iPhone cellular data connection issues

Learn how to fix cellular data issues on your iPhone.

Cellular data issues can include:

  • No connection over cellular network, but works over Wi-Fi
  • Unable to load pages in Safari
  • Unable to use email over cellular
  • Slow data connection over cellular
  • Intermittent cellular data connection
  • Unable to join 3G/4G/LTE network
  • "Unable to activate cellular data connection" alert message


Follow these steps for help with cellular data issues on your iPhone. After performing each step, test to see if your iPhone still has the issue.

  1. Toggle airplane mode: Tap Settings, turn airplane mode on, wait three seconds, and then turn off again.
  2. Restart your iPhone.
  3. Make sure that your software is up to date:
  4. Remove the SIM Card and reinsert it. Allow the iPhone to acquire the network again.
  5. If your SIM card has SIM PIN enabled, try turning it off: Tap Settings > Phone > SIM PIN.
  6. Try another location. If a different location works, but the original location still doesn't, contact your carrier to report the issue.
  7. Reset network settings: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
    Resetting network settings on your device will erase all current saved settings, including Wi-Fi passwords, preferred networks, and VPN settings.
  8. Restore the iPhone as new.
  9. Contact your carrier to:
    • Verify that the iPhone is properly set up on the account with the appropriate, current data plan.
    • Verify that there are no account-related blocks.
    • Find out if there are specific error messages in the carrier logs that could help determine why the issue is occurring.

If none of the above steps resolves the issue, contact your carrier, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or contact AppleCare.

If you are traveling internationally, you may need to turn data roaming on: Tap Settings > Cellular. Check with your carrier first to understand the cost of international data roaming

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