iPhone XS: How to Fix Cellular Data (3G/4G/LTE) Not Working Problem

BY Jason

Published 14 Dec 2018

Fix Cellular Data Not Working

In this article, we provide several troubleshooting tips to fix problems where mobile data (3G, 4G or LTE) is not working on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. These tips have helped our readers in the past.

As we had briefly mentioned in our iPhone XS Max review, the new iPhones come with extra antenna bands compared the iPhone X, so we were expecting improved mobile data speeds, but some iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are instead reporting problems with mobile data.

But the good news in most cases based on our experience you should be able to resolve the issues without needing to visit the Apple Store.

How to Fix Mobile Data (3G/4G/LTE) Not Working on Your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max

Here are 7 solutions you should try to fix the mobile data or mobile data not working problem on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.

1. Ensure Mobile Data is Enabled

While we know most of you might have already checked it, we have come across a surprising number of people who face the issue where mobile data is not working, where they have disabled Mobile Data, and forgotten to toggle it back on. 

So just to be doubly sure, follow these steps:

  • Swipe down from the right to access the Control Center.
  • Check if Mobile or Cellular Data has been enabled. If mobile or cellular data is enabled, the mobile icon should be green.

iPhone XS - Control Center - Cellular Data toggle

  • If the mobile data icon is grayed out then tap the icon and wait for it to turn green to turn on Mobile data, and the issue that you were facing with Cellular data not working should be fixed.

You may also want to check if AirPlane mode is disabled. If not disable it. I tend to put my iPhone XS Max in AirPlane mode when I am taking a video to prevent calls from stopping the video.

2. Enable and Disable AirPlane Mode

At times, you may face an issue because your iPhone is connected to a mobile tower that may be overloaded with connections. 

An easy way to switch mobile towers is by enabling AirPlane mode, waiting for 10 seconds, and turning disabling it. This results in your phone getting disconnected from the cellular tower, and trying to connect with another cellular tower, which may not have the problem. I have tried this a few times on the iPhone XS Max when I faced an issue with cellular or mobile data and it has resolved the problem.

3. Hard Reset iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max

Like all tech problems, there is no harm in starting off by hard resetting or force rebooting your iPhone XS and iPhone X to see it helps.

On the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, press the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button and then quickly press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo show up. You can check our post on how to hard reset iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max if you need further help.

Hard Reset iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max

4. Reset Network Settings 

Most networking related issues I’ve experienced have been fixed after resetting network settings. Resetting these settings flushes caches and clears DHCP settings and other networking related info. To reset network settings, open the Settings app and navigate to Settings > General > Reset and tap on Reset Network Settings. It will prompt you to enter the passcode to proceed.

Please note that the only downside of Resetting Network Settings is you need to add the VPN settings and related profiles again.

5. Disable VPN

If you have enabled via the Settings app or a VPN app, then try to disable VPN to see if it resolves the issue. You can disable VPN via the Settings app and navigate to the VPN settings to disable the Status toggle from Connected to Not Connected. If you are not able to disable it then launch the VPN app to disable VPN temporarily to figure out if it resolves the mobile data not working problem on your iPhone. 

6. Upgrade to the Latest iOS Software Update

If the methods mentioned above doesn’t work then try to install the latest iOS software update. I didn’t mention this earlier, as we are seeing some reports of users facing mobile data connectivity issue after upgrading to iOS 12.1.2. But if the tips mentioned above don’t help, then you can try to install the latest iOS software update.

7. Restore and Setup as new iPhone

If none of these tips fix the cellular data or mobile data issues, the last resort is to restore your iPhone or iPad via iTunes and set it up as a new device. This way, you start afresh and get rid of possibly problematic customizations and settings on your device. Follow the instructions in the post linked below to do a clean restore to the latest version of iOS via iTunes.

How to restore your iPhone or iPad with iTunes

8. Visit an Apple Store

Even after performing all these steps, you’re still having problems, then you might want to visit your nearest Apple Store to know of any possible hardware related issues.

I have faced intermittent issues with mobile data connectivity on my iPhone XS Max, which I have managed to resolve with solution 2. 

Let us know in the comments if you faced any cellular data or mobile data related issues on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, and if so, were you able to fix the issues with these tips.