Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network [Fixes]

Are you seeing a “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network” error when trying to access one of your apps or the internet? Well, don’t worry, the good news is that this is a common issue that you can resolve from your handset.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network [Fixes]

In this article, we’ve provided comprehensive steps to fix this problem via your iPhone 12 or 12 Pro phone. These tips can be applied to most iPhone versions, though the option names may differ slightly.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network — What to Do

Causes of an interruption to your service range from a setting on your handset to a faulty SIM card.

Below we have listed common, proven fixes you can try. After each tip, try connecting to the Wi-Fi and wait for a few seconds to see if you connect successfully.

  1. Make sure you’re not in Airplane mode
  2. Make sure your cellular data is switched on
  3. Make sure you have the latest iOS version installed
  4. Toggle your LTE data button off then on again
  5. Check for a carrier settings update
  6. Reset your network settings
  7. Restart your Phone
  8. Replace your SIM card.

If none of the above work, contact your carrier provider as the problem may be with your plan.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network on iPhone 12

Now we’ll go through the steps for each tip to be applied on your iPhone 12.

Note: Before trying these fixes it’s advisable to back up the data on your phone—just in case!

Make Sure You’re Not in Airplane Mode

To check your phone is not in Airplane mode, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings.”
  2. The “Airplane Mode” toggle should be grey/off.

Make Sure Your Cellular Data Is Switched On

First, ensure your area has cellular network coverage, then to check your data is switched on do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Cellular Data Options.”
  2. The toggle switch should be green/on.

For international travel, make sure your phone is set up for data roaming. To do this:

  1. Access “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Cellular Data Options” > “Data Roaming.”
  2. The toggle switch should be green/on.

Ensure You Have the Latest iOS Version Installed

To update to the latest iOS version, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “General” > “Software Update.”
    • This will check for an update. If there is one, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install it.

Toggle Your LTE Data Button Off Then On Again

  1. Access “Settings” “Cellular Data.”
  2. At “Cellular Data” slide the toggle button:
    • To the left for grey/off.
    • Then to the right green/on.

Check for a Carrier Settings Update

To check for and install a settings update, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “General” > “About.”
  2. Your current version of carrier settings is displayed next to Carrier.
    • If there is a new update you’ll see the option to update your carrier settings.

Note: If changing your SIM, you’ll need to download the new carrier settings for that carrier.

Reset Your Network Settings

To reset the network settings on your iPhone 12, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “General” > “Reset” > “Reset Network Settings.”

In doing this your Wi-Fi networks and passwords VPN, APN, cellular settings, and settings previously used will also reset.

Restart Your Phone

To restart your iPhone 12, do the following:

  1. Hold down either volume button with the side button, until the power-off slider button appears.
  2. Drag the button towards the right, then wait for your phone to turn off.
  3. To turn it on, hold the side button on the right side of your phone until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Check your SIM card

Take out your SIM to inspect it as the card may be damaged or inserted incorrectly. Gently clean it by using a cotton swab or blow on it before reinserting.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network on iPhone 12 Pro

Now we’ll go through the steps for each tip to be applied on your iPhone 12 Pro. The steps are identical to activating data for an iPhone 12, but to recap:

Note: Before trying these fixes it’s advisable to back up the data on your phone—just in case!

Make Sure You’re Not in Airplane Mode

To check your phone is not in Airplane mode, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings.”
  2. The “Airplane Mode” toggle should be grey/off.

Make Sure Your Cellular Data Is Switched On

First, ensure your area has cellular network coverage, then to check your data is switched on do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Cellular Data Options.”
  2. The toggle switch should be green/on.

For international travel, make sure your phone is set up for data roaming. To do this:

  1. Access “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Cellular Data Options” > “Data Roaming.”
  2. The toggle switch should be green/on.

Make Sure You Have the Latest iOS Version Installed

To update to the latest iOS version, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “General” > “Software Update.”
    • This will check for an update. If there is one, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install it.

Toggle Your LTE Data Button Off Then On Again

  1. Access “Settings” “Cellular Data.”
  2. At “Cellular Data” slide the toggle button.
    • To the left for grey/off.
    • Then to the right green/on.

Check for a Carrier Settings Update

To check for and install a settings update, do the following:

  1. Access “Settings” > “General” > “About.”
    • Your current version of carrier settings is displayed next to Carrier.
    • If there is a new update you’ll see the option to update your carrier settings.

Note: If replacing your SIM, you’ll need to download the new carrier settings for that carrier.

Reset Your Network Settings

To reset the network settings on your iPhone 12 Pro, do the following:

  • Access “Settings” > “General” > “Reset” > “Reset Network Settings.”

In doing this your Wi-Fi networks and passwords VPN, APN, cellular settings, and settings previously used will also reset.

Restart Your Phone

To restart your iPhone 12 Pro, do the following:

  1. Hold down either volume button with the side button, until the power-off slider button appears.
  2. Drag the button towards the right, then wait for your phone to turn off.
  3. To turn it on, hold the side button on the right side of your phone until the Apple logo appears.

Check Your SIM Card

Take out your SIM to inspect it as the card may be damaged or inserted incorrectly. Gently clean it by using a cotton swab or blowing on it before reinserting.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network on Verizon.

This error could be the result of a phone setting, a required cellular setting, or a software update.

Try the tips outlined in the “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network — What to Do” at the beginning of this article.

If you still see the error, contact the Verizon support team.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network on AT&T

This error could be the result of a phone setting, a required cellular setting, or a software update.

Try the tips outlined in the “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network — What to Do” at the beginning of this article.

If you still see the error, then contact the AT&T support team.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network on Sprint

This error could be the result of a phone setting, a required cellular setting, or a software update.

Try the tips outlined in the “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network — What to Do” at the beginning of this article.

If you still see the error, then contact the Sprint support team.

Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network PDP Authentication Failure

If you see a “PDP Authentication Failure” error message when trying to access the internet it could mean your phone did not receive the right settings to connect automatically. Try the following to resolve:

  • Restart your phone
  • Switch your phone airplane mode for a few seconds
  • Try resetting your network settings:
    Access “Settings” > “General” > “Reset” > “Reset Network Settings.”

Additional FAQs

Why Is My Cellular Data Not Working on My iPhone?

Causes of an interruption to your service range from a setting on your handset to a faulty SIM card.

To fix this problem, try the tips listed below. For comprehensive steps on how to action each tip using an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 pro handset, refer to the “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network” on iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 pro section of this article.

• Make sure you’re not in Airplane mode

• Make sure your cellular data is switched on

• Make sure you have the latest iOS version installed

• Toggle your LTE data button off then on again

• Check for a carrier settings update

• Reset your network settings

• Restart your Phone

• Replace your SIM card.

If none of the above work, contact your carrier provider to rule out any problems with your plan.

How to Activate My Cellular Network?

To activate/refresh your cellular network from your iPhone, do the following:

• Access “Settings” > “Cellular” slide the Cellular Data switch to the left for grey/off.

• Access the home screen and wait for 30 seconds.

• Then “Settings” > “Cellular” slide the Cellular Data switch to the right for green/on.

What does the Apple activation error mean?

Sometimes, you will get an error that states the Apple activation server is unavailable. There have been times in the past when a new iPhone was released and Apple’s activation servers were struggling to keep up with demand. In this situation, users would have to wait for their activation.

Another common issue with this error is actually due to hardware failure. Assuming you’ve tried all of the steps above, you may want to contact Apple. Although your carrier may have to replace the phone (if it’s within the return period), Apple should be able to provide some clarity on this matter.

Your Cellular Data Is Now Activated!

iPhone could not activate your cellular data network – a common problem with thankfully a lot of common fixes at hand for resolution. Typically refreshing/updating your cellular or software settings will get you back to enjoying the benefits that cellular data bring.

Now that we’ve shown you how to get your cellular data activated again, we’d like to know which out of the tips above fixed your problem. Let us know in the comment section below.

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