How to fix iPhone 7 No Service issue, won’t activate successfully in a network, other issues

Today’s #iPhone7 troubleshooting page deals with some network and connectivity problems like the notorious No Service issue. This problem can be caused by a number of factors so an iPhone showing it may have an entirely different reason from another identical iPhone somewhere else. Today’s troubleshooting episode covers all the possible solutions that an end user can try. If you have this problem in your iPhone, continue reading this post.

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.

ALSO READ: How to fix No Service error on iPhone, cannot send / receive calls and text

Problem 1: How to fix iPhone 7 No Service issue

I have an issue of no service after updating my iPhone 7 to iOS 11.2. I tried updating to 11.2.1 and 2.2 in hopes of solving the issue but neither had so I downgraded back to 11.2 in hopes of future help through jailbreaking my device. I have already contacted Apple and been through every possible set to restore service with them and my GSM provider (T-Mobile USA Prepaid). My SIM is recognized and I can make calls via WIFI CALLING, but no cellular voice or data. My SIM also works fine in other devices and other working SIMs will not work in mine. Apple claims it’s a hardware defect even though there diagnostics returned no hardware errors when they checked. I’m now longer under warranty and my 128GB phone is now more or less worthless. Any ideas or suggestions on possible fixes would be greatly appreciated. — Greg Becker

Solution: Hi Greg. When it comes to No Service issue on iPhones, there’s usually no universal fix. Some may be caused by a unique bug in affected devices while others may be network-related. There are also other devices with bad hardware that results to them being unable to register to any network. In order to troubleshoot your issue and to help others who may be in a similar situation, we’ll cover all the applicable steps below.

Verify if your location has good network coverage

The general rule of thumb when it comes to determining good network coverage is by checking the network strength or signal bars. If your iPhone does not show the signal bars in one location but works one in another, you’re most probably in a poorly covered area. Try moving out in the open and see if that will improve network coverage. If you have a similar compatible iPhone using the same network, try to check the signal strength and see if there’s a discrepancy. If the second iPhone has good signal coverage while the first one does not, the problem is probably phone-related. Continue with the rest of the troubleshooting below to fix it.

Restart your iPhone

Restart is a good way to kick off any troubleshooting and your issue is no exception. Restart clears your iPhone’s memory and if a bug is causing network settings to become problematic, doing this step may fix it. To restart is easy; just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Top (or Side) button until the slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.*After the device turns off, press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until you see the Apple logo.

Alternatively, you can go  to Settings > General> Shut Down.

Install iOS updates (if available)

One of the often ignored maintenance step to ensure an iPhone works properly is installing iOS updates. For many average users, updates are vehicles for new cosmetic changes. In fact, that’s only one of the results of installing updates. The other important thing updates sometimes do is to bring patches or solutions to discovered vulnerabilities or bugs. Normally, iPhone devices are set to automatically download updates and inform you that they can now be installed. To see if there’s a pending update you haven’t installed yet, you can go to Settings>General>About.

Reseat the SIM card

Sometimes, removing the SIM card and inserting it back can fix network-related problems. Be sure to turn your iPhone off first before you remove the SIM card. Then, while still shut, reinsert the SIM card and power the phone back on.

Reset iPhone network settings

Should the issue remains unresolved at this time, the next good thing to do is to reset the network settings. This troubleshooting step can fix all sorts of problems. Essentially, resetting your iPhone’s network settings will erase stored Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN information. To do this step, do the steps below:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  6. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.

Check for water damage

Although the iPhone 7 enjoys IP67 certification, which means that it can get away with occasional water splashes, this protection is not absolute. The nano technology that seals the phone can wear off or become compromised, especially if the phone has been dropped or physically impacted. Water or moisture may seep inside without your knowledge causing all sorts of problems. If your iPhone got wet before it started acting up and showing No Service issue, water damage must be to blame. Unfortunately, Apple does not cover damaged iPhones so even if it’s still under warranty, you’ll most likely pay for the repair.

Contact your carrier

If all the troubleshooting steps above won’t work at all, let your carrier know about the issue so they can take a look at your account to see if there’s something amiss. There’s a chance the problem is account-related and has nothing to do with your phone. Sometimes, carriers may anticipate No Service issues due to network idiosyncrasies so they may be able to help you by entering some codes.

Check if your iPhone 7 is a lemon

Apple has just recently admitted that some iPhone 7 devices shipped between September 2016 and February 2018 may encounter No Service issue due to a bad component. To see if your device is one of them, visit this link and follow Apple’s directions.

Have the phone repaired

If your iPhone 7 is not among those with manufacturing defect, it’s possible that it may have an unknown hardware malfunction. To fix it, you need to let Apple check the device physically so they can either repair or replace it.

Problem 2: iPhone 7 won’t activate successfully in a network

Hi! I happen to have some trouble with my iPhone 7. So I bought it from someone a couple of weeks ago, I saw this person use the phone so I’m sure it was working perfectly. He said it was unlocked (to use in foreign country). I saw him remove the sim card and restore the phone also, so when he gave it to me it was the Activation screen. I didn’t put my sim card right away because of personal stuff, but, here’s the problem. When I tried to activate it with my sim card, it would say that it’s not compatible with the carrier, meaning: locked. I tried things like changing the sim card, carrier, etc. I found it was “locked” to T-mobile. I sent the imei to check on the diagnostic, and the results were that it was UNLOCKED in june 2016, but my sim is still not working. They said it might be a problem with the actual phone, has this happened before? Thank you. — Andrea

Solution: Hi Andrea. The best thing that you can do right now is to contact your carrier and ask them if the current phone model that you have is compatible with their system. If you have a GSM device and your current network uses GSM technology, your phone’s hardware is most likely compatible. However, there may still be other factors that prevents it from being activated. Only your carrier can provide you with accurate requirements so kindly talk to them. Make sure that you have the important information they may need from you like the phone model, serial number, iMEI number, etc.

Problem 3: iPhone 7 keeps saying searching or no service when using another SIM card

hi there, I purchased my iPhone 7 (unlocked) 2 years ago when it first came out. Had been using it overseas with any carrier and never had any issues. I moved back to the states and got a new number from US Cellular. When i first plugged my sim card it showed service, i could make a call and everything. Later on I started losing the service and sometimes it starts saying either searching or no service. I tried to remove the sim card and it kept saying no service which it should say no sim. I reset it, erased the whole content and set it up as a new phone but nothing worked. I went to my carrier thinking that there was something wrong with the sim card and got a new one. However, it did the same thing. Then I decided to plug one of my sim cards that I used to use before I moved here and guess what it works fine with it, get service right away and never loses it. But I haven’t had a chance to try it with  other US carriers I tried everything you can imagine but still I cant get it to work with U.S Cellular for some reason. It works for now but if I use Facetime or safari, it says No-Sim after sometime.Its driving me crazy. I went to an apple store in town, it was quite busy as usual. The staff was not very helpful and he tried to convince me to buy a new iPhone 7, paying $300 as my phone is out of warranty. I don’t want to pay that much money to buy the same phone as that was my only option cause Apple only lets you trade it in with the same model for the i phones that are not working. It just doesn’t make any sense for me to get a new phone because my phone was working fine until I got back here. So if there is somebody out there who has had the same issue or something close to it and somehow figured how to work it please let me know. — Murat Uzel

Solution: Hi Murat. If you have CDMA phone and you are in a CDMA network like US Cellular, the phone has to be reprogrammed before it can use the network. Inserting a new SIM card won’t do it because that SIM card is only limited to allowing you to use 4G/LTE. The phone’s codes must be modified in order to register it with your current network.

CDMA phones are unlike GSM phones in this regard. In a GSM phone, all you have to do, as long it’s network unlocked and not blacklisted, is to insert the SIM card. We don’t know enough about the specifics of your phone though so we may be mistaken. Make sure that you talk to your carrier’s technical support team so they can identify the reason why it’s not allowing you to use their network.

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.