How to fix cellular network errors on Apple iPhone XS Max after iOS 12.1.4 update, cellular services not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Software updates are intended to offer benefits, particularly system enhancements. Although post-update problems are inevitable, device manufacturers still encourage people to implement updates. Otherwise, their devices would eventually become unstable and some functions would become obsolete. This therefore gives people no choice but to update their devices whenever a new firmware version is rolled out. Post-update problems are fixable anyway.

Tackled in this post is one of the emerging issues from the recent iOS update Apple rolled out for selected iOS devices. I’ve also lined up a few helpful workarounds and potential solutions. If you own an iPhone XS Max and end up having an erratic cellular system after updating to iOS version 12.1.4, then this post may be able to help you. Read on to learn how to remedy this post-update problem on your iPhone XS Max.

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.

First solution: Restart the phone.

Any device can end up with various adverse post-update symptoms. This can happen as some existing apps including network services are still trying to adjust with the recent platform changes. Hence, restarting the phone is recommended after installing new updates. If you haven’t restarted already, follow these steps to restart or soft reset your iPhone XS Max:

  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 XS Max with 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/Side button and then release when the iPhone reboots.

Both soft reset and force restart do not affect any saved data on your iPhone storage thus, backing up files won’t be necessary. Junk files that are stored among other cached items in the internal memory are likewise cleared out during the process. This allows your device to perform better and faster afterwards.

ALSO READ: How to fix apps that persistently crashing on your Apple iPhone XS Max after updating to iOS 12.1.4

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Random issues affecting the phone’s wireless radios, particularly on the cellular network system can also be remedied by the Airplane mode trick. This has been proven effective when dealing with different wireless connectivity errors including post-update bugs that destabilized cellular functions. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Navigate to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to enable the feature. All wireless radios on the phone are now disabled.
  3. While Airplane mode is enabled, restart/soft reset your iPhone to clear and refresh its internal memory and operating system.
  4. After the phone reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode back ON again.

Wait for your phone’s wireless functions to reactivate then try and see if your iPhone’s cellular services are already working as intended. Proceed to the next applicable workaround if the problem persists.

Third solution: Update carrier settings.

There are different types of software updates that can be implemented on your iPhone. And that would include updates for apps, iOS, and carrier settings. Updates from app developers and carriers are also rolled out periodically. Some updates are mandatory while others are optional. Mandatory updates are those updates that are implemented automatically. Optional updates on the other hand need to be manually installed. These updates are generally rolled out to offer new features and system enhancements while others come as dedicated fix patches for existing and recurring system bugs. To eliminate iOS bug that might have ruined the phone’s cellular functions, installing new carrier settings update can help. These updates do offer network bug fixes along with enhanced features. Here’s how to manually check and install available update for your iPhone XS Max carrier settings:

  • From your Home screen, tap Settings-> General-> About.

Wait for a few seconds and wait for the carrier information to populate. If a new carrier update is available, follow the onscreen instructions to install the update.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max to won’t sync with Fitbit

Fourth solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related problems that could not be resolved by the previous tweaks are often dealt with be a network reset. Post-update bugs that caused problems to cellular services can also be remedied by this reset. But please note that this reset will erase all your current network settings including Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, APNs and other relevant information. So be sure to take note of your Wi-Fi passwords before resetting. Once you’re ready, just follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max:

  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 then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm network settings reset.

An indication that the reset is finished would be an automatic restart on your phone. So if your iPhone reboots, that denotes that the reset is complete so all you have to do is wait until it boots up. Then set up your Wi-Fi network to reconnect to the Internet. See if that fixes your phone’s cellular services too.

Fifth solution: Reinstall the SIM card.

This is another implicit solution to random errors affecting cellular functions of the phone. It works by refreshing the SIM card system and thereby eliminates random glitches including those that came from the recent iOS update. Before removing the SIM card, be sure to turn off your iPhone completely. This is recommended to prevent damaging the phone. While the phone is turned off, proceed with these steps:

  1. Insert the SIM ejector into the tiny hole located on the SIM card tray.
  2. Gently push the ejector tool until the tray pops out.
  3. Pull the tray out and then remove the SIM card.
  4. Check the SIM card for any visible signs of damage like scratches or liquid traces. If there’s none, place the SIM card back into the tray in the same orientation before it was removed.
  5. Secure the SIM card in place, then push the tray back into the phone.

Be sure to lock the SIM card tray to prevent dust or liquid from entering the phone. You can turn the phone back on when the tray is locked in place.

If that doesn’t fix the problem and your iPhone XS Max cellular services still don’t work, consider other options and possible solutions.

Other options

You may opt to reset the phone and restore factory default settings. If that won’t help, then performing an iOS restore via recovery mode or DFU mode, if needed. You can also try asking for a new SIM card replacement or avail for an eSIM from your carrier if you suspect that the SIM card is at fault. Just talk to your carrier if they’re already offering eSIM services and how to avail for it.

Should none of that helps, then take your iPhone to the nearest Apple service center in your place and ask an authorized technician to examine the phone for any possible indications of hardware damage. Your iPhone might have obtained some physical or liquid damage prior to the update and the symptoms had coincidentally instigated after updating to iOS 12.1.4. For further recommendations, contact your network service provider or Apple Support.

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!