Fixing No Service or Poor Signal on iPhone 5/4S

By Sidharth | Apple

We slightly shake our body and raise our brows when “No Service” message appears on our iPhone. It becomes apparent that there’s something wrong and much of the blame goes to the carrier we are using. Some users have also blamed iPhone 5 hardware for poor coverage — we are not quite sure if the most popular phone of the year, that’s selling like hot cakes, can ship with such a major issue.

In any case, there are a couple of solutions that could fix the poor signal on your iPhone 5/4S devices. Before we proceed any further, note that if you are living in a weak reception area, there’s very little you could do to fix your iPhone’s signal. There are common instances of signal dropping abruptly when you are in a kitchen but it picks back up when you are outside.

So, assuming you are located in a good reception area, and you are still succumbed to “No Service” message on iPhone, here’s what you should do:

Reset iPhone Via iTunes to Get Signal

Plug iPhone to your computer, launch iTunes (download iTunes 11, if you haven’t already) and restore the device. This will stop your iPhone from disconnecting and reconnecting again — in other words, your iPhone will be connected to the network.

There are numerous threads in the Apple forum declaring that restoring iPhone via iTunes brings back signal. Sounds very simple, isn’t it? Before you follow the above procedure, do a backup of your iPhone via iTunes or iCloud (it’s easy to restore this backup).

iPhone 4S Poor Signal

Other Fixes:

Rebooting iPhone is yet another simple solution that promises to bring back the lost signal. Simply power OFF your iPhone and switch it ON after a minute. And if you are not able to connect to 3G/EDGE, then turn ON and OFF the Airplane mode.

A lot of iPhone users haven’t been able to connect to WiFi, which can be fixed by resetting the network or using proxy server.

Opening the SIM card from the SIM tray and inserting it back again gets rid of the “No SIM Card Installed” message. Alternately, a user in the Apple forum has mentioned that he was able to get his iPhone’s signal back by taking the SIM card out, cleaning it, and then inserting it back again.

Lastly, update your iOS. A new iOS 6.0.2 firmware has been released to the public this week. If you have an iPhone 5/4S that’s on older firmware, then it’s time to update. From this thread: “My wife updated to 6.0.2 and we think the phone has not had carrier signal since! My iPhone 5 is fine and updated and I think it is actually working better!”

Download iOS 6.0.2 from here (for iPhone 5 and iPad mini only), although there’s a trade off: iOS 6.0.1 firmware drains battery of iPhone 5.

Anything else we missed? How did you fix your iPhone’s poor signal? If you found this post helpful, please let us know through the comment section below!

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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(1) comment

Chesson January 17, 2013

My iPhone5(R6.0.2) always lost signal when i connect the data cable on it. The signal can return back when the cable is pulled out.

And, I find the solution ,too.

It is very simple: set the “3G” on. leave the “celluar data” off.

so, everything is OK now.

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