iOS 12.1.3 No Service or Cellular Data Problems on iPhone? Try These Fixes

Jan 26, 2019 - 15 Comments

iPhone No Service no cellular data problems

Some iPhone users have discovered cellular data issues after installing the iOS 12.1.3 update, showing “No service”, no cellular data, no cellular reception bars, and sometimes seeing a “Cellular Update Failed” message similar to what was happening with some iPhones after installing iOS 12.1.2. This seems to mostly impact iPhones on particular cellular networks, but it’s not entirely clear why some iPhone devices will experience cellular data problems after installing the iOS 12.1.3 update while others don’t.

Often some of the routine fixes for cellular data not working on iPhone will resolve this problem, including making sure that cellular data is actually enabled and resetting network settings.

As you work through the troubleshooting steps below, be sure to check your cellular data connection after you have tried each of these steps.If one of these methods works for you, you don’t need to follow any others. And be sure to share what did (or didn’t) work for fixing your iOS 12.1.3 iPhone cellular problems in the comments below!

1: Reboot the iPhone, then wait 5 minutes

Try this first, this is based on a few recommendations from cellular carriers. Sprint says wait 3 minutes after restarting, but another cell provider said wait 5 minutes. This may allow a cellular settings update to download and load that can fix the problem.

You can perform a simple reboot on any iPhone by turning it off, then back on again. Holding down the Power button and then swiping to power down the device is typically all that is needed. Then wait a moment and press the Power button again.

For can also try a forced reboot, which is a much more abrupt restart of the iPhone. That process varies per iPhone and whether or not they have Home buttons that click or not, or none at all:

Once the device boots back up, try using cellular data again.

Note after a reboot you can often check for a cellular carrier settings update on iPhone from the mobile provider by going to Settings > General > About and locate the Carrier section too.

2: Remove the SIM Card, Re-insert the SIM Card

Some users have discovered that removing their iPhone SIM card, waiting a few moments, then reinserting the SIM card back into iPhone, has resolved their network issues. This is an easy process that is worth trying, since it appears to work for a fair number of users impacted by this No Service problem.

3: Put into Airplane Mode & Reboot

Some users report that simple putting their iPhone into AirPlane mode for a short while, then rebooting is effective.

  • Toggle Airplane mode ON, wait 30 seconds, then reboot the iPhone (turn it off and on again), then turn Airplane mode back OFF once the iPhone is booted back up

If this works, great, though it’s not entirely clear why it would. Airplane mode can serve as a DNS cache reset in iOS so perhaps that mechanism is in play here, though DNS issues would be more likely to cause timeouts and errors when accessing services, rather than no cellular service at all.

4: Reset Network Settings on iPhone

You can also try resetting network settings in iOS. A downside to this approach is that you will lose all saved wi-fi passwords, any custom DNS entries, or other network specific settings customizations. Nonetheless, resetting Network Settings in iOS is an often tried and true approach to resolving network and cellular connectivity problems on the iPhone. Write down the important wi-ifi passwords for networks you’ll rejoin and any other important network settings first. The rest is easy to do, here’s how:

  1. Open Settings on iPhone, go to “General” and then to “Reset”
  2. Tap on “Reset Network Settings” and confirm that you wish to reset network settings by tapping the ‘Reset Network Settings’ button
  3. Wait a moment or two
  4. Optionally but recommended, reboot the iPhone again

Try using the cellular network now, it should work.

Bonus tip for Sprint users: for Sprint iPhones, you can do a different network settings reset specific to Spring specific network settings by dialing ##72786# then tapping on ‘ok’ at the various prompts to reset network settings and eventually restart the device.

5: Turn LTE to Data Only

  1. Open Settings, then go to “Cellular” and to “Cellular Data Options”
  2. Tap “Enable LTE” then select “Data Only”

This worked for some users when troubleshooting prior iOS cellular data problems with iOS 12.1.1 and iOS 12.1.2, so it may help for iOS 12.1.3 as well.

There are a variety of reports about this problem around the web, in Apple Support forums, various Apple fan forums, our comments section and inbound emails, and on Twitter including at Sprint and on the Twitter Apple Support account here, here, here, and elsewhere if you search for “iOS 12.1.3 cellular” or “iOS 12.1.3 mobile data” and similar search terms on Twitter. It’s always vaguely possible there’s some bug or other hiccup involved in the iOS 12.1.3 update or update process, and if that’s the case a future update will be released to fix the problem. But more likely, there is an issue somewhere with a setting on particular devices that are impacted, whether there’s some lingering old configuration or stale data cache, or some other issue behind the scenes that can be easily remedied with a reboot or network settings reset.

Anyway, if the above tips helped to resolve your cellular problems with iPhone and iOS 12.1.3, or if you found another solution to resolve any mobile data connectivity issues with iOS 12.1.3 on iPhone, please share with us in the comments below what has worked for you and what has not too. Include your iPhone model, cellular company, and what iOS version you’re running if possible.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

15 Comments

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  1. Wayne says:

    I have had this problem and puzzled over it. I get a “no service” signal. Sometimes a “No Sim” message. In both cases, I have reestablished service by removing and reinstalling the Sim card. No loss of anything.

  2. Mark Bergman says:

    and if all these ideas fail, as happened with me, don’t discount calling your cellular carrier. My problems presented as above, waste time as Apple tried to help and finally called AT&T who found they had an IMEI mismatch. Upon updating all worked fine. The IMEI problem had, somehow, gotten past their security and I suspect the update triggered something that made the issue more obvious. So…it was an AT&T mistake that went unnoticed until this iOS update.

  3. Jim says:

    I am in Australia, and I first started to experience cell failures when I bought my iPhoneX (long term iPhone user). It would happen perhaps every 3 months, and the first indication might be an internet usage failure or unable to make a phone call. Restart the phone (didn’t even need to wait) and all fixed.

    When the iPhoneXS was released, I intermittently experience the same problem. It is at the level of inconvenience really, rather than show stopping. I have not discussed it with Apple as I don’t have sufficient clues, and cannot reproduce the fault.
    I don’t think it is a IOS12.x.x problem.

    The likelihood of Apple exploring my phone and finding the problem is probably non-existent.

  4. Jim says:

    I am in Australia, and I first started to experience cell failures when I bought my iPhoneX (long term iPhone user). It would happen perhaps every 3 months, and the first indication might be an internet usage failure or unable to make a phone call. Restart the phone (didn’t even need to wait) and all fixed.
    The phone showed zero signal strength. After resetting, I would have high signal strength without moving my position.

    When the iPhoneXS was released, I intermittently experience the same problem. It is at the level of inconvenience really, rather than show stopping. I have not discussed it with Apple as I don’t have sufficient clues, and cannot reproduce the fault.
    I don’t think it is a IOS12.x.x problem.

    The likelihood of Apple exploring my phone and finding the problem is probably non-existent.

  5. Sara Martin says:

    None of this worked my X is still useless away from Wi-fi with 12.1.3

  6. Marty says:

    Restartimg iPhone 6S is all I need to do to restore cellular. I use T-Mobile.

  7. Mujib R says:

    Mine got fixed when I chose cellular >cellular data options > enable LTE > voice and data . Using sprint for iPhone XS Max and XR . Both got LTE bars issues and connection problem

  8. Watson says:

    Pull the SIM card out, then put it back on. That should do the trick.

    I think this is a simple config quirk with the wireless carrier, not the iOS release.

  9. Inwdc says:

    Watson, except for the fact it’s happening with different carriers. I think this issue is Apple’s ball to carry. Agree that popping the SIM card out and in seems to do the trick.

  10. Paul H says:

    I had complete cellular failure on my XS after updating. All of the mentioned fixes had no effect. I took my SIM out and put it in another phone and found it didn’t work either. However if I put a different SIM in my XS it worked OK! It seems the updated messed up my SIM somehow. I have now moved to using the e-SIM and thankfully everything is now Ok.

  11. Martin K says:

    The “reset network settings” worked on my iPhone 5 SE.
    Thanks

  12. Big B says:

    Well it happened to me also after updating.. xs max. had to call sprint from another phone and they honestly didn’t know what the deal was. Had me reset network settings and do the ## thing. After about 5 times of doing it the phone randomly started working again and no problems since. Not cool though.

  13. Nadeem says:

    My Iphone 6 plus is draining battery to quickly, auto brightness is not working what should i do now :( this new update is not working properly.

  14. Abd says:

    I have iphone 6s with ios:12.1.4 that I cant any call and Unstable antenna mode

    when lTE change to 2g then fix it

    my iphone antenna is stable now

    Thaks

  15. muhammad usman says:

    I reset my network setting after auto restart from this. I again restart my cell. now it work properly. hussssh!

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