By Nanci Dixon
If you are heading out of town, into the mountains or desert or other remote areas, you might start to see your cell signal dropping off. There goes one bar, and another, and another… And you were JUST about to send that email too… Darn!
Here are a few tips to reconnect if your signal seems to be fading away or if the bars keep dropping.
1. Turn on Airplane mode
The easiest and quickest way is to turn on airplane mode for a minute or two. Then turn airplane mode off and watch your cell service roll through the service bars to reconnect to your carrier. Sometimes that is enough to seek out just a bit more connection.
2. Power off your device
If Airplane mode isn’t working to reconnect and you are still losing cell signal, try powering off your device completely and then powering it back on. Just like any computer, a smartphone sometimes just gets confused and needs a reboot to make everything connect correctly again.
3. Reset network settings
A third option, though a bit more involved, is to reset your network settings. Before you do that make sure you know your passwords as you will need to put them in again. You won’t lose any files or information on your phone, but it takes the network settings back to factory defaults and wipes out your carrier, Wi-Fi network, VPN and Bluetooth passwords and network settings. Learn more about resetting the network on iPhone or resetting the network on Android.
4. Turn Wi-Fi off
If you seem to have cell service but it is abysmally slow (or just spinning), double check that your Wi-Fi is turned off and make sure that you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you don’t have Wi-Fi connectivity or it is an extremely low speed with your Wi-Fi setting on, your phone may keep trying to connect to Wi-Fi and not access your cell service.
5. Location, location, location
Sometimes nothing seems to work. It could be that you are in a cell phone dead zone and/or the carrier has no coverage in the area. Every carrier has maps of their coverage areas online so it is a good idea to check their maps before you get to a remote area. One time I did resort to climbing to the top of our motorhome to get enough service to send a work email. That was just once – now we have two different carriers so we can get service almost everywhere.