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iPhone: Troubleshooting a cellular data connection

Symptoms

This article will help you troubleshoot these cellular data issues on your iPhone:

  • 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

Resolution

Follow these steps for help troubleshooting cellular data issues on your iPhone. After performing each step, please test to see if the issue is resolved.

  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.
  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 to troubleshoot further.

Note: 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

Last Modified: Mar 10, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 10, 2014
  • Article: TS3780
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