7 Solutions to Fix iPhone “No Service”

iPhone says no service

The iPhone “no service” error can be extremely frustrating especially if you need to urgently make a phone call or send a text message. This is an issue that can be experienced by users of any phone brand, not just iPhones. However, this article will focus on how to troubleshoot the iPhone “no service” error on iPhones.

What Causes iPhone to Have No Service?

There could be many reasons as to why your iPhone has no service. That is why this article lists a range of ways to fix the issue. The most common causes of this issue are:

  • Software glitch – A glitch with iOS could result in your iPhone saying, “no service”.
  • Out of date cellular settings – If your cellular settings are out of date, it could be causing you are the no service error.
  • Location – Although service coverage is excellent in large cities and heavily populated regions, if you are in a region that is not as populated, the network coverage could be worse in that region. For example, if you are in a forest.
  • Hardware problem – Physical damage to your phone’s hardware, such as the antennae could lead to the “no service” error.

Solutions to “iPhone No Service” Issue

As you can see in the above part, there are many causes of the “no service” error on iPhones so this article will show you how you can try to fix the error based on the causes. Most of them can be checked and try by yourself.

Solution 1: Force Restart iPhone

Occasionally a software glitch is the cause of the “no service” issue on an iPhone. Luckily, software glitches can easily be resolved by restarting the iPhone. Restarting your iPhone will close all the background processes open and then start the necessary processes when your iPhone boots up. Therefore, restarting your iPhone is the easiest way to get rid of a software glitch. Here we take the latest iPhone model, iPhone 12 as an example and tell you how to force restart your device. You need to:

  1. Hold the side button on your iPhone until the slider appears. Slide the slider to the end of your screen and wait for your iPhone to power off completely.
  2. Quick press the volume up button and then release it.
  3. Quick press the volume down button and then release it.
  4. Press and hold the side button and wait for your iPhone to restart.
Force restart iPhone 12

Solution 2: Check Coverage

One of the most obvious reasons why you could be facing the “no service” issue is if your network coverage is bad. The first way to check this is to think about your location. If you are in a forest or a mountainous region, the network coverage is usually weaker in these regions. You could also try to check your network coverage on a different mobile phone. If the other mobile phone is also facing the “no service” error, then it is likely due to your location that you are facing the error.

Network providers also need to maintain their network, along with making upgrades. Therefore, one cause of the “no service” issue could be your network provider making changes to the network in your area. Providers usually notify their customers before they do this, but you can find out more information by visiting their website.

Phone signal coverage

Solution 3: Check for Carrier Settings Update

Your carrier settings usually update automatically when required and since they are done in the background, you usually are not aware of them happening. However, if your iPhone has failed to update its carrier settings automatically, it could result in the “no service” issue. Updating the carrier settings manually is not a difficult task and can be done by:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open settings and in “General”, tap on “About”.
  3. Choose to update your iPhone’s carrier settings if you are prompted with an option.
Update iPhone carrier settings

If you are not prompted to update your iPhone’s carrier settings, this means your carrier settings are up to date.

Solution 4: Remove the SIM Card and Reinsert It

Sometimes, the SIM card in your iPhone could get misaligned or some dust could come in between the SIM card and the iPhone. This could lead to the “no service” error. One way to resolve this issue is to remove the SIM card from your iPhone using the SIM card tray ejector tool that comes with your iPhone and then clean your SIM card using a dry cloth. Place your SIM card back into the SIM card tray and then insert the tray into your phone. Then, restart your phone using the method outlined in solution 1.

If you remove your SIM card and notice that there is some damage to the SIM card, you will need to contact your network provider to issue you a replacement SIM card. Unfortunately, this could take a few days and you will not be able to send SMS messages or make phone calls during this period.

iPhone SIM card

Solution 5: Update iPhone

A missed update is unlikely to be the cause of the “no service” error on your device however in some rare cases, and when multiple updates have been missed, it could lead to network issues. Therefore, it is best to update your iPhone to the latest version. To do this:

  1. Open settings and choose “General”.
  2. Tap on “Software Update” and if you have the option to do so, choose to download and install the updates recommended for your iPhone.
  3. Enter your phone’s passcode if prompted.
Update iPhone software

Wait for your iPhone to update and then check if your phone is showing the “no service” error or not. If you are facing issues updating your iPhone, first ensure there is enough storage space remaining on your iPhone for the update to download and install. If there is enough space, you will need to update your iPhone via iTunes. This is a more complicated method but has a greater chance of success.

Once you have downloaded and installed the latest version of iTunes on your PC:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC using its data transfer cable.
  2. If prompted, choose to trust your iPhone as a device.
  3. Locate the iPhone within iTunes and click on it. The iPhone will usually be represented by a mobile phone icon.
  4. Choose “Update” and proceed with the onscreen instructions to update your iPhone.
Update iPhone via iTunes

This will download the update and then install it on your iPhone manually so it could take a little longer than expected.

Solution 6: Reset Network Settings

An error with your network settings caused by a glitch in iOS could be causing the “no service” problem on your phone. One way of resolving this is to reset network settings. This will not erase any data from your device and will only reset your network settings back to their default settings. It will remove any saved Wi-Fi networks you have on your device so you will need to reconnect to them once you have reset network settings.

To reset network settings on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings and tap on “General”.
  2. Pick “Reset” and then choose the option that says: “Reset Network Settings”.
Reset iPhone network settings

If you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you will notice that you are now disconnected. This means your network settings were reset successfully. Your “no service” message in the corner of your iPhone’s screen should also have disappeared.

Solution 7: Get in Touch with Apple

If you have attempted all the other solutions listed in this guide and you are still facing the “no service” issue, remove any case from your phone and inspect the outside of your iPhone for any physical damage. If you locate any physical damage, this will need to be repaired by an expert. It is best to visit an Apple-certified repair center that will carefully inspect your phone and identify all the issues with it, then repair them.

However, if you cannot find any physical damage on the outside of your iPhone, there could be some damage to the PCB (printed circuit board) of your iPhone. This must also be fixed by an expert who has been trained to repair these types of issues. Therefore, it would be best to take your device to an Apple store, especially if it is covered by a warranty. If your iPhone is insured, then contact your insurance provider and notify them of the issues with your device. A replacement device may be issued so make sure you have created a backup of your important information to another device.

Apple store


This guide is one of many that explore the different issues faced by iPhone users and how they can be resolved. So, make sure you check out our other guides if you are facing other issues with your iPhone, and let us know how this guide has helped you to solve the “iPhone no service” issue.

Michael Yang

Michael Yang

Michael is the founder of ClarifyHow and has also been a test engineer for phones and computers since 5 years ago. He gets various problems while working and fixes most of them by himself or his colleagues, so he would like to share his experience and knowledge.

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