How to fix No Service, Searching, other network errors on your Apple iPhone XR [Troubleshooting Guide]

When your iPhone shows No Service or Searching on its network status indicator, it’s telling you that it is unable to establish cellular network connection. This often occurs when you’re in an area that’s way too far from your network base or already out of your network coverage. But these errors can also transpire even when you’re just within your coverage. Bad updates, invalid settings, and other software-related factors are likely to blame.

In worst case scenarios, a persistent No Service or Searching error on an iPhone may denote hardware damage like corrupted or damaged SIM card in use, or other forms of physical or liquid damage on the phone.

If ever you run into these errors on your iPhone XR, I have outlined some potential solutions and suggested workarounds that can be used to rule out software-related factors. Hence you can try these solutions before rushing to a service center for an iPhone repair. Read on for more information.

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.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

If this is the first time you’re seeing a No service or Searching error on your iPhone, then it could be just a random glitch on the network system. Often times, random glitches are dealt with by a simple reboot on the iPhone. In that case, may opt to perform a soft reset or force restart on your iPhone XR. To do a soft reset, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can force restart your iPhone XR to clear out any corrupted apps and network services that might have caused these errors to show up. To force restart an iPhone XR, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone boots up completely.

Performing a soft reset or force restart in iOS devices also clears out cached files and temporary data from the phone memory. Both methods can be carried out without having to create backups as none of them affects internal data.

Second solution: Toggle Cellular Data on or off.

The cellular network system on your iPhone can also glitch at some point and when this happens various symptoms and errors can occur. To make sure that this isn’t what triggers your device to show a No service or Searching error, you can restart cellular services on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Cellular Data.
  3. Then toggle the switch to turn Cellular Data On or off.

If you’re travelling internationally, check and see if Data Roaming is enabled on your device. If not, then you need to turned it ON with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Select Cellular Data Options.
  4. Then tap Data Roaming.
  5. Toggle the switch to turn Data Roaming ON.

After making these changes, restart your iPhone and then see if the error is gone. If not, then you need to troubleshoot further.

Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off again.

Another simple old tweak used by many iPhone owners when dealing with minor network issues including cellular network errors is the so-called Airplane Mode trick. It works by giving a quick restart to your phone’s network system and relevant functions. If you wish to try it, then here’s how the Airplane Mode trick is carried out on an iPhone XR:

  1. From the Home screen tap on Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Tap the Airplane Mode switch to turn it ON. Wireless radios on the phone are then disabled automatically.
  4. Restart your iPhone while Airplane Mode is enabled.
  5. Then head back to Settings -> Airplane Mode menu and then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again.

Wait until your phone re-establish network connections.

Fourth solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone.

If the previous methods failed to fix the problem and the No service or Searching error continues, check for new carrier updates or iOS updates available for your iPhone. These updates usually contain fix patches that are coded to clear out system bugs including those that caused network errors. To check for carrier updates on your iPhone XR, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.

Stay on that screen for a few seconds. If you see an update notification on the carrier field, then follow the given instructions to install carrier update on your iPhone.

Aside from carrier updates, installing the latest iOS version can also help fix similar issues on the phone. You can check for and install iOS update via OTA (wirelessly) with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. If an update notification appears, select the option to Download and Install.

Wait for your iPhone to finish updating and once it’s done, restart it to apply the recent system changes. See if that fixes the No service or Searching error on your phone.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.

Network-related problems on iOS devices are generally resolved by performing a network settings reset. This reset clears all your current network settings including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, APNs, server settings and other relevant information. Any associated errors are likewise eliminated in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm all settings RESET.

Wait until your phone is finished resetting and then reboots by itself. As soon as it boots up, you can start reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth devices. If necessary, turn on cellular data to activate and use cellular services on your device.

Other options

  • System reset or restore. To rule out major system issues, you may resort to performing a factory reset, recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore on your iPhone XR. These methods will wipe everything from your iPhone system including fatal errors that caused major network data corruption. Just don’t forget to back up all your critical files beforehand to prevent permanent data loss. You can reset your iPhone XR to its factory default through settings or use iTunes on a computer to restore iOS in recovery mode or DFU mode.
  • Reinstall or replace your SIM card. To rule out SIM-card issues, you may opt to reinstall your SIM card first. By reinstalling means you have to remove and re-insert the SIM card on your phone. This trick has been proven to do some wonders when dealing with network-related errors on an iPhone. If that fails to fix the problem, then you can ask for a new SIM card replacement instead. In that case, contacting your network service provider or carrier would be necessary as you need to get the new SIM that’s provisioned with the right services for your account/plan.
  • Service/iPhone repair. To eliminate hardware damage from the underlying causes, you can take your iPhone to the nearest Apple service center in your place and have it scrutinized by an authorized technician. This must be considered a requisite if your iPhone started to prompt a No service, Searching, or other relevant errors after an incident of dropping or liquid exposure.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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