iPhone 7 keeps searching for network after SIM card swap, keeps freezing, other issues

Hello and welcome to today’s #iPhone7 troubleshooting article. We address three topics in this post and two of them are fairly common occurrence, even for non-iPhone users. We hope our solutions will be useful for those experiencing issues similar to the ones below.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: iPhone 7 keeps searching for network after SIM card swap

iPhone 7 keeps searching for network after I removed the SIM card, then insert another one from another carrier. The phone is not network locked and even after re-inserting the previous one that was working on it, it still keep searching for network. The APN remains same (that of the initial network) with or without SIM even after resetting network. The only issue I know is that, I didn’t switch off my phone while changing SIM, which to my knowledge doesn’t affect iPhone since it has hot swap. — Eluposi

Solution: Hi Eluposi. It’s always good practice to turn off a device whenever you make drastic changes including when swapping SIM cards. In our own experience though, it’s perfectly fine to remove and insert a SIM card when an iPhone 7 is powered on. If your current problem seemed to coincide after swapping SIM cards when the phone was on, a glitch may have developed related or as a product of that action. Below are the troubleshooting steps that you can try for this issue.

Verify if there’s signal disruption in your area

If you have another compatible device where you can insert your SIM card in, you can check the availability of network services by doing it. The best option is by inserting your SIM card to another iPhone. It’s possible that there may be a network issue at this time.

Restart your iPhone

This is a basic must-do troubleshooting step. Simply press and hold the Top (or Side) button until the slider appears, then drag the slider to the OFF position. To turn the phone back on, just press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until you see the Apple logo.

If you have iOS 11 installed, you can also turn off the phone under Settings>General>Shut Down.

Install carrier updates (if available)

Carrier- or network-related updates is a different set of updates provided solely by your carrier to improve network performance and to add/remove features in a device. Some carrier updates are mandatory and can’t be blocked. Mandatory updates are usually indicated by an OK button (to indicate that it has already been downloaded and installed) instead of the usual option that asks you if you want to update.

To check if there’s a pending carrier update, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a strong and reliable wifi network.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap About. If there’s a pending update, you’ll see an option to update your carrier settings.

To check the current version of carrier settings, you can go under Settings>General>About and look next to Carrier.

Reset network settings

If the issue remains at this time, you may need to reset your iPhone’s Network settings. Resetting the network settings will erase temporary network data like wifi networks, wifi passwords, cellular network settings, and VPN and APN settings. If you’re using a VPN, be sure that you know how to set it up again to prevent future inconvenience. To  reset network settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.

Install app and iOS updates

Keeping contents and operating system up-to-date is a must, even when you’re not experiencing problems. It’s even more important to do when you have issues. Before you install any iOS update, be sure to create a backup of your files in iCloud, iTunes, or both. Also, make sure that the internal storage space has at least 1GB of available memory. You can do that by deleting apps, or moving photos and videos to iCloud or to iTunes.

How to update your iPhone 7 wirelessly (over-the-air)

The easiest way to install an update is by hitting the Install Now button when getting the notification or prompt to do so. If you missed it for whatever reason, here’s an alternative way:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a strong and reliable wifi network.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Software Update.
  5. Tap Download and Install.
  6. To update now, tap Install.
  7. Enter your passcode if prompted.

How to update your iPhone 7 via iTunes

If you can’t update via OTA for whatever reason, you can then try to see if it allows you to via iTunes.

  1. In your computer, make sure that it runs the latest operating system version
  2. Install the latest iTunes update (if available).
  3. Connect your iPhone 7 to your computer.
  4. Launch iTunes.
  5. Select your iPhone.
  6. Click Summary.
  7. Click Check for Update.
  8. Click Download and Update.
  9. Enter your passcode if prompted.

Factory reset

If the suggested solutions above won’t work, don’t hesitate to reset your phone settings to their factory defaults. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode.
  6. Tap Erase iPhone.

Let your carrier know

Sometimes, there are network issues that can only be fixed by a carrier. It’s also good to let them know that you’re having problems with their service you’re paying for. There may be some account changes that you’re not aware of. Calling them will help in verifying the status of your account.

Problem 2: iPhone 7 keeps going back to Home screen

My fairly new iPhone 7 Plus is looping back to the Home Screen, no matter what I’m doing.  I notice that the Update is indicating that 11.2 is ready to install, but it even goes back to the Home Screen when Verifying. I have done a hard boot, but it changed nothing. I at first had it on a security password/fingerprint setting.  It was looping back to the security screen.  I turned the security off and not it’s doing the same thing, going to the home screen.  Â  During the night, I twice heard my phone signal ping like I had a FB Messenger message.  No messanges were in my notifications.Does this mean a trip to my Verizon Store where I bought the phone? — L. Wilson

Solution: Hi L. Wilson. Before you consider sending the phone to Apple, which is a better option compared to bringing it back to Verizon, we suggest that you either perform a factory reset or a full Restore. A full restore will either return the phone to a particular state that you saved before, or update it as a new device. Either case, there’s a chance the issue will be fixed, especially if it’s due to a software glitch. If you want to proceed with factory reset, refer to the steps above. Otherwise, you can try a Restore (steps provided below).

Problem 3: iPhone 7 keeps freezing when opening an app

When using my iPhone 7, upon opening an app, it will freeze. The page will not fully load and it will stay frozen for at least 45 seconds or more. Other times, when using my phone it will freeze on the current page, then the screen will go black with a loading symbol in the center. It will remain on the black screen for at least 45 seconds or more, sometimes up to a minute. Lately, when trying to make or receive calls on my phone, upon answering i cannot hear the person on the other end speak. This phone is brand new, I purchased it in mid/late May of 2017. It has been in an Otterbox case since I got it, not often exposed to extreme heat or cold. No damage to the phone from accidents. — Hollie Holtzman

Solution: Hi Hollie. Freezing can sometimes be a symptom of a general performance problem, which in turn can be caused by a software/app glitch or bad hardware. To troubleshoot the problem, follow our suggestions below.

Soft reset your iPhone

We assume you’ve already tried restarting your iPhone before contacting us so the next step in the troubleshooting ladder is to perform a soft reset. It’s the virtual equivalent of pulling out the battery to force an unresponsive phone to reboot. If you’ve tried using some Android or non-iPhone devices with removable battery packs in the past, this is the software equivalent of that action.

To soft reset your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 10 minutes to ensure that it has enough power left.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Continue to hold the Power button and press and hold the Volume down button located on the left side of your iPhone.
  4. Hold both buttons as the iPhone powers off and back on; release both buttons when the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Low or no available storage left

As your phone’s internal storage device fills up, the phone’s overall performance will sometimes slow down. Make sure that you constantly leave at least 1GB of storage space available to allow the system to work normally, especially when there’s a new iOS update.

Install app and iOS updates

Installing updates can both be a blessing and a curse. For newer devices like the iPhone 8 and X, updating to the most recent iOS version will be largely beneficial. For iPhone devices that are a generation or two older, the opposite may be true. Keep in mind that the newer an operating system becomes, the more demanding it can be for old devices. Your iPhone 7 may still be able to run iOS 11 fine at this time but it have find the future iOS 12 and above too much. Operating systems like iOS are built by developers with a forward looking mentality, which means that they may not put enough effort in supporting slower and older hardware. This is the reason why you can’t run iOS 11 in an iPhone 3 or 4.

When it comes to apps though, the newer the version the better it is. Make sure that all the apps you install are up-to-date to minimize future problems.

Turn off all apps

If both apps and iOS are up-to-date, the next thing that you must do is to see if the cause of the freezing problem is a fellow app. To do that, make sure to close everything. You must close them individually.

To close an app:

  1. Double press the Home button. Make sure to press and not just tap it.
  2. Swipe up on the app you want to close.

Uninstall apps

Another good way to potentially eliminate freezing issue from your iPhone is by uninstalling non-critical apps. If most cases, users tend to install apps then forget about them later. If you are the type, it’s time to clean up the mess you may caused in the system. Start by checking apps you haven’t used in the last two weeks. Chances are, they are not that important to you. Remove them first. Then, go further by checking the remaining ones. Make sure leave only the ones that matter to you. Remember, the more apps are left in the system, the higher the chance of bugs from developing. Once you’ve decided what apps to leave in the system, check them again to see if they come from a reputable developer, and if they are updated. Not all apps are created equal. Some may perform flawlessly while others can be erratic, even causing interference with the operating system.

Turn off background processes

Ideally, developers must do their best to limit the impact of their apps on the battery and internet bandwidth. In most cases, this is not implemented so it’s good if you can check what apps consume power and data while active or running in the background. Social networking apps are notoriously high in the list of apps that consistently gobble up power and data. Make sure that you turn off background app refresh for them. The same is true for apps that regularly require new contents like email, games. To limit their background activity, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Background App Refresh.
  4. Slide the toggle to the OFF position for the troublesome app.

Do a Restore (from backup or to set the iPhone as a new device)

Restoring from backup should be the next thing that you must do disabling background activities won’t make any difference. To do this procedure, follow these steps:

  1. Create a backup of your files in iCloud or iTunes, or both.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer with the cable that came with your phone.
  3. We assume you remember your phone’s passcode so simply enter it when you’re prompted for it.
  4. Select your iPhone once iTunes asks you for the specific device.
  5. Once you’re in the Summary panel or screen, select the option that will restore your device (Restore).
  6. Confirm by clicking on Restore button.
  7. Wait for a few moments while iTunes restores your device to its factory settings. It may also take some time if iTunes will need to install an updated operating system version.
  8. After this factory reset, all software settings should be restored to their defaults.

Restore to factory settings

The most drastic solution that you can do in your iPhone is a factory reset. This will delete all data and return all software settings back to their factory defaults, just like when you first unboxed it. You can’t undo the negative effects of normal wear and tear of the hardware of course. Anyway, to factory reset your iPhone 7, do the following steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode.
  6. Tap Erase iPhone.

Contact apple

If all the steps above won’t help in fixing the freezing and calling issues, contact Apple for support.


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.