problems too:

  • Open Settings then go to “General” followed by “Reset”
  • Tap on “Reset Network Settings” and confirm the reset by tapping the giant red button

Reset Network Settings in iOS

Most cellular data and networking issues with the iPhone (or 3G/LTE iPads) will now be resolved. Though it’s not necessary, rebooting the iPhone can be helpful in some cases. You can do that just by turning it on and off again through the power button.

This process has the side effect of ditching all passwords to wireless routers and access points, meaning you will have to reenter them when you find those networks again. You may want to make note of any particular crazy wifi keys before doing this.

Prior versions of iOS had the same functionality, it just looked slightly differently:

iphone data not working fix

Anyway, this solution worked for me and anytime there are persistent network issues it seems to resolve them. If you’re having problems with your iPhone cellular data connection or any networking oddities, try resetting the network settings yourself, it might just work.

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Posted by: William Pearson in iPhone, Troubleshooting

11 Comments

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  1. Ben says:

    That’s happened to me a couple of times. I’ve resolved it by rebooting.

  2. Malik A says:

    This is happening to me in the UK with O2, i can’t acess data, however when on a call i can access data, wierd. Tried resetting data net settings, still no luck.

  3. Harun A says:

    Most of the time resetting the phone may not help. The solution is goto Settings/General/Network and just take the sim card out wait for 10 sec. and slide it back. That’s it.

  4. Paul Mc says:

    thank you!!!

    I haven’t been able to get 3G working properly on my iphone 4 since I got it two months ago, and this seems to have done the trick. Genuinely tried everything and was back-and-forth with carrier. 3G connectivity would work for ~30 seconds after reboot and then stop though 3G logo still displayed.. So for anyone else reading – this is certainly worth trying.

    thanks again for posting this :-)

  5. Ronald says:

    Awesome! It worked! If I had only looked this up a few days ago, I could have been enjoying Pandora on the ride home instead of suffering.

  6. aliengurl says:

    i setup a simple mobile cellular data in the past and now i cant delete it. i tried resetting everything but it still comes back. anyone had any similar issues?

  7. Seye says:

    Wow! Thank you Harun. It worked.

  8. kai hopper says:

    will iot mess up an unlock if you reset settings?

  9. Smirti says:

    I have nothing downloaded in my iPhone. It has only what is comes with. I don’t use it for browsing at all. I go out like 20 minutes a day for a walk. Rest of the time it is connected to my WiFi. In March i received a 60% data usage message. It was so weird for me. Because my husband has same phone and he never turns off his cellular data usage. I called AT@T wireless trouble shooting dept. The lady’s first advice was to buy unlimited data. She did not trust me that i have no apps installed. She said my facebook update is eating all data which i don’t have downloaded ever. I turned off my cellular data for months. Now i turned it on when i realized I have missed so many ppls VMs. Within 12 hrs my daya is used 60%. I am in home it is connected to my WiFi. Call ATT again. that guy told me turned cell data off all the time and disable safari and u-tube. pushed for 3vsec and tap – again. But it doesn’t work. He told me to go to Apple store to figure it out. You guys are way smarter that those SMEs. I am hoping you guys will give me some feedback to my problem.

  10. [...] Unfortunately, the AirPlane Mode trick works only sometimes when going from EDGE, and the only guaranteed way to get reception again after losing it completely seems to be turning the iPhone on and off again. Strangely, toggling the “Cellular Data” switch does absolutely nothing to resolve the problem and is still unable to join a network. Some users have also reported success with the age-old trick of resetting Network Settings. [...]

  11. clement says:

    My Iphone keeps on saying no service even After restarting it

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