Some iPhone users have discovered cellular data issues after installing the iOS 12.1.3 update, showing “No service”, no cellular data, no cellular reception bars, and sometimes seeing a “Cellular Update Failed” message similar to what was happening with some iPhones after installing iOS 12.1.2. This seems to mostly impact iPhones on particular cellular networks, but it’s not entirely clear why some iPhone devices will experience cellular data problems after installing the iOS 12.1.3 update while others don’t.
Often some of the routine fixes for cellular data not working on iPhone will resolve this problem, including making sure that cellular data is actually enabled and resetting network settings.
As you work through the troubleshooting steps below, be sure to check your cellular data connection after you have tried each of these steps.If one of these methods works for you, you don’t need to follow any others. And be sure to share what did (or didn’t) work for fixing your iOS 12.1.3 iPhone cellular problems in the comments below!
1: Reboot the iPhone, then wait 5 minutes
Try this first, this is based on a few recommendations from cellular carriers. Sprint says wait 3 minutes after restarting, but another cell provider said wait 5 minutes. This may allow a cellular settings update to download and load that can fix the problem.
You can perform a simple reboot on any iPhone by turning it off, then back on again. Holding down the Power button and then swiping to power down the device is typically all that is needed. Then wait a moment and press the Power button again.
For can also try a forced reboot, which is a much more abrupt restart of the iPhone. That process varies per iPhone and whether or not they have Home buttons that click or not, or none at all:
- Force restart iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max
- Force restart iPhone X
- Force restart iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8
- Force restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Force restart iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, 6, iPhone SE, 5s, 5, 4s, 4, etc with clickable Home buttons
Once the device boots back up, try using cellular data again.
Note after a reboot you can often check for a cellular carrier settings update on iPhone from the mobile provider by going to Settings > General > About and locate the Carrier section too.
2: Put into Airplane Mode & Reboot
Some users report that simple putting their iPhone into AirPlane mode for a short while, then rebooting is effective.
- Toggle Airplane mode ON, wait 30 seconds, then reboot the iPhone (turn it off and on again), then turn Airplane mode back OFF once the iPhone is booted back up
If this works, great, though it’s not entirely clear why it would. Airplane mode can serve as a DNS cache reset in iOS so perhaps that mechanism is in play here, though DNS issues would be more likely to cause timeouts and errors when accessing services, rather than no cellular service at all.
3: Reset Network Settings on iPhone
You can also try resetting network settings in iOS. A downside to this approach is that you will lose all saved wi-fi passwords, any custom DNS entries, or other network specific settings customizations. Nonetheless, resetting Network Settings in iOS is an often tried and true approach to resolving network and cellular connectivity problems on the iPhone. Write down the important wi-ifi passwords for networks you’ll rejoin and any other important network settings first. The rest is easy to do, here’s how:
- Open Settings on iPhone, go to “General” and then to “Reset”
- Tap on “Reset Network Settings” and confirm that you wish to reset network settings by tapping the ‘Reset Network Settings’ button
- Wait a moment or two
- Optionally but recommended, reboot the iPhone again
Try using the cellular network now, it should work.
Bonus tip for Sprint users: for Sprint iPhones, you can do a different network settings reset specific to Spring specific network settings by dialing ##72786# then tapping on ‘ok’ at the various prompts to reset network settings and eventually restart the device.
4: Turn LTE to Data Only
- Open Settings, then go to “Cellular” and to “Cellular Data Options”
- Tap “Enable LTE” then select “Data Only”
This worked for some users when troubleshooting prior iOS cellular data problems with iOS 12.1.1 and iOS 12.1.2, so it may help for iOS 12.1.3 as well.
There are a variety of reports about this problem around the web, in Apple Support forums, various Apple fan forums, our comments section and inbound emails, and on Twitter including at Sprint and on the Twitter Apple Support account here, here, here, and elsewhere if you search for “iOS 12.1.3 cellular” or “iOS 12.1.3 mobile data” and similar search terms on Twitter. It’s always vaguely possible there’s some bug or other hiccup involved in the iOS 12.1.3 update or update process, and if that’s the case a future update will be released to fix the problem. But more likely, there is an issue somewhere with a setting on particular devices that are impacted, whether there’s some lingering old configuration or stale data cache, or some other issue behind the scenes that can be easily remedied with a reboot or network settings reset.
Anyway, if the above tips helped to resolve your cellular problems with iPhone and iOS 12.1.3, or if you found another solution to resolve any mobile data connectivity issues with iOS 12.1.3 on iPhone, please share with us in the comments below what has worked for you and what has not too. Include your iPhone model, cellular company, and what iOS version you’re running if possible.