Mobile data

Are some of your Android apps working over WiFi, but not mobile data? It sure is an odd situation to be in. Chances are you have tried all kinds of tricks to get your phone back to working condition, and aren’t sure what else to try, other than maybe smashing it. Well, you are not alone.

We know you have probably been digging throughout the web, looking for forum threads and any tutorial that will help you get your phone back to normal. This is why we have put together a list of problems and solutions for what could be causing despair to mobile users who simply want a functional smartphone. Shall we jump right in?


Have you tried rebooting?

We know it seems silly, but we find most smartphone issues are fixed with a simple reboot. Your problem could be caused by a plethora of possible discrepancies, and chances are that if you are here looking for answers your phone complication is a bit more complex, but it doesn’t hurt to remind you to try the good ol’ restart.


Is it Google?

If it is specifically Google applications that aren’t working on mobile data, there is a slight chance it is something related to the Search Giant. Try these steps to see if it all goes back to normal.

  1. Clear the cache from the Google Play Services app: Settings > Apps or Application Manager > Google Play Services > Clear cache > OK.
  2. Uninstall and reinstall Google Play Store updates: Settings > Apps or Application Manager > Google Play Store app > Uninstall Updates > OK.
  3. Look for any system software updates that may be available.
  4. Go to the Settings app and find the ‘Accounts’ section. Access it and remove your Google account, then add it again.


Reset the APN

Your APN is the way in which your phone connects with your mobile carrier’s network. Think of it like a WiFi password for mobile data, but much more complicated, with IP settings, gateway details, and more.

Different phones have various ways of getting to the APN settings, but generally they are under the ‘Mobile Data’, ‘Wireless Controls’, or ‘Wireless & Networks’ sections. Access whichever variation of the menu you have and look for Access Point Names. Tap the menu icon and select ‘Reset to defaults’.


Allow mobile data usage for all apps

Most phones will allow users to turn off data usage for specific apps. If for some reason apps were set to ‘WiFi only’, you will need to go into ‘Data Usage’ in the Settings app and look for apps with limited data access. Set the options to allow data usage for these apps.


Reset network settings

If none of the options above work, it may mean some extraneous setting was changed along the way. It is likely related to the network, so resetting your network settings to factory defaults might just fix the issue.

See also: speed up your connection

Simply go to your Settings app and find the ‘Backup and reset’ section. Select ‘Reset network settings’ and follow instructions.

Mobile data


Factory data reset

If all else fails, go ahead and perform a factory data reset. This will erase everything in your phone and bring all settings to factory defaults. This means your phone will be left like the first time you turned it on (software-wise).

This fixes pretty much any software issue you may encounter. It is the best solution to many issues, but it should be used as a last resort, due to the inconveniences deleting all data entails.

As with many other processes, performing a factory data reset is different with almost every phone. You will need to do some research to get step-by-step instructions.


Seek professional help

Now, if that doesn’t do it, you probably need to have a professional personally inspect the device. We would advice reaching out to your phone manufacturer, your carrier, or maybe even Google.

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Do you have any other tips?

We can’t think of any other solutions to this issue, but maybe you can! We are sure many of you have had to face this problem, so hit the comments if you know of a good fix that wasn’t included in this post. We would love to share it with other readers!