Fortunately — or maybe not — the "no service" bug is a fairly common issue with Android devices across every brand and carrier. The upside is, being a well-known problem, the answers have become pretty easy to come by in the event that it ever crops up. For anyone whose Android handset has taken a sit on its service, don't worry — the answer isn't far beyond. In the event that this article doesn't solve the problem, many users have successfully dissolved the issue with the steps outlined here.
More often than not, the user simply needs to restart the device or turn Airplane Mode on and back off again. However, it's sometimes necessary to re-register the handset and get it back on track with the carrier. This may involve dialing a service number to re-register the electronic serial number (ESN) again with the carrier. The ESN takes many forms depending on the device and carrier, and it will be heard referred to as the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) or mobile equipment identifier (MEID) depending on the interface that's being used.
Without further ado, let's discuss the possible causes and fixes.
How To Fix An Android Phone That Says No Service:
1. Restart the Phone
Any time an issue crops up with an Android smartphone, the first and simplest step is to just start over. To do this, hold down the power button until a prompt shows up to restart the phone, then select it and wait while the device handles the rest.
This will clean out the RAM in the device and allow the operating system to start over on a fresh page. Most of the time, this will fix any problems that one encounters on their device.
2. "APM-cycle" the Phone
If restarting the device didn't work, another common solution to the no-service bug is to swipe down from the top of the phone screen to open the notification shade and selecting Airplane Mode from the quick-actions bar at the top. Once selected, there may be a prompt confirming the selection — hit OK and wait for a few seconds, then go back into the action bar again and turn Airplane Mode off once more.
What this does is detach the phone from the cell tower, then reattach it again. When this method fixes the problem, it's typically because the phone has failed to successfully jump from one tower's signal to another, resulting in a cellular radio that's turned on but effectively behaving as if it's turned off. This problem is often encountered while driving across town or through areas where there is no signal.
3. Manually Select a Carrier
Sometimes, the phone needs to be manually directed to locate its network operator. This is much like scanning for a Wi-Fi connection and manually selecting it when the phone struggles to do so automatically. Try the following:
Select the Mobile Networks option
Select Network Operators and wait while it scans the area for cellular connections
Select the relevant network operator from the list
Check if it fixed the issue
4. Check the SIM Card
No matter the carrier, chances are good that a smartphone will employ a SIM card, which the user can access by popping open the back cover of the phone and locating what looks like a microSD card inserted into a slot near the battery.
If there's a SIM card in the handset, turn the phone off and carefully remove it. Inspect it for signs of damage. If everything looks good, make sure to reinsert it snugly in the slot. Sometimes, the card will also become dislodged by impacts such as dropping the phone.
5. Dial Service Mode
Sometimes, the cellular radio will end up disabled. This isn't something one can normally reactivate inside the settings, so try the following:
Open the dialer
Key in *#*#4636#*#* and call it to enter Service Mode
Locate and select Phone Information or Device Information
Select Run Ping Test
Afterwards, check the radio data at the bottom of the screen and enable the radio if it's turned off
Restart the phone
6. Check Sideloaded APKs and Custom ROMs
On occasion, an app that's been installed to the device may have the administrative access to handle hardware and software switches that can adversely impact the phone's connection to the towers. In addition, custom ROMs may not play nicely with the cellular radio, which can be solved by restarting the phone into the boot menu and selecting Factory Reset to flash the originally intended ROM back onto the working partition of the phone. The boot menu can usually be accessed while the device is turned off by holding the power button with the volume-down key together until a menu shows up.
7. Check for Void or Corrupt ESN
Sometimes, the ESN can become dislodged or nullified. It's a complicated matter to explain why, but fixing it is a relatively simple matter.
Open the dialer and key in (*#06#) to see the ESN
If the ESN reads as null, then it may be corrupted, which will require reconfiguration to rectify
If the ESN looks okay, open the dialer again and key in (*#*#197328640#*#*) or (*#197328640#) to launch Command Mode
Select the Common option and then Option 1 for Field Test Mode (FTM)
If FTM reports as ON, then it will need to be turned OFF — hit the menu key before leaving the Command screen and follow the next steps to deactivate it
Return to the key input and now select Option 2 to disable FTM
Remove the SIM card and the battery from the device, wait for two minutes, then reinsert the battery only
Turn the phone back on and open the dialer once more to key in (*#197328640#) this time
Select Debug, Phone Control, Nas Control, RRC and then RRC Revision, which will correct the void ESN issue
Select Option 5
Turn the phone off and reinsert the SIM card finally, then turn it back on and see if all is well
8. SIM Card Static Discharge
Here's an oddball solution that works by ensuring the system is 100% clear of all data and any electrical interference. Start by going into Mobile Network (located in Settings) and holding down the power and home keys simultaneously to shut the system off. Remove the battery slowly (it's an electrical matter), then press the power and home buttons around 20-30 times each. After that, hold both of the buttons down for about two minutes to completely expel all latent electrical power inside the device.
Now, reinsert the battery and fire up the device again with the SIM card still inserted. Keep the battery case off while doing this, because the next step is to slowly remove and reinsert the SIM card three times while the device is turned on. The phone will then provide confirmation and ask that the user restart it. Once everything's back up and running again, the device should have service again. Jump to top
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