How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max cellular data that is not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Emerging among the widespread issues encountered by iPhone users is on network connectivity errors such as problems on Wi-Fi and cellular data connections. These continue to affect new iPhone models and may already be transpiring on Apple’s recently released iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max variants. This post tackles a relevant issue on the iPhone XS Max, particularly on cellular data. Read on to find out what to do if cellular data is not working on your iPhone XS Max.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to fix iPhone XS Max cellular data that is not working?

With Cellular Data enabled, you can browse the web, send iMessages, push email messages, and do other online operations even if your iPhone is not connected to Wi-Fi. Just be sure not to exceed your data plan to avoid incurring extra costs. Mobile internet through cellular data is an alternative way to use Internet services on your device when Wi-Fi isn’t working. To make this happen, cellular data feature must be enabled. If this is the first time you’re attempting to use cellular data on your iPhone XS Max, then you may still need to enable the feature. To check if cellular data is enabled, go to your iPhone Settings-> Cellular menu, then make sure Cellular Data option is turned on. If it’s not, then tap the Cellular Data switch to turn it on.

After enabling the feature, open your browser app to do some test browsing using cellular data. If you cannot browse, perform a soft reset or reboot your iPhone XS Max and then re-attempt to connect to the Internet through cellular data. If cellular data is still not working, then troubleshoot and fix software problems on your iPhone that might have affected cellular data functions. Consider the following workarounds among the possible solutions.

First solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Enabling Airplane mode turns off wireless connections on your iPhone. That said, you won’t be able to make calls or use the Internet but apps and menus are still available. To turn wireless connections back on, Airplane mode must be disabled again. Nevertheless, there are other benefits from enabling and disabling Airplane mode on your device, as it turned out that random wireless connectivity issues are likewise remedied by such workaround. Many smartphone owners who have dealt with minor problems when using Wi-Fi and other network connectivity issues have claimed that they’re able to rectify the glitch by simply toggling the Airplane mode switch on and off. Thus it won’t hurt if you’d consider it among your first workarounds to try on. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, navigate to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then tap the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature on.
  3. Restart your iPhone (soft reset).
  4. After your iPhone restarts, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and then tap the switch to turn Airplane mode off again.

Alternatively, you can access the Airplane Mode icon from the control center. To do so, swipe down from the upper-right corner of your iPhone XS Max screen. Doing so will launch the Control Center, containing core icons and shortcuts. Then tap the Airplane mode icon to turn the feature on or off.

Allow your device to reconnect to Cellular Data network and then check and see if that fixes the problem.

Second solution: Turn Cellular Data off and on again.

Should this be a temporary glitch affecting cellular data functions, turning the feature off and then on again can potentially offer some remedy. So here’s what you can try next:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and select Cellular.
  3. Tap the Cellular Data switch to turn the feature on. If it’s already turned on but doesn’t work, then turn the Cellular Data switch off for a few seconds and then turn it on again.

Third solution: Install carrier settings update, if available.

Installing carrier settings update can also help fix problems affecting network services. These are technically small files that embed updates from Apple or your carrier to carrier-related settings including network, calling, messaging, personal hotspot, messaging and voicemail settings. Some carrier updates are mandatory (automatically implemented) while others needs to be downloaded and installed manually. This can also be deemed a potential solution. To check for and install carrier settings update on your iPhone XS Max, follow these steps:

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

Wait for and check details on the Carrier field. If an update is available, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the latest carrier settings update for your device. To do so, your iPhone must be connected to the Internet. But since you cannot connect through cellular data, you can use Wi-Fi instead. In that case, you may have to enable Wi-Fi beforehand. To do so, head to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature on.

After enabling Wi-Fi, go back to Settings-> General-> About-> Carrier details, to process with the carrier settings update and installation.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Performing a network settings reset will erase your current network settings including those that are not configured properly. Doing so will likewise delete your wireless network settings as well as cellular data configurations. This can be the key to fixing the problem if erratic settings are to blame. Simply follow these steps and see if this helps:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Wait until your iPhone is done resetting network settings and then reboots by itself. After it restarts, reconnect to cellular data and see if the problem is solved.

Fifth solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

Network errors can also be rectified by removing and reinstalling SIM card. Thus, this can be considered among the last options if your iPhone XS Max still cannot connect to cellular data after applying prior solutions. To prevent causing damage to the SIM card or your iPhone itself, it is recommended to turn off your device completely before removing the SIM card. That said, power off your iPhone then remove the SIM card with these steps:

  1. Unlock the SIM card tray by inserting the SIM eject tool or paper clip into the provided slot on the SIM card tray.
  2. Gently pull the card tray out.
  3. Remove the SIM card from the card tray.
  4. Check and ensure that the SIM card has no traces of liquid damage or scratches.
  5. If the SIM card looks fine, place it back into the SIM card tray in the same manner before you took it out. Make sure it’s secured in place.
  6. Then push the SIM card slot back into the phone.

Make sure that the card slot is locked and then turn your iPhone back on. Once it’s finished booting up, reattempt to connect through cellular data.

If none of the given solutions worked and your iPhone XS Max is still unable to use cellular data as intended, contact your Internet service provider or wireless carrier for further assistance. There may be some technical problems on your carrier’s end that caused cellular data services to be currently unavailable or not working. One of the possible reasons as to why cellular data isn’t working include outages like when your network service provider is doing some maintenance on their cell towers. Your account must also have sufficient cellular data credits for data usage.

If your wireless carrier supports eSIM, then you can ask more details on how to avail for this new service plan. An eSIM is a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to utilize a physical nano-SIM. Just contact your carrier for more details.

Or you can also report the issue to Apple Support for other options and/or official recommendations.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS Max. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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