Last updated on August 18th, 2021 at 06:59 amPosted in TILs by Patricia on October 26, 2020
A bunch of readers have mailed us to report that the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro flagships are displaying the No Service status bar message! The problem is that this issue occurs when the new flagships are used in areas where older iPhone models did not experience cellular coverage problems.
Any iPhone that displays No Service in the status bar, informs that there is no cellular signal, thus no voice calls and regular text messages can be sent or received. We’ve scanned the web and found similar reports on Reddit. In all cases, users mention that they haven’t changed the carrier or the location.
Does this hint that there might be a hardware problem with the new iPhone 12 antenna bands? This won’t be a first! A huge antenna problem surfaced after the release of the iPhone 4. Apple’s 2010 iPhone model was dropping signal bars and even reaching No Service status when the user’s finger touched the outer edge of the phone. We doubt that Apple could perform the same mistake again. Or?
Important: It appears that the iPhone 12 No Service issue is triggered when the device is switching between carrier cells. The issue can occur even when the user is standing still, if his location is situated at the border of two cellular towers and the device is switching between the two.
How To Fix iPhone 12 No Service Problem
Before attempting the troubleshooting methods described below, if possible, grab a secondary iPhone or smartphone that uses the same carrier, and check its signal coverage. This allows you to eliminate any temporary signal downtime from your carrier’s side.
1. Enable / Disable Airplane Mode
This is the quickest fix that you can apply when No Service is displayed on your iPhone’s status bar. Disabling AirPlane Mode on iPhone will force your terminal to reconnect to the closest cellular cell available and thus restore connectivity.
How To: Swipe-down from the top-right corner of the screen, to bring up the Control Center. Tap the AirPlane Mode icon to enable it. Wait a couple of seconds. Tap the same toggle again to exit AirPlane mode. Check the status bar and notice if the signal bars are back on.
2. Reboot iPhone
Next up, we suggest you to force restart your iPhone. This will not only force your device to reconnect to the carrier when booting back up, but could also eliminate any minor software glitches that might cause your iPhone 12 to display the No Service error.
How To: Quickly click & release Volume Up, Volume Down and press & hold the Side Button until the Apple logo is displayed on the screen.
3A. Check SIM Card
The iPhone 12 connects to your carrier’s network with the help of a SIM card. If you’re using the SIM card from your old iPhone, it might malfunction.
How To: Power off your device, eject the SIM card with the help of the SIM tray tool, that’s still included in the iPhone 12 box! Dust-proof it gently and insert it back in the tray. Power iPhone back ON and fingers crossed!
Fact: One of the iPhone 12 No Service report mentions that the user experiences the problem with both new Verizon SIM that was shipped in the box, as well as the older one. Is this your case too?
3B. Replace SIM Card
(Updated May 5, 2021)
Tim has reported that he managed to fix his iPhone 12 Pro Max No Service issue by replacing the 5G SIM card that he got along his new iPhone with a 4G SIM card provided by Apple support. You can read the detailed report here. Does this help your case? Let us know in the comments section available below!
4. Disable 5G
The iPhone 12 No Service issue could be caused by the new 5G functionality. You can attempt to turn of 5G and see if this helps.
How To: Open the Settings app and browse for Cellular. Tap on Cellular Data Options. Open Voice & Data and select LTE instead of the ‘5G Auto’ default setting. More details available here.
Updated (November 8)
5. Disable Data Roaming
One of our readers Jeremy, has suggested that turning off Data Roaming seems to help with the iPhone 12 No Service problem!
How To: Open Settings and browse for Cellular -> Cellular Data Options. Use the toggle next to Data Roaming to disable it. Does this at least improve the poor signal symptoms on your brand new iPhone 12?
Updated (December 3)
6. Check For Software Update
Make sure that your iPhone runs the most recent software. At the time of updating
iOS 14.2, iOS 14.2.1 is the current release for the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models! Unfortunately, we’re still getting reports about poor signal and no coverage issues.
Fact: Users, have even tried out iOS 14.3 Beta 3 which is one of the latest version of the upcoming software update and news aren’t encouraging.
Updated (January 15)
7. Manual Network Selection
Quincy has reported that he managed to improve the iPhone 12 cellular signal by switching for manual network selection and disabling 5G Auto!
1. Browse for Settings -> Cellular -> Network Selection -> Automatic (disable it!) -> Manually select your carrier from the list!.
2. Go for Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular Data Options -> Voice & Data -> Select 5G On instead of 5G Auto!
Does this troubleshooting sequence fix the iPhone 12 No Service issue? Use the comments section and let us know!
Updated (August 18)
8. Avoid iOS 14.7.1
It seems that the iPhone 12 No Service issue is worsened by the iOS 14.7.1 software release. Poor or inexistent cellular signal problems are currently reported for a wide range of iPhone models that have been updated to the latest iOS version. Here you can read more troubleshooting tips.
iPhone 12 No Service Reports From Readers
- Matt: “Both my wife and I have iphone 12s 128GB on Verizion only difference is the color. My phone has had no issues, hers keeps dropping single, one minute it works, one it doesn’t. Someitmes it rings, sometimes it doesn’t. Mine has been fine no issues”.
- Phaelon: “I found this post because I was wondering if others with the new iPhone were having the same issues. I have the new iPhone 12, 128 GB on Verizon. We don’t have 5G in my small city yet.
I’ve found at least a few times that my phone suddenly has no service in areas I’m absolutely sure have had no issues in the past.”
- Ke: “Just got my iphone 12, a few days ago, the new iphone has really poor signal. I have two phone numbers in my phone, both of them not work well. The new phone keep losing signal a few times a day. Apple customer service suggested me to contact carrier.”
- Mike: “My new iPhone 12 has lost service more than 5 times in less than a week and I have to turn the phone off then back on because even when you move around it doesn’t regain the service!”
- Geoff: “Just wanted to let you know that I am having the same issue with my iPhone 12 even went and got a new SIM card and it is still the same I have to keep switching to airplane mode never had this issue with my iPhone 11 it worked perfectly.”
- Sean: “Brand new blue iphone 12 pro stopped receiving and sending calls after three days. went to Verizon store and rep said it’s an Apple hardware issue that it is aware of. Told I Need to send my phone back. “
- Dennis: Is trying to fix the iPhone 12 no service issue since a couple of weeks now. He has made numerous interaction with Apple staff and Verizon support and even got his iPhone 12 Pro Max replaced without any luck. He is now attempting to change carrier to see if it makes any difference. You can read his extended feedback here.
Are you also experiencing the iPhone 12 No Service problem? Is your new iPhone experiencing sudden drops in signal bars? Are ongoing calls dropped? Please let us know using the comments section available below. Do mention your device model, iOS version and carrier and help us determine how common this problem is!
Related: 5G on iPhone 12 not available in Dual SIM mode?