How to fix iOS 12 Cellular Update Failed error on your Apple iPhone XR [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the emerging errors from Apple’s iOS 12 platform is the iOS 12 Cellular Update Failed error. When this error occurs, cellular services such as calling and texting are affected. Thus, something must be done to fix it as soon as possible. Many people encountered this error when attempting to download the latest iOS version on their respective iPhones.

If you are also experiencing this problem and need help on how to get rid of the Cellular Update Failed error on your iPhone XR, then you can refer to the following methods and start troubleshooting your device.

If you have other problems however, visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help, fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XR with ‘Cellular Update Failed’ error

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that your iPhone has cellular network coverage. If it doesn’t have a stable cellular signal or no signal at all, then that’s that issue that you need to deal with first to get rid of the Cellular Update Failed error. Otherwise, try applying any of the following solutions.

First solution: Restart your iPhone.

If this is the first time you’re bothered with this error, it’s likely just a random software glitch that can easily be rectified by a restart on the phone. If you haven’t already, then try performing a soft reset on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. First, press and hold the Power button, also referred to as the Side button and either Volume buttons of your iPhone for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right. Doing so triggers the phone to power off.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the Apple logo appears

This method doesn’t affect any information saved on the phone thus you don’t need to create backups beforehand.

Performing a soft reset is also a way of dumping junk files that are stored among other caches and temporary data on the phone memory. Errant caches can also cause such trouble, thus they must be cleared out from time to time.

Second solution: Install iOS update and carrier settings update available.

Software bugs can also inflict such errors to occur on the phone. To clear out any software bugs or malware that might have caused problems to your iPhone’s cellular network system, try updating to the latest iOS version available. New iOS updates usually embed fix patches to get rid of various types of system bugs and malware from certain devices. If you have access to Wi-Fi internet, then you can go ahead and check for any available over-the-air updates to download and install. Here’s how:

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

Aside from iOS update, installing the latest carrier settings update on your phone can also help. Like iOS updates, carrier settings updates are also pushed along with some patch codes to clear any existing errors and bugs affecting your carrier’s network services. Some carrier updates are mandatory while others aren’t, thus user’s intervention would be necessary. Here’s how to check for new carrier settings available on your iPhone XR:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About

Remain on that page for a few moments. If an update is available, you should see a notification containing the update details. Just follow the onscreen prompts to continue downloading and installing the new carrier settings update on your device.

After installing new updates, restart your iPhone to apply the new system changes and to refresh its memory as well.

Third solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related errors including those affecting cellular services are likewise resolved by performing network settings reset. This reset will wipe all your current network settings and configurations including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, APNs and other customized server information. Any error attributed to incorrect or invalid network configurations will therefore be taken care of. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and 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.

Your iPhone will reboot by itself after the reset and then loads up all the default network configurations and original values. To get back online, enable Wi-Fi then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. If you want to use other network services like Bluetooth, then you will need to enable them again on your phone too.

Fourth solution: Reinstall your SIM card.

The Cellular Update Failed error can also be attributed to SIM card issues like when the SIM card is dislodged, corrupted, or worst, damaged. But before opting for new SIM card replacement, try removing and then reseating the SIM card on your iPhone XR. Doing so helps clear out any SIM-related issues including the cellular update failed error. If you’re unsure how it’s done, then follow these steps to properly reinstall the SIM card on your iPhone XR:

  1. Turn your iPhone off completely. This is recommended to prevent causing any damage to your SIM card or device itself.
  2. While the phone is powered off, open the SIM card tray by inserting the SIM eject tool into the small hole provided on the SIM card tray on the side of your iPhone.
  3. Gently push the ejector until the tray pops out.
  4. Pull the tray out then remove the SIM card.
  5. Examine the SIM card for any visible signs of damage like liquid traces or scratches. If there’s none, then place it back into the SIM card tray in the same manner before you remove it.
  6. Secure the SIM card in place then push the tray back in.

When the tray is locked, turn on your iPhone and see if the error is gone.

If you see any visible signs of possible damage to your SIM card, contact your carrier to bring up the issue and request for a new SIM card replacement instead.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone to factory defaults.

As your last option and possible solution, you may resort to a factory reset. This is often needed if the error is attributed to major software errors or system failure on the phone. But before you do so, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes so you can still recover them later. Performing a factory reset will erase everything including all your personal files and contacts. On the positive note, it offers a higher chance of resolving major software problems as everything including system bugs and malwares are wiped out in the process. Should you wish to give it a shot, then you may do so with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm full system reset.

Alternatively, you can factory reset your iPhone XR through iTunes on a computer. This can be considered an option if you cannot perform a factory reset through your iPhone settings like when the phone gets stuck or not responding.

If none of that helps and you still end up having the same Cellular Update Failed error on your iPhone XR, contact your carrier or network service provider for further assistance. This could be a problem on their end, thus it won’t and couldn’t be resolved on your end. When calling technical support, let them know exactly of how your iPhone ended up with this error so that they’ll have some clues on where to start and what to do as resolution.


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