Our smartphones are essential little pocket computers, but they’ve become so convenient we almost can’t live without them anymore. An internet connection is the backbone of the smartphone experience, so whenever data stops working, the world seems to come to a halt. What do you do to get back in the grid? If Wi-Fi is working, then you know it’s a cellular network issue. Here are some solutions to restore mobile data.
Possible mobile data issues and fixes
Turn Airplane mode on and off
Airplane mode turns off all wireless antennas, including mobile data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Sometimes simply turning airplane mode on and off can reset settings and bring everything back to normal. Airplane mode is usually in the Quick Settings. If you can’t find it there, go to Settings > Network & internet > Airplane mode.
Also, check if your phone happens to be on airplane mode! It might seem like a silly suggestion to the well-versed tech enthusiasts, but many of us have accidentally turned airplane mode on before. Restoring your mobile data might be as simple as turning airplane mode off!
Have you tried rebooting?
As unexplainable as it may be, we find most smartphone issues are fixed with a simple reboot. A plethora of possible discrepancies could cause your mobile data problem, 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. It just might work.
Also read: My phone won’t charge! What can I do?
Check your plan?
Some mobile data plans have limitations and throttles. Look into your plan’s terms and see if you’ve used more data than you should. You might be capped or throttled. Also, consider the fact you may be late on your payment. Even the best of us forget about bills sometimes.
Re-insert your SIM card
SIM cards can move around, and sometimes pins can get out of line. It’s a good idea to play with the SIM card a bit if the steps above don’t work for you. Simply pull it out and reinsert it. Maybe try to clean it a bit? It won’t hurt to try! It’s a good way to try to get mobile data working again.
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.
- Clear the cache from the Google Play Services app: Settings > Apps & notifications > See all apps > Google Play Services > Storage & cache > Clear cache.
- Look for any system software updates that may be available: Settings > System > Advanced > System Update > Check for updates.
- 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 how your phone connects with your mobile carrier’s network. Think of it as a Wi-Fi 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.
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 fix the issue. Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options > Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth > Reset settings.
Factory data reset
If all else fails to restore mobile data, go ahead and perform a factory data reset. This will erase everything on 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. on a stock Android phones you can follow these steps: Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset) > Erase all data.
Seek professional help
Now, if that doesn’t do it, you probably need to have a professional personally inspect the device. It could be a hardware problem at this point. Reach out to your phone manufacturer, your carrier, or maybe even Google. It might also be time to contact your insurance provider if you have it.