iPhone Tips & Tricks: Tips to boost iPhone Signal Strength

BY Jason

Published 16 Feb 2008

One of the complaints from many iPhone users especially after iPhone firmware 1.1.3 has been the low and/or fluctuating signal strength resulting in poor reception and dropped calls thus leading to a frustrating experience for iPhone owners.

If you are one of those users who is facing such an issue then here are some iPhone tips which could help based on feedback from iPhone users.

The typical symptoms are as follows: signal bars suddenly drop to zero and the display shows “call failed.” As soon as the user manually ends the call, the signal strength immediately returns to normal. There are quite a few threads in Apple discussion boards regarding this issue and seems to have increased post iPhone firmware 1.1.3.

Here are some iPhone tips/fixes which should help in some cases:

Reset the iPhone:

It has been observed that simply resetting the iPhone can resolve signal strength issues.

Reset network settings:

In some cases resetting the network settings has also helped so tap Settings, tap General, tap Reset, tap Reset Network Settings.

This will restart your iPhone and will also delete any stored Wi-Fi passwords as well as DNS settings and more.

Place your SIM card again:

If your iPhone’s SIM card is not placed properly, it has been observed that it can affect signal strength.

So a good idea would be to remove your iPhone’s SIM card by pushing a straightened paper clip into the small hole on the top of the device to open the SIM tray, then check for debris inside the tray or SIM card slot, remove it by blowing into the slot or using compressed air and then placing the SIM card properly and then re-inserting the SIM tray.

The notion is that improper SIM contact can result in a weak signal, so the above procedure could help.

Restore the iPhone

Some of the iPhone users have reported that simply restoring the iPhone can also help resolve the signal strength issues.

However, it is important to note here that using this method you’ll lose text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc which can be restored by simply doing another restore and choosing to push the backup to the phone.

Dock the phone or just attach a USB cable:

Some iPhone users have interestingly reported that docking the iPhone or attaching it to a computer via a USB cable can boost signal strength dramatically.

However, it is not certain whether this is due to the power delivery a charge boosts signal strength or as some users have reported that simply attaching a USB cable to the iPhone (without connecting to your computer) provides an instant boost in signal strength.

Give iPhone a full charge:

The reason for the boost could be due to the reason speculated in the early point.

Attaching scotch tape to the SIM card:

This is indeed the most ingenious methods, it appears that attaching a small piece of scotch tape to the outer side of the iPhone’s SIM card (the side of the SIM card that does not have metal contacts) can result in a surprising boost again borrowing from the notion that improper SIM contact can result in a weak signal.


It is important to mention here that some of the methods like
attaching the scotch tape could void your iPhone’s warranty and since I
have not tried these fixes I am not in a position to confirm either way.

Exchange for a new iPhone:

If all of the above options have not helped then the best option would be to exchange your iPhone for a new one by going to an Apple store with the signal strength complaint.

Signal Booster:

The last option if you have tried all of the above tips would be to simply buy a signal booster as some iPhone users have reported success.

In case you are one of those facing the problem of poor signal strength on your iPhone then as always do not forget to let us know if any of these iPhone tips helped in the comments.

[iPhone Atlas]

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