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Apple iPhone 6s Plus shows No Service error after iOS update [How to Fix]

This post addresses a connectivity issue on the Apple iPhone 6s Plus (#iPhone6SPlus), in which the device is showing No Service prompt after getting the most recent iOS update. This then affects the phone’s calling and messaging functions. Learn what causes your iPhone to get no service from your cellular network and how to fix it.

Relevant issues

  • No Signal
  • Searching for network
  • Network unavailable
  • Cannot connect to cellular network or data

Possible Causes

No Service, Searching, and No Signal error prompts indicate a problem on the cellular network. It means that your iPhone is unable to get signal or service from your network provider, which results to unavailability of network-related services including texting, calling, and even Internet browsing. Among the possible reasons as to why your iPhone is showing No Service error include the following:

  1. Faulty SIM card – a bad SIM card appeared to be among the most commonly known factors inflicting cellular network issues as manifested by No service error prompts. SIM cards allow phone users to acquire network connections. Without it, your phone wouldn’t be that really smart as it will lose an integral function that is, connectivity.
  2. Network outage – this is an unavoidable circumstance. Network outages can occur due to regular maintenance and/or repair tasks carried out by network service providers. It can happen unexpectedly or scheduled. With ongoing outage affecting network services, users are left with the option to wait until it’s all over and the network resumes.
  3. Out of cellular network coverage – this can happen when you travel to a place with no cellular network available just like when you travel internationally. In this case, you have to configure your iPhone and set it up for data roaming instead of cellular data.
  4. Deactivated account – this is often overlooked by many smartphone owners. Carriers or network service providers usually deactivate or soft-disconnect accounts that are delinquent. In this case, you need to contact your carrier and settle your accountabilities first, in order to get your service back up and running. Also ensure your carrier does not impose any restriction like blocking your account for certain service.
  5. Software glitches – errors like this can also occur due to temporary minor glitches occurring on the iPhone system, causing the device to act weird. Usually in cases like this, performing a soft reset or reboot on the iPhone is just all that’s needed in order to get it back to normal.

Another factor that can inflict problems acquiring network service or signal as manifested by the No service error prompt is a damage to the hardware. For example, your iPhone’s network component is damaged after a hard fall or exposure to moist or liquid. Cases like this typically require service.

Recommended Solutions and Workarounds

The solutions introduced in this content are comprised of general solutions and workarounds that are used to deal with no service or no signal issue on the iPhone 6s Plus. I also include some temporary solutions and user-defined fixes shared via forum posts by other iPhone owners who have dealt with similar issues on their device.

Step 1. Assess and ensure the SIM card is not damaged.

Considering the possibility of a bad SIM card causing this problem to occur on your iPhone, you can consider checking the SIM card as your first troubleshooting method. Remove and re-insert the SIM card on the phone. To test if the SIM card is damaged or not, you can try inserting it on any other compatible device (if available). If the SIM card is damaged, then it’s time to get a new SIM card. You may need to contact your carrier for further assistance on SIM card testing and/or replacement.

Step 2. Reboot/restart your iPhone.

After removing and re-installing the SIM card, reboot your iPhone. Just press and hold the Power and Home button for a few seconds until the red slider appears. Drag the slider to turn the iPhone off. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears. The process won’t erase any data from your device, thus, it’s guaranteed safe.

Rebooting an iPhone is a widely used method in dealing with minor issues on the software that’s making the phone act weird. If the standard reboot is not possible, then you can just force restart your iPhone instead. To do so, press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds until the Apple logo shows up.

Step 3. Check cellular network coverage on your iPhone.

If you cannot connect to a cellular network, verify if cellular data is enabled on your device. Go to Settings-> Cellular, and enable the feature if necessary.

Meanwhile, if you’re having this problem while travelling overseas, be sure to enable Data Roaming on your device. Go to Settings-> Cellular-> Data Roaming.

Step 4. Enable/Disable Airplane Mode.

For some reasons, others have found this a temporary solution. What they did was to slide up the Control Panel and then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature on and then off again. You might as well give that a try and see what happens.

Step 5. Check for carrier settings update for your iPhone.

Aside from major software updates, Apple and your carrier also roll out carrier settings updates. These are small files that comprised of updates from Apple and your carrier to bring enhancement or fix patches to carrier-related settings including network, calling, cellular data, personal hotspot, messaging, and voicemail settings. To check, go to Settings-> General-> About. You will be prompted if an update is available. Be sure to connect your iPhone to the Internet (Wi-Fi network) to proceed with updating carrier settings.

Step 6. Remove any third-party casing or cover.

Third-party supplied casing or cover can also hinder the phone from acquiring cellular signal or network service. If you are using one, try to remove it and see if there are any changes.

Step 5. Reset all network settings.

Other users have dealt with the same problem by resetting network settings on their iPhone. To do this, go to Settings-> General-> Reset-> Reset Network Settings. Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, as well as VPN and APN settings that you previously used will be erased in the process, so be sure to back them up beforehand. This process will bring you to factory network settings.

Step 6. Hard Reset your iPhone (Factory Reset).

This process will completely erase your device and settings will be restored to factory defaults. So be sure to back up your iPhone to iTunes (iCloud) before you start. For those who are new to the iPhone’s iOS 9 platform, here’s how to perform a factory reset:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Locate and tap the General
  3. Scroll down to the last Reset tab and then tap on it.
  4. Tap the option to Erase All Content and Settings.

Wait until the reset is complete and then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone as new or from a previous back up.

Step 7. Perform iTunes Restore and downgrade to previous iOS version.

If the problem happens right after updating iOS on your iPhone, then your options are either to wait for the next update from Apple containing bug fixes or revert to the previous iOS version. If you opt for the first, then you can resort to any of the temporary solutions available. But in case you already ran out of options and still your iPhone can’t get network service, then it would be wiser to revert to the previous iOS version (downgrade). You can do this through iTunes restore. Here are the steps for you to refer to, if needed:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer (Windows or Mac) running the latest iTunes version.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer.
  3. Click on Restore.
  4. Select your most recent backup to your iPhone and wait until the process is complete.

If you encounter this problem after switching carrier and keeping the same iPhone, then you should contact your former carrier for a SIM unlock. Also contact your current carrier for assistance on reprogramming your iPhone to have access to their services.

If none of the aforesaid workarounds is able to fix the problem and that your iPhone still shows No service or Searching for network, then I suggest getting your phone checked by an Authorized Apple technician or service center in your place. Your iPhone might be damaged that’s why it cannot get service or connect to cellular network.

Engage with Us

We offer free support for your iPhone problems! If you have other problems or concerns with your iPhone 6s Plus or other iDevices, don’t hesitate to fill up this form available in our respective Troubleshooting Pages. Also on this page, you can find more solutions to other device problems we previously addressed. If you wish to reach us for further support, be sure to fill up and submit the said form with all the required information for us to be able to make proper analysis and thus, come up with more efficient solutions and recommendations.

5 Comments

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  1. “Step 7. Perform iTunes Restore and downgrade to previous iOS version.”

    This is hilarious. When you restore your phone, you’re asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Then they send you a verification code to finish the process.

    How do they send you the code? Via text. Texts you can’t receive… because you have no service. Which is why you restored the phone to begin with.

    Ever heard of the hole in the bucket?

  2. Last week my 6s just went from working perfectly to to Roaming then to Searching. After being instructed to go Erase and Restore I was stuck. The flaw in the go back to factory defaults is they want to TEXT you a verification …which you can’t get if you aren’t getting service… or go through account recovery… which I didn’t choose to do because it said it may take days. THEN who knows why my service just came back. Not after resets, not after a new SIM card, not after an Erase that I couldn’t recover from… just randomly and I was able to receive the text to authenticate…. and who knows why it just started working again …and now….

    Searching again…. Hoping I get service randomly again so I can authenticate.

    US Cellular says its an Apple problem and my only solution on my perfect intact and paid for iPhone 6s (might I add coincidentally JUST FINISHED paying for) is either give them the $175 deductible for a refurbished that may do this again or buy a brand new phone! Imagine that! They want more $!

    I know people complain about Verizon …but for your own sake don’t make matters worse by going to US Cellular. They are awful.

  3. Good steps. I followed all. Alas, there remains a problem with my iphone 6+ just searching and not able to connect. Hate to junk phone that is a little over two years old, but no other options appear. No Apple store near. What could they do?

  4. You have to be serious when you post this kind of stupid solution.
    You have to realize that you are adding more stress to many already stressed people.
    Thanks.

  5. The most time consuming efforts. I have used my phone last 2 years without any problem and got many problems right after update.
    I spend 4 days to fix this. This problem can be fixes if Apple allow us to go back to my previos os. Stupid Apple.

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