How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that suddenly keeps losing signal, signal dropping [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the problems seen on both old and new devices is on signal dropping. It’s when the device couldn’t establish a stable connection from the cell tower due to some signal barriers, signal interference, or poor reception.

In case you will bump into the same problem on your new iPhone XS, I’ve outlined some simple solutions and workarounds for troubleshooting references. Read on to find out what to do when all of a sudden, your iPhone XS struggles to establish a strong cellular signal or keeps losing signal.

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XS that keeps losing signal or service?

Before troubleshooting, check and make sure that you’re in an area with cellular network coverage. If necessary, try to move to another location that’s nearby your network provider’s cell tower. If your iPhone is still experiencing signal drops even when you’re within the network coverage area, then you can move on and try some workarounds to rule out software errors from the underlying causes. Here are a few options for you to try on.

First solution: Perform a soft reset or force restart.

Random software errors that affect the phone’s network and cellular functions are usually rectified by performing a soft reset or restarting the phone. There are two ways to get this done and here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up or Down buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off menu appears.
  2. Then drag the power off slider to turn off your iPhone completely.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Alternatively, you can do a force restart to clear all background apps that may have caused conflicts with your iPhone’s network services and then restart iOS. Here’s how a force restart is done on an iPhone XS:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

Both of these methods won’t affect any saved data from the phone memory thus, won’t result to data loss. Having said that, backing up files won’t be necessary.

Second solution: Update your iPhone software and carrier settings.

Software updates may contain the required fixes especially if the problem is triggered by some random bugs. Updates are typically pushed to add new features and functionalities and likewise to clear a device from any bug-inflicted issues. If you can connect to WiFi internet, then try to check for any available software update or carrier settings update to install.

  • To check for software update on your iPhone XS, go to Settings-> General -> Software Update menu.

An update notification will pop up if a new update is available. Otherwise, your device software is up-to-date. If an update is available and you want to proceed with the update installation, be sure to keep your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi. A stable Wi-Fi Internet connection, sufficient memory, and battery life are among the key requisites for updating an iOS device. Creating backups of critical data is also recommended beforehand for safekeeping. Once you have all these checked and met, follow the onscreen instructions to start downloading and installing new iOS update on your device.

Aside from iOS update, installing the latest carrier settings update can also help clear network-related issues on your device including signal drops. Like Apple, carriers are also rolling out regular settings updates to stabilize network functions of the phone.

  • To check for carrier settings update on your iPhone XS, go to Settings-> General-> About section.

You won’t see any button for carrier settings update so all you have to do is to stay on the About section for at least 10 seconds and wait for the carrier settings update information to pop up. If nothing shows up, then it means that your carrier settings are up to date.

If your iPhone doesn’t have Wi-Fi internet access, then you can still check for iOS update and carrier settings update using iTunes on a computer.

Third solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

Doing so will also reset Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, as well as VPN and APN settings you’ve used on your device. Any invalid network settings configuration that may have caused your iPhone to experience signal drops will likewise be cleared in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from Home.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Confirm network settings reset.

Your device will then instigate resetting network settings and then restarts by itself when done. After it reboots, the default network configurations are restored. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi and cellular networks and see if the problem is gone.

Fourth solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

SIM card problems can also trigger occurrence of similar symptoms on your iPhone. This is often the case when the SIM card is dislodged, corrupted, or damaged. A simple solution you can try is to remove the SIM card from your iPhone and then reinstall it properly. Before removing the SIM card, you must turn off your phone to prevent causing damage.

  1. When your phone is turned off, insert the SIM eject tool or small straight paper clip into the small hole on the right side of your iPhone.
  2. Slightly push the SIM eject tool or paper clip into this hole until the SIM tray pops out.
  3. Remove the SIM card from the tray.
  4. Check and ensure that the SIM card has no signs of damage.
  5. Place the SIM card back into the tray with the gold contacts faced down and notched corner aligns.
  6. Insert the SIM tray back into the iPhone.

As soon as the card tray is secured or locked in place, you can restart your iPhone and then see if that fixes the signal drops.

Fifth solution: Back up and restore your iPhone XS to its factory default settings.

If your iPhone XS is still losing signal after applying the previous workarounds, then you’re likely dealing with an intricate system issue affecting the phone’s network functions. If you wish to troubleshoot further, then your last options would be a factory reset or iOS restore. Performing these methods however will result to data loss, so don’t forget to back up all critical information you saved on the phone memory. Once you’re backup is secured, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone XS through settings menu:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings. This will delete everything from your iPhone XS system including personal information, customized settings, and downloaded applications.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm factory reset.

Allow your device to finish resetting and restoring the default settings. If that still failed to fix the problem, then you can proceed to an iOS restore. You can go for a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore using iTunes.

Is your iPhone XS still experiencing signal drops?

To rule out hardware damage from the underlying causes, you can take your device to the nearest Apple service center in your place for hardware assessment and/or repair, if needed. Persistent signal issues may also denote a possible damage on the logic board or other physical network components. If necessary, don’t forget to avail for warranty.

If you suspect that the problem is on the network itself, contact your network service provider/carrier and let them know about your concern. Verify and ensure that your account is active and in good standing. Also make sure that your device isn’t blocked from getting cellular services and is set up with the right data plan. You can also ask them to check the current network status from the end. If it suddenly occurs on your iPhone XS to experience signal dropping, then that may also be due to a network outage. In that case, there’s nothing to be fixed on your end because the problem should be taken care of by your network service provider.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS 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. 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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