Every now and then, I get a telephone call from someone in my contact having a problem with their phone Internet not working. By phone internet here, I mean mobile data, the Internet that runs on your carrier or network operator’s service. In the United States and Canada, it is called cellular data.
Phone Internet can be 2G (GPRS and EDGE), 3G (UMTS, WCDMA, HSDPA, HSPA, etc), 4G (LTE), or 5G. All of these work through your SIM card, so you can use mobile data every where you go, so long as your network operator has service or coverage there. This is separate from wi-fi.
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Reasons why your phone internet is not working
There are many possible reasons why your phone internet is not working. Some of the common causes are:
- You inadvertantly turned off mobile data. This is by far the most popular reason why phone internet is not working for most people: they disabled it without knowing, while fiddling with their smartphone’s drop down menu.
- Your phone is in airplane mode, which disables cellular data.
- Your phone has a weak or no signal from your mobile network provider.
- Your phone has a problem with its software or hardware settings.
- Your phone has run out of data or your account is on hold.
- Your mobile network provider is experiencing an outage or maintenance.
How to fix your phone internet not working
To fix your phone internet not working, you can try some of the following troubleshooting steps:
The first thing you should so is check to see if mobile data is turned on. Many times, you turned it off by mistake and did not realise it. Pull down your quick settings or drop down menu and look for the mobile data icon. If it is greyed out, mobile data is turned off; tap on the icon to enable it.
Check the drop-down menu to see that your phone’s airplane mode is not active. You might have touched the icon by mistake and activated it.
Restart your phone and see if the internet connection improves. Sometimes, your phone just needs a break. PS: make it a habit to restart your phone once a week or once a month, depending on how heavily you use it.
Move to a different location or go outside to get a better signal. If you are not at home or the office where you get a working connection, your phone Internet not working night be due to some obstruction at your current location, so move a bit to see if that changes the situation.
If you are using a dual-SIM smartphone, check to see that you selected the right network for mobile data. In a number of cases that I have troubleshooters, someone has an active data plan on one network, but has set their phone to use mobile data on the other network where they do not have a data plan. Of course, the phone Internet won’t work in such a situation. Make sure the proper network is enabled for mobile data.
Check your phone settings and make sure they are correct for your network provider.
Check for software updates and install them if available.
Check your data usage and balance and make sure you have enough data left. If you have exhausted your data bundle, your phone Internet will not work.
Contact your carrier or mobile network provider and ask if there is any issue with their service. When they are carrying out planned or unplanned maintenance, your signal will probably be affected.
As already mentioned, most times, people’s phone internet not working is the result of an accidental touch of the mobile data icon in the drop-down menu. But it happens for other reasons, too. Don’t panic or feet when it happens; instead execute the above checklist of solutions and you will get the problem solved.