Mobile data not working on your Android? Here’s 6 things to check

Most of us are so used to being connected to wi-fi nowadays that having an internet connection almost seems like a guarantee. But when you’re outside of your house, you’ll need to rely on your mobile data to connect to the internet.

And on some phones and tablets, you may find that on occasion, you’ll get the message that your mobile data is not working. It’s unlikely for this to just appear out of the blue, and it usually occurs when you’re setting up a new phone. Like a slow charging phone, it can be pretty frustrating to deal with.

So, if you do get this message, what can you do about it? Well, here’s what you should get to make sure your data is enabled and works with your Android device properly.

Mobile data not working on your Android? Here’s 6 things to check

The first thing that you’ll want to check is whether you’re actually getting any signal. At the top of your phone, you should be able to see the small signal bar if your mobile data is working.

If there’s a signal bar there with no 3G or 4G symbol, then this probably means that you’re just out of range for a good connection. Your mobile data won’t work if you’re not within reach of a cell tower.

If you have the 4G symbol with no signal, then this is also a good sign. It means that you’re connected to the internet, but you’re just not getting any signal whatsoever. It should usually come back when you’re in a more built up area.

It’s when you’ve got no signal bar and no 3G or 4G symbol that we officially say that there’s no mobile data. And if this occurs, you’re going to have to do some troubleshooting to try and work out why.

Restart your Android phone first

Sometimes, issues can occur when you’re switching from using wi-fi internet and data on your phone, and vice versa. If this happens, then it may lead to your mobile data not working.

The first thing you’ll want to try in this scenario is to restart your phone. By simply switching the device on and off again, you’re going to re initiate the operating system on your Android. Doing this can help to fix any potential errors that may have occurred when your phone is trying to connect to mobile data.

Simply restarting your phone is a pretty common solution for a whole host of problems, including issues with your mobile data.

Reset your APN settings

You can easily reset the APN settings on your phone by going into Connections and then Mobile Networks. You’ll then want to find the Access Point Names option, which should have a list of providers there. Go ahead and reset this to default.

All resetting your APN settings will do is start from scratch. It will force your phone into re-reading your SIM card and allow it to read the information sent from your internet provider again.

This is another very common resolution to a fairly standard connectivity problem.

Take it back to default

After having your phone for a while, you may have changed the settings within it at some point.

To ensure that something you’ve done hasn’t caused the issue, you’ll want to check your network settings. They can be a little confusing, so for most people, the best thing to do here is going to be to reset them to default.

This should essentially reset the network settings back to what they were when you first purchased the phone. They should be the same with any SIM, and doing this can rule out an issue with the software on your Android.

Turn mobile data on and off

In most Androids, you’ll actually be able to turn the mobile data on and off within the settings of your device.

The benefit of this is that you can easily stop your phone accessing the internet when you’re abroad or you don’t want it to. The bad news is that if it’s off, then this can obviously prohibit you from accessing the internet.

If it’s off, then great – just switch it back on again. If it’s on, then turning it off and on again for good measure may do the trick in re-initializing a connection.

As well as switching your mobile data on and off, you can also try the same thing with Airplane mode. Turn the Airplane mode on your phone on for 10 or 20 seconds, and then switch it back off again.

Reading your SIM card

When you’re connecting to mobile data, you’re reliant on your phone and SIM card working together.

And if your phone can’t actually read your SIM card properly, then it can register and use it properly. This means that you won’t be able to send texts and receive calls, but you also won’t have access to the internet either.

It can be quite common for a SIM card to become dislodged and not fitting properly into your phone. Taking it out, ensuring that it’s in good condition and giving it a quick clean can ensure that there’s not a problem with your phone reading your SIM.

Check your data usage limits

Though many of us now go for unlimited data plans, this could apply if you only have a set amount of data that you can use each month.

When you hit a certain amount of data usage, your phone will automatically stop connecting to the internet. With no data left, it’s a precaution that most phones to to ensure that you don’t go over your allowance and end up with extra charges from your phone company.

Not only should you think about your data provider’s limit, but also any that are set by your phone too. Make sure to check in your Settings under Mobile Data to see if there are any previously applies data limits on your phone.


There can be many different reasons why your mobile data isn’t working. We’re connected to wi-fi so much nowadays that it’s often not a problem, but it can be when you’re not near an external connection.

The problem can be caused by a whole host of different things, from your own self applied limits to an issue with your SIM card.

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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