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Is Verizon not working? Here's what could be happening

Don't freak out! Let's get your Verizon phone working again.
How To
By
September 28, 2021
Verizon logo on phone stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Verizon takes the number one spot among carriers in the US, with over 120 million subscribers. Any Verizon network downtime would affect plenty of you, possibly leaving you off the grid. And while Big Red’s network is also known for its reliability, a Verizon outage is not out of the realms of possibility.

There could also be other things keeping you disconnected, though. Today we’ll go over possible reasons for Verizon not working, as well as what you can do to fix the issue.

Also read: These are the best phones for Verizon users

Editor’s note: All step-by-step instructions in this article were put together using a Pixel 4a running Android 11. Some of the settings and steps may be different depending on your device and software.

Is there a Verizon outage?

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 8
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While rare, Verizon outages happen. Most are local, but nationwide service downtimes are possible too. This is likely the first thing you want to check for if your Verizon service suddenly stops working.

The first place to check is Verizon’s website. Just sign into My Verizon, and the carrier will have a notification or alert for you at the top of the page. This is, of course, if the company has any knowledge you’re affected by a Verizon outage. You dig deeper into the issue by opening a chat window and entering “network outage.”

A great alternative is the website DownDetector.com. The site tracks consumer reports and will let you know if you’re not the only one dealing with Verizon not working. It even has a map that shows localized outages.

More: The best mobile phone plans for every type of user

Confirm the line is active

While you’re at Verizon’s website, you might as well check if your line is active. Forgetting to pay a bill happens to the best of us, and it may have slipped your mind this month. Not to mention automatic payments can sometimes fail.

You can get all the details by logging into your My Verizon account. The alternative would be to call up Verizon’s support and ask whether or not your line is still active.

Are you within the coverage area?

Also, don’t be surprised if you’re out in the middle of the desert and find yourself with no signal. While Verizon has one of the best coverage in the country, it has its blind spots. It just might be that the reason why Verizon is not working isn’t strictly due to the service being down. Check the carrier’s coverage map by clicking the button below and then check whether your location has access to the carrier’s network.

Make sure airplane mode isn’t on!

Xiaomi phone screenshot option in notification shade
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

It may sound like a silly suggestion, but accidentally turning on airplane mode is a very common mistake. It doesn’t hurt to check!

How to turn airplane mode on/off:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Network & internet.
  3. There’s an Airplane mode section with a toggle next to it. You can use said toggle to turn the mode on or off.

Is your mobile data turned on?

There is an option to turn off mobile data in the settings. Sometimes users can accidentally turn off internet access. Or maybe you lent the phone to a kid and he dug too deep into the options! Make sure your mobile data connection is on, just in case.

How to turn on mobile data:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Network & internet.
  3. Tap on Mobile network.
  4. You’ll see a Mobile data section with a toggle to its right. Turn it on.
  5. You can also turn on the Roaming option here. It might get you connected if you are outside your coverage area or outside of the country.

Check the APN

An APN is an Access Point Name. To put it simply, it’s a way for your smartphone to create a connection to Verizon’s network.

Verizon phones may not require you to mess with these options, as official devices have these settings already baked in. On the other hand, unlocked devices or other carriers’ phones may require a bit of help. If you just got a new phone from a non-Verizon source, this is most likely your issue. You have to enter the APN info.

How to set the Verizon APN:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Network & internet.
  3. Tap on Mobile network.
  4. Hit Advanced.
  5. Select Access Point Names.
  6. Tap on the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner.
  7. Select New APN. (You might also want to try Reset to default first, just in case something happened to your previous settings).
  8. Edit the following information:
    1. Name: Verizon
    2. APN: vzwinternet
    3. MMSC: http://mms.vtext.com/servlets/mms
    4. MMS Port: 80
    5. MCC: 310
    6. MNC:12
    7. APN Type: internet+mms
  9. Tap the three-dot menu button and hit Save.

Related: How to unlock a Verizon phone

Reset your network settings

Huawei Mate X2 review settings menu on main internal screen over shoulder
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Sometimes we mess around too much with the settings and don’t know how to get everything back to normal. Like mentioned before, it could have been that you mistakenly changed something. Whatever the case may be, resetting your network settings to their defaults may be a worthy method to try when you’re having issues with Verizon not working. It might get everything back to normal.

How to reset your network settings:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Tap on Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  5. Select Reset settings.
  6. Enter your PIN.

Update your smartphone

It’s not common to see older software having a serious relation to Verizon not working, but it happens. Carriers are also known to include improvements in software updates, so you might as well give it a go.

How to update your phone software:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Hit Advanced.
  4. Select System update.
  5. Tap on Check for updates.
  6. Follow instructions if you have an available update.

Next: Here’s everything you need to know about Verizon prepaid

Check your SIM card

The SIM card can be a very common culprit when you think there is a Verizon outage. These tiny chips can move around, lose contact with the pins, or sometimes even get dirty or damaged.

Take out the SIM card and see if there is any apparent damage or dirt in it. When you reinstall it, ensure all the pins align well, and the SIM card fits snugly. If it feels loose, it might be that you don’t have the right size for the phone. You could try looking for an adapter.

Get help!

If there is no Verizon outage and none of these fixes work, then it might be time to go get some help. The easiest way to do this is by physically going to a Verizon store. You probably already know where your local one is, but Verizon has a store locator, in case you don’t.

Verizon also has a Support website with plenty of articles, as well as a link to their chat service and contact hub.