How to fix your Apple iPhone No Service error

fix iphone no service

When your iPhone prompts No Service, it’s telling you that it’s not getting any signal for your network. As a result, basic network services like texting and calling aren’t working. Apparently, it’s a problem that needs quick fixing. To give you some inputs, I’ve lined up some applicable workarounds and generic solutions to pertinent errors on your iPhone. Keep reading to learn what causes the No Service error on your iPhone and how to fix it.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone Help Guides for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions.

What causes No service error?

Network errors like the ones depicted by No service are usually attributed to account-related issues, network outages, software issues, and SIM card issues. That denotes the need for you to work on both the software and hardware components.

Before troubleshooting, verify your account status and make sure that all your services are active. Carriers usually imposed soft disconnect to accounts with unsettled issues like unpaid bills. When this happens, outgoing services are temporarily disabled hence, unavailable. So instead of seeing signal bars, what’s showing on your iPhone’s status bar is the No service error.

First solution: Remove and re-seat the SIM card to fix iPhone no service issue.

Many people who have encountered the same issue found remedies by reinstalling the SIM card on their phone. The process is depicted by removing the SIM card from the iPhone and then placing it back. This will likely solve the problem if it’s due to damaged or dislodged SIM card. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off your iPhone, to get started.
  2. While the phone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM card tray.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the SIM tray pops out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray. Check and see if there are any signs of damage like scratches or liquid traces.
  5. If the SIM card looks good, place it back into the SIM card tray in the same orientation before you removed it.
  6. Secure the SIM card in place.
  7. Insert the SIM card tray back into the phone and then lock it.

Turn on your iPhone then see if it’s now able to establish network signal. If you’re still getting No service error, continue to troubleshoot and rule out other factors.

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Second solution: Reboot your iPhone.

The error can also occur among other random software errors affecting the network system, particularly cellular services. And the easiest way to clear out random software glitches is a reboot or soft reset on the phone. The steps in rebooting vary between iPhone models.

To soft reset/reboot an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

On iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier versions, follow these steps to reboot or soft reset:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

Performing a soft reset or reboot does not affect saved information on the internal memory hence, creating backups won’t be necessary.

Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

A very simple yet effective solution to minor network problems is the so-called Airplane mode trick. Many people have found wonders by carrying out the trick whenever wireless errors, including No service occur. If you wish to give it a chance, follow these steps to perform the Airplane mode trick on your iPhone:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap Airplane Mode.
  3. Then toggle the Airplane mode switch to turn it on. Wireless radios are simultaneously disabled.
  4. While Airplane mode is enabled, reboot the iPhone to clear caches and junk system files.
  5. When the iPhone boots up, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature OFF again.

Wait for your iPhone to re-establish network signal. If the No service error recurs, move on and try the next applicable solutions.

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Fourth solution: Update carrier settings.

As the name implies, carrier settings update are pushed by your service provider/carrier. These updates are generally created to enhance network services and likewise to address existing network problems. To check and manually install carrier updates on your iPhone, refer to these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About then go to the Carrier section.

Follow the onscreen instructions whenever you’re all set to update carrier settings on your phone.

Reboot your iPhone after installing carrier updates to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented.

Fifth solution: Update iOS to the latest version.

Installing the latest iOS update for your iPhone can also be the key to resolving the issue if network bugs and system errors are at fault. These updates are periodically rolled out by Apple to offer new features and security enhancements. Dedicated fix patches are also embedded into these updates. If your iPhone has stable Wi-Fi internet access, follow these steps to check for and install the latest iOS update available for your device:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

Before downloading and installing the update, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes for safekeeping. Once you’re ready, follow the onscreen prompts to update your iPhone software.

Give your phone another reboot to implement the recent system changes and to refresh the phone’s internal memory.

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Sixth solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related errors that are tough enough to withstand the previous methods usually require a network reset. Doing so wipes out all your current network settings, saved Wi-Fi networks, APNs, Bluetooth and cellular settings on the phone. This allows you to set up and establish a fresh network connection. There’s no need to back up files beforehand because this reset doesn’t affect any saved data on your device. Once you’re all set, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your device.

The phone reboots automatically when the reset is finished. After it reboots, enable network features and services to use them again on your phone.

Last resort: Factory reset/master reset.

Performing a factory reset or master reset can be deemed among the last options to rule out complex system errors that caused the No Service error to recur. But also note that while this reset effectively solves major software errors, it also results to permanent data loss as it erases everything from your device. Having said that, back up all your critical data and personal information to iCloud or iTunes beforehand. Then follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Reset All Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

The phone should restart automatically when the reset is finished. By then you can use the start-up wizard to proceed with the initial setup process.

Still getting No Service error on your iPhone?

The following can be considered among the last options if nothing else works.

Option 1: Manual network selection. If none of the methods I’ve demonstrate is able to fix the problem and the No service error persists, try to manually select the network to use. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Scroll to and tap Carrier.
  3. Toggle the Automatic switch to turn it OFF.
  4. Wait for your iPhone to search for available mobile networks in the area.
  5. Tap to select your preferred network to use.

This will allow your iPhone to detect and register on wireless networks within your carrier’s coverage area.

Option 2: Service or iPhone repair. The problem is more likely attributed to hardware damage if none of the above solutions is able to fix it. Among the factors to look into is a damaged network component or a bad SIM card. And this is when you have to consider taking a trip to the nearest Apple-authorized service center for hardware damage assessment and/or repair. If you suspect that the problem is due to a bad SIM card, you can ask your service provider/carrier to replace your SIM card with a new one. If available, you may subscribe to an eSIM.

If your iPhone is still eligible for warranty, contact your iPhone provider for more details on how to avail for warranty.

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