What Is A “Carrier Settings Update” On An iPhone? Here’s The Truth!

You turn on your iPhone and immediately see a pop-up that reads, “Carrier Settings Update”. OK, new settings are available — but what does this message mean, and should you update? In this article, I’ll explain why it says “Carrier Settings Update” on your iPhone, what a carrier settings update does to your iPhone, and show you how to check for carrier settings updates in the future.

What Is A “Carrier Settings Update”?

When you see an alert that says “Carrier Settings Update” on your iPhone, it means that Apple or your wireless carrier (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc.) have released an update with new carrier settings that will help improve your iPhone’s ability to connect to your wireless carrier’s network.

For example, if you’re on AT&T, you might see a message that says “AT&T carrier update” or “ATT carrier update”.

Is It Important To Update Carrier Settings On My iPhone?

When your wireless carrier updates their technology, your iPhone also has to update in order to connect with that new technology. If you don’t perform the carrier settings update, your iPhone may not be able to connect to everything your wireless carrier offers. So, it’s very important to make sure you do a carrier settings update for your iPhone in 2020 and install those new carrier settings.

Furthermore, a carrier settings update on your iPhone may also introduce new features such as Wi-Fi calling or voice-over-LTE, or fix software bugs and glitches that are causing problems for a lot of iPhone users.

How Do I Know If A Carrier Settings Update Is Available?

When a carrier settings update is available, you’ll usually receive daily pop-ups on your iPhone that say, “Carrier Settings Update: New settings are available. Would you like to update them now?”

But what if you want to check for a carrier settings update manually? There isn’t a “Check For Carrier Updates” button anywhere on your iPhone. There is, however, another way to check:

To check for a carrier settings update on your iPhone, open the Settings app and tap General -> About. If there’s an available carrier settings update on your iPhone, a pop-up will appear on the screen asking if you want to update. If 15-30 seconds pass and no pop-up appears on your iPhone, that means that there probably aren’t new carrier settings updates for your iPhone in 2020.

check for carrier settings update on iphone

How Do I Update Carrier Settings On My iPhone?

To update the carrier settings on your iPhone, tap Update when the alert appears on the screen. Unlike other updates or resets, your iPhone will not restart after the carrier settings are updated.

tap update to update carrier settings

swipe red power icon left to right to shut down iphoneHow To Check If iPhone Carrier Settings Are Up To Date

If you’re unsure whether or not the carrier settings actually updated, do this:

  1. Turn your iPhone off and back on again by pressing the power button until slide to power off appears on the screen of your iPhone. Then, swipe the red power icon from left to right to shut down your iPhone.
  2. Wait approximately 30 seconds, and turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding the power button until the Apple logo appears directly in the center of your iPhone’s display.
  3. Then, open up the Settings app and tap General -> About. If an alert doesn’t pop-up on the screen saying a carrier settings update is available on your iPhone, that means your carrier settings are up to date.

Carrier Settings: Updated!

Your carrier settings are up to date and next time you’ll know what it means when iPhone says “Carrier Settings Update”. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below, and don’t forget to follow Payette Forward on social media platforms for the best iPhone content on the internet!

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Femi Ola
1 month ago

I was gifted an iPhone with the pack and a pre-order SIM card which I disposed because I am in Nigeria and the sim type is not what we used in Nigeria. Now my iPhone always say activation required for my country carriers and I have try to activate it all to no avail pls help. I guess it should be an unlocking issue and I have tried different tutorial on youtube to unlock it and none of it happens to solve my problem

Faith Walkup
1 month ago

Help. As an elderly disabled Senior I am learning to use the XR given to me by my brother. The carrier is AT&T for cellular. I do not have WiFi. I tried the carrier update but it requires WiFi. No can do. Like your videos but what can I do now?
Thanks!

Editor
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Faith Walkup

Simplest solution I can think of to get that carrier settings update if it only allows you to get it through Wi-Fi is to go to somebody’s house that has Wi-Fi and use theirs. I don’t recommend using public Wi-Fi because it may not be secure. Other thing you can maybe do is have a friend nearby turn on their phone’s mobile hotspot. This will show their phone as a Wi-Fi network that you can connect to so you can download that carrier settings update.

Mark Crim
2 months ago

I’ve been annoyed by this “carrier settings update” for a couple of weeks thinking it was malware. I checked with my true carrier and they informed me that they had no such alert tied to my my iPhone account with them. Suspicion bells started going off. Thanks to this blog I happily touch Update and that was the end of that. To be sure, I followed the “check it” routine and it has been removed from my iPhone. ✔︎
iPhone SE 2 13.5.1

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark Crim
Beth
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Crim

I started getting those pop ups on my SE recently, too, and was suspicious. Thank you for posting this comment.

francois
5 months ago

Network not available on my iPhone X

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5 months ago

[…] and your wireless carrier regularly release carrier settings updates that improve your iPhone’s ability to connect to your wireless carrier’s cellular […]

Diane Green
6 months ago

I did the carrier update , now when talking on phone the voice on the other end sort is muffled and hard to hear. I turn up volume still doesn’t sound good. HATE updates, always screwing something up. Agh!

Mark Crim
2 months ago
Reply to  Diane Green

I’ll be listening for that issue on my iPhone. Thanks!

Victoria
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Green

Do you still notice this problem? Reason I’m asking this is because even though my iPhone is the 8Plus, my husbands is the SE and whenever either one of us receive calls, the only way the caller can hear and understand us speaking is if we place them on speaker phone. It’s frustrating as heck! We’re going to do the carrier update today to see if that helps. I had to google this information first to make sure it was legitimate.

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6 months ago

[…] an iOS update isn’t available, go to Settings -> General -> About to check for a carrier settings update. There isn’t a button to check for these updates — just stay on the About page for 10 […]

Anonymous
2 years ago

Why do I keep getting notifications that Carrier Settings need to be updated but when I check in settings, it tells me they are up to date? Bogus?

Anonymous
3 years ago

iphones are awful!

Anonymous
3 years ago

My iphone 5s camera is blurring after the updation 10.3.2 i have restored it also. Service centre said there is nothing wrong with the camera. What to do?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Now tell me how to get rid of this on FB on my IPhone

Anonymous
3 years ago

On the iPhone 7, I get calls that they can’t send or receive text. The carrier can’t find nothing wrong. I know texting requires cellular data. And iMessage uses wifi. The phone says it has current update. Updating the iOS doesn’t work. And updating or restoring it iTunes doesn’t work. Any suggestions?

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2 years ago

[…] check to see if a carrier settings update is available on your iPhone. Apple and your wireless carrier will frequently release carrier […]