How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that keeps losing cellular signal after updating to iOS 12.1.4 [Troubleshooting Guide]

On and off signal or signal drop issue among smartphones may be due to system errors, if not, hardware damage. In most cases however, it appears among the symptoms of network outage from network system maintenance on the network base. For unstable signal issues due to temporary network outages, waiting is the key. Apparently, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until the network engineers are able to solve the problem on their end.

Meanwhile, signal issues that are tied to system problems do require aid from end-users. This means the need for you to try and do something to troubleshoot and solve the problem. For signal issues that are attributed to hardware damage like a busted SIM card or other relevant components, SIM card replacement or hardware repair would be the ultimate fix.

Highlighted below are suggested workarounds to fix a relevant issue on the iPhone XS that suddenly keeps losing signal after installing the latest iOS update. If you just updated to iOS version 12.1.4 and ended up having the same dilemma on your iPhone XS, then this post may be able to help you. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough then.

For owners who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

YouTube video

Troubleshooting Apple iPhone XS that keeps losing signal after an update

Before troubleshooting, check your other phones and see if they’re having the same problem or not. If all your devices are having an unstable signal at the moment, then this is likely a temporary issue with the network base. In that case, the service should be back to normal at any time later so all you have to do is wait. If only your iPhone XS is experiencing signal drops, then you can go ahead and troubleshoot your device.

First solution: Restart the phone.

Phone systems and apps may tend to misbehave following a new platform installation. Problems like this are usually minor and thus easily be remedied by some tweaks. To clear out minor software errors that might have triggered the network system to glitch, performing a soft reset or restarting the phone can help. This will help refresh the phone’s internal memory and clears out random glitches from the operating system. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Wait for your phone to finish booting up and then re-establish network signal. See if that fixes the problem or not. Continue to troubleshoot if needed.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that keeps disconnecting from Wi-Fi network after installing iOS 12.1.4 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Another simple old trick that’s been proven effective in resolving minor problems affecting wireless network services including cellular issues in iPhones is the Airplane mode toggle. It works by giving a quick restart on the phone’s wireless services and thereby clears out random inconsistencies. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so will disable the phone’s wireless radios including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
  3. Restart or soft reset your iPhone XS while Airplane Mode is enabled.
  4. After the phone reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu and then tap the switch again to turn Airplane mode OFF.

You may need to re-enable wireless features of your phone including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Cellular Data in order to use them again.

Third solution: Update carrier settings on the phone.

Network-related problems in iPhones including post-update bugs can also be remedied by installing a new carrier update. Like Apple, carriers also push regular updates to ensure optimum network functionalities on their every device. Some carrier updates are mandatory or automatically implemented while others are not. To check for new carrier update available for your iPhone XS, simply follow these steps:

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

Stay on this page for a few moments. If a new carrier update is available, it will show up on the Carrier field. Just follow the onscreen instructions to download and install new carrier update for your iPhone XS.

After installing carried settings update, restart your iPhone to apply the recent changes to your carrier settings and to refresh the phone’s network services.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on the phone.

Network-related issues in general are often resolved by performing a network reset on the phone. This may be important if the new iOS update automatically overrides your current network settings and eventually resulted to some conflicts. While this reset won’t affect the internal data of your phone, it’s recommended to take note of your Wi-Fi network credentials (SSID and password) because you will need to set up your wireless network again after the reset. Then proceed to these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings. This will delete saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, APNs, and other network-related information on the phone.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm network settings reset.

The phone should reboot by itself when the reset is finished and then loads the default network options. After booting up completely, you can re-enable the network features that you want to use on your phone including Wi-Fi and Cellular services.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that’s stuck on black screen after installing iOS 12.1.4 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Fifth solution: Remove and reinstall the SIM card.

If none of the prior methods worked, then you can take a chance in reinstalling the SIM card on your phone. This trick often helps clear out random issues affecting SIM-related services on the phone. Just be careful not to damage the phone though. If you’re willing to proceed, then simply refer to these steps:

  1. Turn off the phone completely. This is recommended to prevent damaging the phone.
  2. While the phone is turned off, insert the SIM eject tool into the provided slot on the SIM card tray.
  3. Gently push the tool until the tray ejects.
  4. Pull the tray and remove the SIM card from the slot.
  5. Check the SIM card for any visible signs of damage like liquid traces and scratches. If everything looks fine, place the SIM card back into the slot in the same position or orientation before you removed it.
  6. After the securing the SIM card in place, push the tray back into the phone then lock it in place.
  7. When the tray is reinserted and secured, turn the phone back on.

Wait for it to establish network signal and see if the problem is solved. If the phone is still losing signal, then consider other options.

Other options

You may have to consider restoring your iPhone XS from a previous backup if all else failed to fix the problem and the phone is still experiencing signal drops. Although this can be deemed a system downgrade, this may be the only way for you to use cellular services to work properly again. Just don’t forget to report the problem to your carrier or Apple support so they can also be aware of the issue and do something about it. You can restore your iPhone XS in recovery more or enter DFU mode to carry out the deepest type of iOS restore through iTunes.

It could also be a problem with the SIM card in use. While the symptoms had started after installing an update, it’s also possible that the root cause of the problem is a damaged SIM card. In that case, contact your carrier or service provider and avail for a new SIM card replacement. Otherwise, take your iPhone to the nearest Apple service center and have it further checked by an authorized technician for any indications of hardware damage.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!


Leave a Comment