5G Not Working on iPhone 12? How-to Fix

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It’s not often that Apple releases a new device, new feature, or new product with next-gen technology and it doesn’t work. However, that’s exactly what we’ve seen when it comes to 5G connectivity on the iPhone 12.

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For one reason or another, not everyone is able to take advantage of the ever-expanding 5G networks. Carriers continue their mad rush to deliver 5G in all of the same areas that LTE is currently available. And the iPhone 12 range is just one of the cutting edge devices that can take advantage of it.

How to fix your iPhone 12 if 5G is not working

Along with 5G connectivity, it is important to note that this technology is still in its infancy. There are still a lot of bugs to be fixed, which is why our iPhones can still use LTE networks. But if you want to try and figure out why 5G isn’t working on your iPhone, there are a few steps you should try.

Check with your operator

The first thing you’ll want to do if you notice 5G not working on the iPhone 12 is to check with your carrier. With the new push for 5G networks, their use requires a change of plan with your carrier. Some carriers may charge a few extra dollars per month, while others include 5G connectivity in your current plan. Double checking with your carrier is always the safest bet.

Check the 5G coverage area where you live

Unlike 4G or LTE networks, where carriers virtually overlap in every corner of the network, 5G is a little different. There are different versions of the 5G rollout, depending on which carrier you are using. So if you notice that your iPhone 12 neve

r is switching to 5G, this may be due to limited coverage in your area. Fortunately, you can look at the coverage map of the major carriers to determine if it’s available.

Is 5G enabled on your iPhone?

Every time you received your iPhone, 5G connectivity was enabled by default. However, for one reason or another, it could have been accidentally or intentionally disabled. Here’s how you can verify that 5G is turned on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. To select Cellular data options.
  4. Tap Voice and data.
  5. Make sure that either 5G automatic or 5G enabled are selected.

5G Auto is a unique feature that uses Apple’s Smart Data Mode. This allows your iPhone 12 to quickly switch between 5G or LTE, depending on which offers faster network speeds. For example, if you are in an area without 5G, your iPhone will switch to LTE, which will help save battery.

Are you using Dual SIM mode?

Until Apple releases the final version of iOS 14.5, you won’t be able to use 5G simultaneously with Dual SIM mode enabled. Dual SIM is for those who use the built-in eSIM with one phone number and a dedicated SIM card for another. However, until iOS 14.5, you couldn’t use 5G on both lines, even though it’s offered by your carrier.

Reset your network settings

Every once in a while, you need to perform a reset on your iPhone. This can help resolve any bugs or issues in the software. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to completely reset iPhone if your 5G isn’t working. Instead, you can reset the network settings on your own while you continue to try to resolve the reasons why 5G is not working.

Reset network settings on iPhone 1

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.
  4. Tap Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your password, if prompted.
  6. Tap To confirm.

Reset network settings on iPhone 2

When done, your iPhone will forget all the network settings that you had previously configured. This includes any Wi-Fi networks or any other data settings you created in the Settings app. After doing this task, restart your iPhone and then go back and change the settings that were reset.

Switch to airplane mode

Airplane mode is designed to remove any potential interference from phone calls, Bluetooth, or anything else on your iPhone. This includes your cellular network and is one of the easiest ways to regain network connectivity. The reason is that when you turn on airplane mode and then turn it off, your iPhone is forced to connect to the nearest cell phone tower.

  1. Swipe up from the top right corner of your screen.
  2. From Control Center, tap the airplane mode icon to activate it.
  3. Wait a few moments.
  4. Press the Airplane Mode toggle button again to turn it off.
  5. Check your status bar after the signal bars return.

Note that connecting your iPhone to the nearest cell phone tower may take a few moments. After turning off airplane mode, keep an eye out for the network bars in the status bar. When the iPhone connects to a cell phone tower, the bars will fill up and you will be able to see if LTE or 5G is in use.

Restart your iPhone

One of the easiest ways to try and get your iPhone back to working order is to simply restart it. It’s no different from the old tech support war stories where technicians tell the customer to turn it off and back on.

Slide to turn off iPhone X
Slide to turn off and restart your iPhone.

Restart iPhone if using iPhone 12:

  1. Press and hold one of the Volume buttons and the Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

Check for a software update

IPhone XS Max software update on iOS 13
Make sure your device is running the latest software.

Apple has been at a rapid pace with new software updates on a seemingly fortnightly basis. Bug fixes and additional software features are added with these updates. And those bugfixes might just be the key to getting 5G to work again.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. To select Software update.
  4. If an update is available, press Download and install.
  5. Enter your password if required.

Perform a factory reset

When all else fails, you might need to do a factory reset on your iPhone 12. This is the second to last solution if you can’t get 5G to work. Before you reset everything, you need to make sure that your information is backed up.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the page.
  3. To select iCloud.
  4. Scroll down under Apps using iCloudand select ICloud backup.
  5. Tap Save now.

The backup process may take a while if you are connected to your cellular network. It’s always important to back everything up before performing a factory reset, so patience is key here.

Once the backup is complete, it’s time to wipe the slate clean with factory reset your iPhone.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.
  4. Tap Clear all content and settings.
  5. Enter your password or Apple ID Password, when prompted.
  6. Wait.

Once your iPhone has wiped itself off, you will need to start the setup process again. If you want, you will have the option to restore the newly created iCloud backup.

What if 5G is still not showing up?

Sometimes you can exhaust all the workarounds or potential fixes and your iPhone keeps having issues. This probably has something to do with the hardware itself and cannot be fixed by simply restarting or resetting your iPhone.

If this is the case for you, the last step is to contact Apple’s support team. Chances are, they’ll confirm if you’ve gone through a series of steps to try and get your iPhone back to working order. Be sure to share any steps you have taken if asked, as this will help the support team determine the route to take.

Conclusion

5G connectivity can be really great, if you find a good connection. If you live or encounter an area with poor 5G reception, the results can be frustrating. We have seen ā€œ5Gā€ speeds which are actually much slower than LTE. It’s a telltale sign that 5G may be the future, but it’s not available just yet.

If you’re having issues with 5G on your iPhone 12, but found another way to make it work, let us know in the comments. In this way, we can share any other method with other people looking for answers to fix this problem.

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