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What to do if cellular data is not working on your Apple iPhone XS [Troubleshooting Guide]

If Wi-Fi is unavailable and you badly needed to go online, cellular data would be an alternative solution. For as long as you’ve got good cellular signal, has ample of data credits and cellular data feature is active on your phone, you can start sending iMessages, browsing the Internet, and manage emails on the go.

But just like Wi-Fi and other network features, cellular data can likewise give in to random issues and you’d probably just realize that something’s wrong if it just won’t work as intended. This is the main issue that this post will attempt to address. Read on to find out what to do if ever you’ll find out that cellular data isn’t working on your new iPhone XS.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to fix iPhone XS that can’t connect via cellular data?

Before performing any of the workarounds below, check your iPhone’s signal indicator and make sure it’s getting strong cellular network signal. Otherwise, you will need to deal with signal issues first to restore and use cellular data services on your iPhone XS. If there’s no problem with the signal and yet you still couldn’t get cellular data to work on your device, then you may go ahead and troubleshoot your device using any of these subsequent methods.

First solution: Disable/enable Cellular Data then reboot your iPhone XS (soft reset).

Minor software errors affecting the iPhone’s cellular data functions are usually cleared by turning the feature off and back on. Thus, consider this workaround as your very first potential solution to try on.

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and select Cellular.
  3. Tap the Cellular Data switch to turn the feature on.

If Cellular Data is already turned on but still not working, try turning the Cellular Data switch off then perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS. Here’s how to soft reset your iPhone XS:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up or Down buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off menu appears.
  2. Drag the power off slider to turn off your phone completely.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your iPhone to boot up completely and then check to see if cellular data functions are already up and running smoothly.

Second solution: Perform Airplane Mode toggle.

The Airplane mode trick is an old trick discovered by clever end-users who were troubled by various types of network connectivity issues on their respective smartphones. This trick started to appear in the troubleshooting methods since the prior platforms both for Android and iOS devices. While there is no definite explanation as to how to trick works, what matters most to people is the fact that it works. And so it won’t hurt if you’d give it a try and see if the same positive output is rendered.

  • To turn Airplane mode on or off, head to Settings-> Airplane mode menu, then tap the switch to turn Airplane Mode on. Doing so will disable all wireless functions of your iPhone including Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections. Reboot your iPhone while Airplane mode is turned on. After rebooting, go back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu, then tap the switch to turn Airplane mode off again. Wireless services will then be enabled again.

Aside from the settings menu, you can also access and configure Airplane mode through the Control Center. Simply launch the Control Center on your iPhone XS then toggle the Airplane mode icon to turn the feature on or off.

Performing this trick is somehow similar to giving a quick restart on your iPhone’s wireless features and for some reasons, helps clearing random network connectivity issues including minor errors to cellular data.

Third solution: Update phone software to the latest version available.

Software updates are among the official solutions to many types of device issues attributed to software errors. In fact, updates are usually pushed to bring in fix patches to address widespread issues. Having said that, it is but highly recommended to keep your device software up-to-date. If your iPhone XS can connect to Wi-Fi, then updating via over-the-air would be considered an option.

  • To check for new updates on your iPhone XS, navigate to Settings-> General-> Software update section.

Read the information to ensure all update requirements are met. Aside from the minimum system requirements, you also have to ensure that your iPhone has stable Wi-Fi internet access, ample of memory space, and sufficient battery life. Then follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to download and install the latest iOS version for your iPhone. You won’t be prompted with an update notification if your device software is up-to-date.

If Wi-Fi is not available, you can check for and update iOS through iTunes instead. You will need to use a computer to get this done.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

Resetting the network settings on your device can also be the key to rectifying network glitches, particularly those that are attributed to invalid network settings configuration. Doing so will void out all current network settings on the phone including Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, and other relevant information. Incorrect network settings are also cleared in the process. To reset network settings on your iPhone XS, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. Enter the correct passcode for your device, when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone automatically reboots when the reset is finished. After the reset, you can start enabling network features including cellular data.

Fifth solution: Remove then reinstall your SIM card.

A bad or corrupted SIM card is also among the underlying causes. And the simplest way to fix it is to have the SIM card removed and reinstalled on your iPhone. Before removing the SIM card, make sure your iPhone is turned off. Doing so is recommended to prevent damaging the SIM card components or your iPhone itself. While your iPhone is turned off, do these:

  1. Insert the SIM eject tool or paper clip into the provided slot on the SIM card tray to unlock/eject it.
  2. When the pops out, gently pull it out.
  3. Then remove the SIM card from the card slot.
  4. Examine the SIM card for any traces of liquid damage or scratches.
  5. If the SIM card looks fine, place it back into the SIM card tray in the same position before you took it out. Make sure the SIM card secured in the slot.
  6. Then push the SIM card tray back into the phone.

Once the card tray is locked and secured in place, turn your iPhone XS back on then check and see if cellular data is already working as intended.

If your iPhone XS cellular data is still not working after exhausting all applicable solutions, contact your network service provider or carrier to report the issue. Verify and ensure that your account status is good and network services are all up. If necessary, try asking your carrier to re-provision your SIM card to ensure that you’re getting the right service plan.

Also try asking your carrier support if eSIM is already up for grabs. It’s a digital SIM that allows you activate a cellular plan from your carrier without using a physical nano-SIM. In short, it’s more convenient and free from physical damage.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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