After updating to Apple’ latest update to iOS, some users discover that they cannot turn cellular data (mobile data) on or off for any apps after upgrading.
Further when a user toggles an app’s switch to its “on” or “off” position under the “Use Cellular Data For” setting, the change is not respected by the system. Once you leave the Cellular Data menu, it reverts to the previous settings.
It seems that a number of users are experiencing this problem.
- How to Transfer a Cellular Plan From One iPad to Another
- How to Adjust Cellular Data for Individual iPhone Apps
- How to control & limit cellular data use on your iPhone or iPad
How to fix cellular data settings
- Confirm cellular data is enabled by going to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data
- Try turning Airplane mode on and off again by going to Settings > Airplane Mode
- Go to Settings > General > Screen Time or Restrictions > Cellular Data Use, make sure “Don’t Allow Changes” is toggled off, then tap Settings > Cellular, then turn Cellular Data to OFF, wait a few seconds, then turn Cellular Data back to ON
- Reset Network Settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
- Reboot your device by powering off, waiting a few moments, and powering back on
- Uninstall and install any app that doesn’t update the cellular data settings properly
- Update your iOS device to the latest version of iOS software
- Try to reset all settings via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings
If nothing above helps you, you could try this:
- Back up your device (Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Backup > Back Up Now). You can see your recent back ups by going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage
- Restore your device. Important this will erase everything. This is why you should back up first. Connect your device to your computer. In iTunes or Finder, select your device, and click Restore.
- When your device restarts, follow the setup assistant and set it up as NEW, don’t set up from a backup because it is highly likely that this problem is due to corrupt information, this means that problem repeats if you restore from a backup. Instead, restore your device from iCloud later.
- Now verify that the problem is resolved
- After verifying, now restore your iCloud backup. To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > then tap “Erase all content and settings.” When your device restarts, tap Restore from a Backup.
If still not resolved, consider downgrading the device, if available
- Backup your device
- Download the previous iOS IPSW Firmware that corresponds with your iOS device
- Disable Face ID or Touch ID & Passcode (Settings > Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode) and Find My iPhone (Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Find My iPhone)
- Connect your device to your computer using the original lightning cable
- Launch iTunes or Finder
- In iTunes or Finder, select your iOS device
- Hold down the Option / Alt key on your Mac keyboard (Windows: left Shift key) and click on the Restore iPhone button
- In the popup, select the IPSW file your downloaded
- When it is done, your device restarts
Is your iPhone missing Cellular Data settings altogether?
If after updating, you don’t see any options for Cellular or Cellular Data, it’s likely there was an issue with the update.
It’s best to use iTunes or Finder to reinstall your iOS to fix these types of problems.
Make sure you backup your data before you proceed via iCloud or iTunes/Finder.
Once the backup is complete, open iTunes/Finder and connect your device to the computer via a cable. Once connected, follow these directions:
- On an iPhone 8 and above: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen
When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Update—this tries to reinstall iOS without erasing your data.
Wait while the software downloads to the device.
When complete, visit the Settings app and confirm that the menu options for Cellular and Cellular data are restored.
If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode, let the download complete, then repeat these steps.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.