How to Fix iPhone Service Problems

A complete loss of service on your iPhone can be one of the most alienating things that can happen, especially since so many communication functions are utilizing your plan.  Internet, phone calls, text messages, location services, and other elements will shut down if you are not able to have any service, and since we have come to depend on our smartphones for day to day activities this can be incredibly disorienting.  iPhone service problems are not universal and can come from a variety of different areas for a variety of different reasons.  Here is a look at how to troubleshoot iPhone service loss so that you can identify and correct the problem quickly.

First it is important to identify what service loss means.  This can mean that you do not get cellular service at all and do not have access to the iPhone 4G network.  This does not, however, mean that you will not be able to connect to Wi-Fi.  Even if you do not have any service on your iPhone you should still be able to connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi the same as if your phone was in perfect working order.  It will instead operate as an iPod Touch, and you will still be able to use iMessages and Location Services using the Wi-Fi.

If you have noticed that your iPhone service bars, which are in your upper left hand corner to show how strong your service is, have disappeared, then this may be an iPhone settings issue.  Start by going into the iPhone’s Settings and then go to General, which is at the top of the third section of options.  Go to the very last option in General, which is Reset.  In here you will have a number of Reset options, such as addressing settings, content, and dictionary.  Go to Reset Network Settings and select it.  This will bring down the phone momentarily, and the screen will go black with the silver Apple logo.  Once it is done you may find that your service has returned to normal.


One of the most common reason that you may have an iPhone service loss is because the bill has not been paid or the service has been cut for some reason from the provider.  In these cases you will often still have service bars in your upper left hand corner, but will not have the 4G icon indicating data plan service.  To check this try to first send a text message.  Instead of sending it will likely stop right before the process is completed and you will get a red exclamation point next to it.  Then try to make a call, and when the phone call is canceled it should tell you that your service has cut and why it has been.

Some times your service issues are not a broad issue and are instead specific to one element, such as the inability to send MMS messages or connect to the 4G data network.  These can be addressed by settings specifically instead of broadly.  If you are unable to send MMS messages outside of the iMessages format, then start by going into Settings and then go down to Messages.  In here you will see On / Off switches for iMessages, Group Messages, and MMS Messages.  Make sure all three are set to On so that you can ensure full functionality.

If you are simply not finding any access to the 4G data plan then you should return to Settings and then go into General.  Select Network, which is directly under Siri and above Bluetooth.  Here you will need to make sure that the Cellular Data switch is set to the On position.  If you are traveling around and having issues tying into the 4G data network then make sure to also set the Data Roaming switch to the On position, though this may end up costing your more money on your final international bill.


Though the iPhone does make several leaps from the traditional cellular phone model, it still has many of the same issues in place.  This means that you may end up finding that there are simply moments when you lose service completely, such as in remote or wooded locations.  In these situations you should still apply motion and see if you can find service in a more open location with a bit of elevation.  If you cannot you can always try to connect to a Wi-Fi network and then use apps like Skype to call out.

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