Things you can do to boost your phone's slow data connection and weak signal

Looking at your phone screen while waiting to send a message or waiting for a website to complete loading is not only a waste of time, it is also a very annoying situation. This only increases your frustration when you know you are in an area with a strong cellular signal. There are so many factors that affect wireless networks, and your problem could be your carrier's fault, not yours.

One way of fixing this problem is activating the airplane mode, then wait a few seconds, and deactivates it again. But, this does not always work, and you will need to take more drastic measures, such as removing the SIM card or resetting the network settings. But before reaching this limit, here are some troubleshooting steps that you can follow to get your phone working once again.

Toggle Airplane mode: Switching your phone connection is the easiest and quickest way to try to resolve your network problems.
  •  iPhone Users: Open Control Center - iPhone X series owners can swipe down from the top right corner, while users with older iPhone models need to swipe up from the screen bottom, and activate the Airplane mode icon. It will turn orange when activated. Again, wait a minute before turning it off.
  • Android Users: You can swipe down from your screen top to display the Quick Settings panel. Then tap the Airplane icon, and wait for your phone to disconnect completely from its cellular and Wi-Fi connections. This does not happen immediately, so give it 30 seconds before tapping on the airplane mode icon again.

Restart your phone: Our mobile phones are mini-computers, just like computers; from time to time you can solve some problems by restarting them.

  • iPhone Users: If your phone has a home button, you can press and hold the Sleep/ Wake button until the power cursor appears. Then drag it to the right. With the device off, press and hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone X-series users: For X-series users, you will need to press and hold the side button with the volume up or down at the same time. Then, the same cursor will show up. Drag it to the right to turn your phone off. After turning off the phone, hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Android Users: press and hold the power button until the on-screen menu appears, then select restart. If your cell phone does not have a restart option, press and hold the power button until the screen turns black, then turn it on again.

 Remove your SIM card: Removing the SIM card and putting it back into your phone takes only a few seconds.
  • All phones: remove the SIM card, check the SIM tray correctly if it is damaged, if all is okay, then put it back on your phone.
  • eSIM users: for those using an eSIM, that is, the embedded electronic SIM- there is nothing to remove. The best thing you can do is to restart your phone.
Some tips for iPhone: The Apple Support page for troubleshooting bookmarks contains some of the tips mentioned above, but it also highlights two things to try to set - the iPhone.

Reset network settings: On the iPhone, this should be one of the last steps you try to reset your network settings. Another tip suggested by Apple is to refresh your phone's network settings.

However be forewarned; resetting your network settings will also reset VPN connections, saved Wi-Fi passwords, and all APN settings for those on carriers that involve additional setup. If you are okay with that, then go to Settings, go to General, go to Reset, and lastly to Reset network settings. Confirm your selection and your cell phone will restart. Don't forget to reconnect your phone to your home and activate Wi-Fi networks.

Contact your carrier: Sometimes contacting your network provider is the only way to fix your signal problems. Most time unexpected signal problems can be attributed to problems with your network provider. A cell tower may be down or the tower fiber optic cable could have been cut, which may cause an outage.

For ongoing problems latching onto and staying on the cellular or data network, it’s likely your carrier's coverage does not extend to your neighborhood. Some providers will offer a network extender, a device that works like a mini wireless tower that depends on your Internet connection. Other times a newfound signal issue may be due to a malfunction of your phone or a damaged SIM card. Contacting your network provider to begin troubleshooting after trying these fixes is the next best step to resolve your spotty signal.

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