Cellular Data Not Working on iPhone and iPad

If you contact the Genius Bar or your cell carrier regarding your troubles, the first thing you’ll hear is “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Restarting is troubleshooting 101 because it works so well, so make sure you give it a shot first.

1. Hold down the power button (side button) until the “Slide to Power Off” slider appears.

2. Drag the slider to the right.

3. Wait for your device to shut down completely.

4. Hold the side button to turn your device back on.

If, for some reason, your iPhone or iPad has gotten confused, toggling cellular data on and off can “reset” the connection and solve the problem.

1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Command Center.

2. Press the “Airplane mode” icon.

3. Wait a few moments for the iPhone’s radios to turn off.

4. Tap the “Airplane mode” icon again.

5. Wait for the device to reconnect.

It’s possible that your cellular data was disabled. We can check that out in the Settings app. You can also use this same screen to toggle your cellular data to try and reset the connection more selectively than airplane mode.

1. Open the Settings application.

2. Tap the “Cellular” menu option.

3. Make sure the toggle labelled “Cellular Data” is green.

If cellular data stubbornly refuses to cooperate, we may need to reset the network settings completely. This will wipe out any saved WiFi networks while resetting your cellular data settings to their defaults. This means resetting your network settings can also fix WiFi problems, if you’re having any of those.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap the “General” menu option.

3. Tap the “About” menu option.

4. Wait a moment. If you get a popup titled “Carrier Settings Update.” then click “Update.”

If there’s no carrier update, there might be an updated version of iOS. We can check for that in roughly the same place.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap the “General” menu option.

3. Under “General” tap “Software Update.”

4. If an update is available, install the update. Your phone will restart during this process.

For the most stubborn problems, you might want to try returning your phone to factory defaults. You’ll need to make a backup of your device first to ensure you don’t lose any data.

1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer and create an iTunes backup of your device. Make sure you create an encrypted backup. Only encrypted backups will store Health and Keychain data.

2. Once the backup is complete, press the “Restore Backup” button to begin the restoration process.

3. When the restoration completes, check to see if your data works better.

Optionally, you could leave the phone in its “like new” state, which might have removed an app or service that was messing up your cellular data. If you want to do that, make a backup anyway: you might regret it if you don’t.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap the “General” menu option.

3. Scroll to the bottom and tap the “Reset” menu option.

4. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings” to completely wipe your iPhone.

5. Enter your pass code to authorize the operation.