iPhone Cellular Error? Here’s The Real Fix!

There’s a Cellular error on your iPhone and you don’t know why. No matter what you do, you can’t get Cellular Data to work. In this article, I’ll explain how to fix the problem when you experience an iPhone Cellular error.

Turn Off Airplane Mode

When your iPhone is on Airplane Mode, it can’t connect to cellular networks. Let’s make sure that’s not the case.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap the switch next to Airplane Mode. You’ll know Airplane Mode is off when the switch is white and positioned to the left.
  3. If Airplane Mode is already off, try turning it on and off again to see if that fixes the problem.

make sure airplane mode is off

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can fix a variety of minor software bugs that can prevent your iPhone from connecting to cellular networks. All the apps and programs running on your iPhone get a fresh start!

Restart iPhones With Face ID

  1. Press and hold the volume up or down button and the side button simultaneously.
  2. Release both buttons when slide to power off appears on the screen.
  3. Swipe the power icon from left to right.

turn off your iphone

Restart iPhones Without Face ID

  1. Press and hold the power button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Swipe the power icon from left to right.

Check For A Carrier Settings Update

Carrier setting updates are less frequent than iOS updates, but they help connect your iPhone to your carrier’s cellular network. It’s possible you’re experiencing an iPhone Cellular error because the carrier settings need to be updated.

To check if a carrier settings update is available:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About. If there’s a carrier settings update available, you should get a notification within 10 seconds.

update carrier settings on iphone

Update iOS On Your iPhone

From time to time, Apple releases iOS updates to fix various issues and introduce new features. It’s always a smart idea to update when new versions arrive.

To check if an iOS update is available:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. If there is an update available, tap Download and Install.

install ios 15 on your iphone

Eject And Reinsert Your SIM Card

The SIM card is what allows your iPhone to connect to your wireless carrier’s network. If there’s an issue with your SIM card, you might experience Cellular errors on your iPhone.

Check out our other article to learn how to find the SIM card tray and learn how to eject your SIM card.

Turn Off Wi-Fi Calling And Voice LTE

Some iPhone users have had success fixing Cellular errors by turning off Wi-Fi Calling and Voice LTE. Both are great features, and we recommend that you avoid turning them off unless absolutely necessary.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some carriers don’t offer these features. If you don’t see these settings on your iPhone, move onto the next step.

How To Turn Off Wi-Fi Calling

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Select Wi-Fi Calling.
  4. Turn off the switch next to Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone.

How To Turn Off Voice LTE

  1. Go back to Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Select Cellular Data Options.
  4. Press Enable LTE.
  5. Tap Data Only. It’s should be off, as indicated by the blue check mark.

Reset Network Settings On Your iPhone

Resetting the network settings on your iPhone erases all of its Cellular, Wi-Fi, APN, and VPN, then restores them to factory defaults. It can be very difficult to track down the exact cause of an iPhone Cellular error. Rather than trying to find it, we’ll erase all the Cellular settings on your iPhone and give them a completely fresh start.

Note: You’ll have to reenter your Wi-Fi passwords after completing this step.

How To Reset Network Settings On An iPhone

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Tap Reset Network Settings.

Put Your iPhone In DFU Mode

DFU Mode stands for Device Firmware Update, and it’s the deepest restore you can possibly do on your iPhone.

Before you go any further, make sure your information is backed up! A DFU restore will wipe your iPhone clean. So, if you want to save your photos and files, make sure they’re backed up somewhere.

Now you’re ready to now put your iPhone in DFU Mode. For detailed instructions, you can follow our guide here.

Contact Apple Or Your Wireless Carrier

If nothing seems to fix the problem, there may be an issue with your iPhone or your wireless carrier account. Visit Apple’s website to schedule a Genius Bar appointment or get phone and chat support.

If you think there’s an issue with your cell phone plan, contact your carrier’s customer support number. Below are the numbers for the three major carriers. If you’re a customer of a different carrier, search Google for their customer support number.

  • AT&T: 1-(800)-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: 1-(877)-746-0909
  • Verizon: 1-(800)-922-0204

iPhone Cellular Error: No More!

It’s always a pain when our technology doesn’t work properly. Fortunately, you’ve fixed the Cellular error on your iPhone! Leave any other comments or questions down below.

About Author

blayney klein headshot

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Neba Sandra
6 months ago

Hello! My XR is showing cellular error detected and I have tried restarting but it is the same and it can only use wifi. I tried updating it to ios 17.03 and it is stuck on verfying updtae.. and I can not even operate the phone. Its just stock..how do I go about it?

Last edited 6 months ago by Neba Sandra
1 year ago

This is bullshit, nothing here worked at all

1 year ago
Reply to  Gray

Same. I’m having this issue right now. You ever get it resolved?

2 years ago

Thank you for this article! My iPhone 12 was showing “Cellular Error.” Couldn’t receive or make calls/texts (showed “no service”) – I was about to follow the prompts from Apple to hook it up to a PC and update the software, but restarting it did the trick!

1 year ago
Reply to  Micah

for a moment then goes back to that bs.

2 years ago

Purchased my iPhone 7 in June 2018 On January 30 of 2022 I received a message on my phone that it demanded I upgrade to iOS 15.3 after cellular service dropped out completely and bricked itself. And then took several attempts for it to accept verification and it worked OK after that. Go forward to several days ago about a month and a half after this first occurred and cellular dropped out again completely making the phone useless unless connected to Wi-Fi. It again demanded that I upgrade to iOS 15.4 which I did and then refuse to accept verification… Read more »

William Page
2 years ago

It worked! I now have 5G.

william charleston
2 years ago

Cellular error is on.

Vincent Adriko
3 years ago

Hey my iPhone 7 is showing cellular error

3 years ago
Reply to  Vincent Adriko

So is mine what did you do to fix it?

3 years ago
Reply to  Quinn

Same happening with my iPhone 7
any idea how to fix it?

3 years ago
Reply to  Vicky

same with my iphone 8

2 years ago
Reply to  Vincent Adriko

did you fix it already?

3 years ago

dear my cellular data not working now can you

3 years ago

hi there I upgraded recently to the iPhone 11 and had my email account loaded etc. It all worked well for 3 weeks. Then i stopped receiving emails in my inbox on my phone but on the computer it is working just fine. I can send from my iPone but not receive. I have tried deleting it and reloading but no success. When i load my daughters email on my phone as a second account then it all works. For some reason my inbox is not receiving…can you assist please?? I have loaded the Gmail app from app store and… Read more »