How to fix cellular data that is not working on Apple iPhone XS, Cellular Update Failed error [Troubleshooting Guide]

A number of iPhone users have purportedly encountered different problems after the iOS 12 transition. Among these troubles is the so-called Cellular Data Update Failed error that occurs when trying to connect the iPhone to the Internet through the network provider’s cellular data connection.

If by any chance, you would bump into the same error after installing the latest software update on your iPhone XS, then you can try the lined up solutions below to eradicate the error. Read on and find out how to deal with the Cellular Data Update Failed error on your iPhone XS.

For owners who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS with Cellular Update Failed error

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that your iPhone is getting a stable cellular signal. If it doesn’t, then you will need to deal with signal/network connectivity issue beforehand. Make sure you’re in an area with cellular network coverage. If the problem appears while the signal is good, then try performing any of these subsequent workarounds.

First solution: Toggle Cellular Data, Airplane Mode on or off then restart your iPhone.

If this is the first time you encounter the error on your phone, then it’s probably just a random glitch affecting cellular data feature. And the easiest possible solution to this would be a quick restart on the affected functions. There are various ways to get this done and your options include the cellular data toggle, Airplane mode trick, and soft reset on your iPhone XS. So here’s what you can try on doing first:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Cellular.
  3. Toggle the Cellular Data switch to turn ON (if it’s OFF). Otherwise, turn the switch OFF for a few seconds and then turn on again.

Alternatively, you can perform the Airplane Mode trick if the error continues after performing the above workaround. This will help clear out minor errors and glitches affecting wireless features of your iPhone XS. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature ON. This will disable wireless radios on the phone.
  3. Reboot your iPhone while Airplane mode is turned ON.
  4. When the phone is finished restarting, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again. Wireless radios are then re-enabled.

Turning Airplane mode on will disable all wireless radios of your phone including Cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Thus toggling Airplane Mode on and off is like giving these features a quick refresh and restart.

Second solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone XS.

Manually installing carrier settings update on your phone can also be considered among the potential solutions. Carrier settings update also contain some fix patches that are used to address existing problems and errors on related services including cellular data or cellular network in general. Most carrier settings update are mandatory, which means they will be automatically implemented once officially rolled out by the carrier. But there are also others that are optional, which require manual installation. If your iPhone is getting a good signal, then try checking for any available carrier settings update to download and install.

  1. To check for available carrier settings update, go to Settings-> General-> About.
  2. Stay on the About screen for a few moments until you see a carrier settings update notification.

If a carrier settings update is available, read and review the information and then follow the onscreen instructions to manually install the update on your phone. After installing new carrier settings update, reboot your iPhone to apply the recent changes and refresh the carrier settings and network system.

Third solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

If the error continues after performing the previous workarounds, then you may need to resort to some resets. This will help rule out incorrect settings and misconfigured from the possible triggers. At this point, you can try resetting network settings on your iPhone XS to get rid of any network bugs and errors that may have triggered the cellular update failed error to occur. This reset wipes your current network settings including saved Wi-Fi, APNs and server settings on the phone. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, your iPhone will reboot automatically. As soon as it boots up completely, you can set up and reconnect to your network.

Fourth solution: Reinstall the SIM card.

Errors like this may also be attributed to SIM card issues like when the SIM card is loose or corrupted. To clear this out, removing and reinstalling the SIM card on your iPhone XS would help. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off your phone completely to prevent causing any sort of damage to the SIM card or phone itself.
  2. While the phone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the tiny hole on the SIM tray found on the side of your iPhone.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the SIM card tray protrudes.
  4. Remove the card tray from the phone.
  5. Then take the SIM card from the card slot.
  6. Examine the card for any signs of damage like scratches or liquid traces.
  7. If the SIM card looks perfectly fine, place it back into the SIM card slot in the same position before you removed it.
  8. Secure the SIM card in place.
  9. Then push to insert the SIM tray back into the phone until it’s completely locked.

You can turn your iPhone back on once the SIM tray is secured.

Fifth solution: Reset and restore default settings on your iPhone XS.

If the error persists, then you are likely dealing with a major system issue like fatal system error affecting network-related service particularly cellular data. In that case, resorting to more advanced system resets is often needed to get rid of the error and solve the problem once and for all. However, doing this will likewise result to data loss. If you wish to continue, then back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes and then refer to the following procedures to reset and restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS.

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. And then tap the option to confirm factory reset.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes to reset and restore your iPhone XS to its factory defaults then install the latest software version available.

  1. Open iTunes on a computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone XS to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  3. If prompted on your iPhone to Trust This Computer or to enter the device passcode, follow the onscreen instructions to continue.
  4. Select your iPhone XS when it shows up in iTunes.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section on the left panel and then click the Restore [iPhone] button.

If prompted, read and review the information to confirm iOS restore. iTunes will then instigate the system reset and then download the latest software version for your iPhone.

Seek more Help

If cellular data is still not working on your iPhone XS and you’re still getting the same “Cellular Update Failed” error, contact your service provider/carrier to escalate the problem for further recommendations. There may be some temporary problems on their end like an outage or unexpected system troubles affecting network services.

Or you can also report the problem to Apple Support for more advanced solutions and troubleshooting procedures.

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.