How to fix an Apple iPad Air 3 that keeps losing signal

Some owners of the Apple iPad Air 3 have been complaining because the device reportedly keeps losing signal. Signal drops or on-and-off network signal in mobile devices can be attributed to software errors, if not, hardware damage. Most of the time, the symptoms are tied to a bad SIM card or other damaged network components. The procedures demonstrated below are used to rule out software-related factors that have caused the new iPad Air 2019 (Wi-Fi + Cellular) to experience frequent signal loss or signal drop. Keep reading for more information.

Apple’s new iPad Air devices come in two variants — the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular model. If you’re after for both Wi-Fi and cellular usage, then the latter variant is for you. The Wi-Fi only iPad Air will only be able to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot or network within range. Meanwhile, the iPad Air with cellular feature has a SIM card slot, which means that you can connect to cellular data network whenever Wi-Fi network isn’t available. Considering this advantage, a lot of people would opt to procure the latter. But what if for some reason, it keeps losing signal? If you’re reading this context, then you’re probably dealing with this problem and in need of help. To address your concern, I’ve mapped some applicable tweaks that will help identify and get rid of the underlying cause. Read on to learn what to do if your new Apple iPad Air 3 keeps losing signal.

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Troubleshooting iPad Air 3 that keeps losing signal

If the problem only occurs on certain areas, then it’s possible that your device isn’t just getting good or stable signal because if it’s way too far from the cellular network base/towers. In this case, the distance is apparently what triggers the symptoms and thus, there’s nothing to fix on your iPad. But if the signal drops occur regardless of where you’re using your iPad, then that’s when you need to figure out the culprits from the software aspect.

First solution: Reinstall the SIM card.

Signal issues in iOS devices are often due to a bad or corrupt SIM card. Thus, this must be the first factors you should eliminate. To do this, reinstall the SIM card on your iPad Air 3. This is when you will remove and re-insert the SIM card on your device. Here’s the proper way to reinstall SIM card on your iPad:

  1. Turn off your iPad if it’s powered on.
  2. Then gently insert the SIM ejector tool into the SIM tray hole. If don’t have the SIM ejector, then you can bend a small paperclip and use it instead.
  3. Gently push the ejector until the SIM tray pops out of the iPad.
  4. Hold the SIM tray and then pull it straight out.
  5. Remove the SIM card from the tray and check it for any visible signs of damage like scratches or liquid traces.
  6. If the SIM card looks good, place it back into the tray in the same orientation before you removed it.
  7. Make sure that the SIM card is properly seated then re-insert the SIM tray.

Once the SIM tray is locked in place, turn on your iPad. Wait for it to re-establish network signal and see if the problem is gone. If the device still keeps losing signal, then you need to troubleshoot further and try other methods.

ALSO READ: What to do if your Apple iPad won’t connect to WiFi

Second solution: Toggle Cellular off and on.

Random errors affecting cellular functions can also be remedied by turning cellular off and then back on again. It’s like giving a quick breather to the iPad’s cellular system and thereby eliminates random signal destabilization. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and tap Cellular Data.
  3. Toggle the Cellular Data switch to turn it OFF.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Cellular Data back ON.
  5. Once it’s turned back on, go to Cellular Data Options then tap the switch to Enable LTE as well as Data Roaming, if you’re using your iPad internationally.

Check the signal status after enabling LTE or Data Roaming and see if the result is positive. If that doesn’t fix the problem and your iPad still keeps losing signal, try the next tweak.

Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Several issues affecting iOS Wi-Fi and cellular features are rectified by performing the old trick called Airplane Mode toggle. A lot of people found this tweak effectively clears out random Wi-Fi and cellular data issues. If you wish to give it a try, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Airplane Mode slider to the ON position. Doing so enables Airplane Mode and disables wireless radios and relevant services including cellular connection on your iPad.

While Airplane Mode is turned ON, soft reset or restart your iPad with these steps:

  1. Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.

As soon as your iPad reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

Wait for your iPad to re-establish network signal and then see if the problem is fixed. If the signal continues to drop, move on and try the next possible solution.

ALSO READ: What to do if your Apple iPad Air 3 won’t download apps via App Store

Fourth solution: Update carrier settings.

Carrier updates also contain network fixes. These updates are rolled out by your carrier periodically, just like what Apple does with iOS updates. Some carrier updates are mandatory or automatically implemented while others require manual installation. To check for new carrier update on your iPad Air, just refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.

If a new carrier update is available, follow the onscreen prompts to update your carrier settings. Reboot/soft reset your iPad after updating its carrier settings to apply the recent changes and to refresh the network system. See if that fixes the problem on signal drops then. If your iPad still keeps losing signal, move on to the next solution.

Fifth solution: Update iOS to the latest version.

Another update that you should consider installing is the latest iOS update for your iPad. Should the problem you’re dealing with is inflicted by some software bugs that ruined the network system, the patch codes embedded into the new update file will likely fix it. All you need is a stable Wi-Fi internet connection and then follow these steps to check for new iOS update on your iPad Air 3:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

If a new iOS version is available, follow the onscreen prompts to download and install the new update on your iPad. Make sure that your iPad has stable Wi-Fi internet access and has ample of battery life to complete the update.

Again, reboot your iPad after updating to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented. Rebooting also helps prevent apps from acting up following the recent system transition. After this and your iPad still keeps losing signal, then try the next solution.

Sixth solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related errors that are tied to invalid network configurations often require a network reset to be rectified. Thus you may consider this as the next possible fix to try. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings. This will reset all your Wi-Fi, cellular, and VPN settings.
  5. If prompted, tap Reset to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your iPad Air.

Wait for your iPad to finish resetting its network settings and then restarts automatically when done. After the reset, reconnect to your Wi-Fi network or enable cellular network.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPad that’s not charging

Seventh solution: Erase and restore iPad to factory settings.

Signal drops usually persist if complex system errors are the main culprits. In this case, performing a full system reset is often needed. But before you do, be sure to create backups of all your important contents and personal information from the iPad storage. You can back up your iPad data to iCloud or to iTunes for that matter. Once everything is set, proceed with these steps to erase your iPad Air and restore its factory defaults through settings:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. If prompted, tap Erase to confirm that you want to erase your iPad Air.

You can also use iTunes to factory reset your iPad Air on a computer. Just secure a Windows or Mac computer with the latest iTunes app installed, has sufficient storage space, and has stable Internet connection. Then connect your iPad to the computer for it to sync with iTunes and then proceed with the factory reset through iTunes.

Other options

If the problem started after installing a new iOS update and that it persisted even after exhausting all possible solutions, then you may resort to iOS restores through iTunes. There are two restore methods you can try in this case — recovery mode and DFU mode restore. To get started, you will need to secure a computer either Mac or Windows PC that has the latest version of iTunes app installed. If everything is set, just follow these steps to enter recovery mode and then restore your iPad in iTunes:

  1. If your iPad is turned on, turn it off first.
  2. On your computer, launch or open iTunes.
  3. Then connect your iPad to the computer while pressing and holding down the Home button.
  4. Release the Home button when the Connect to iTunes screen appears.

At this point, iTunes will prompt you with a message saying that it has detected your iPad in recovery mode and will allow you to restore your device.

If you opt to restore your iPad Air 3 in DFU mode, then here’s what you should do then:

  1. Turn off your iPad if it’s still turned on.
  2. Connect your iPad to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB cable.
  3. While the device is connected, simultaneously press and hold the Home button and Power/Top button for about 8 seconds.
  4. After the elapsed time, release the Power/Top button but continue to hold down the Home button until the screen turns completely black.


  • If the Apple logo appears after releasing the Power/Top button, it means that you’ve held the button for too long and so you’ll have to start all over from step 1.
  • If nothing will be shown on the screen, it means that the device has successfully entered DFU mode.

After a few moments, iTunes will alert you that it has detected your iPad in recovery mode. By then you can repair and restore iOS in iTunes. Just follow the onscreen commands in iTunes to complete the entire DFU mode restore process.

Is your iPad Air 3 still keeps losing signal?

If nothing else works, then this is when you should consider opting for service. You can visit the nearest Apple-authorized service center and ask a technician to examine your device for any indications of hardware damage. If your iPad Air 3 is still covered by warranty, contact your carrier to avail for warranty instead.

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