iPhone Tricks > Errors and Issues

Posted in Errors and Issues, Bug Fixes by Patricia on November 17, 2022

An update is required to use mobile data on this iPhone.

Are you getting the ‘An update is required to use mobile data on this iPhone‘ error after iOS 16 update? Your iPhone cannot access cellular data or make and receive calls or messages even after updating to iOS 16.1 and even 16.1.1? You’re not alone!

An Update Is Required To Use Mobile Data Error

This issue has been initially reported by Yusuf:

“After updating to 16.1.1 I am facing cellular data issues it’s completely lost signal to no service mode. In Cellular settings it shows a pop up message ‘an update is required to use mobile data on this iPhone’.”

The Cellular data problem has been confirmed by Michele:

“I updated my iPhone XS last night to iOS 16.1.1 and now have an error message in Settings saying : ‘An update is required to use mobile data on this iPhone’. ‘Your iPhone cannot access cellular data or make and receive calls or messages’.”

We’ve found similar complaints on Reddit, as this issue seems to have started for some users ever since iOS 15.6 (No SIM Card Installed).

How To Fix An Update Is Required To Use Cellular Data Error

We couldn’t find a one-fix suits all solution, because Mobile Data issues are plaguing iOS 16 ever since its initial release days.

Here are the troubleshooting options that we recommend:

A. Software Fixes

1. Force Restart iPhone

First, you should reboot your device. A fresh start could clear glitches that might prevent the Cellular antenna from working properly.

Tip: Use the force restart combo: Volume Up (click & release), Volume Down (click & release) + Side Button (hold until Apple Logo). More details here.

2. Check For Carrier Update

If the problem persists, you might do what the error says. Check if a carrier update is available for your device:
carrier settings update ios 16

  • Open Settings and browse for General -> About.
  • Scroll for the carrier section of the page.
  • An update will pop up if available. Follow the on-screen prompts to install it.
  • Tip: iPhone has to be connected to WiFi, if carrier signal is not available for the update to be detected. No carrier update showing up? Proceed to the next step.

3. Reset Network Settings

According to users, affected by the ‘an update is required to use cellular data’ error, the problem is fixed if you Reset Network Settings in:
Settings -> General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings

Tip: Make sure that you know your Wifi password before resetting. You will have to reconfigure WiFi connectivity too.

Fact: Unfortunately, this fix might work only temporary. Issue could reoccur after a few hours.

4. Reinstall iOS 16

This is a more extreme fix but if you have no carrier data on your iPhone you might be willing to go that extra mile to fix it. Updating over-the-air can come with its fair share of glitches. A clean install could fix this Cellular data issue too:

  • You need a computer (Mac or Windows) and the Finder and iTunes software.
  • An Lightning to USB (USB-C) cable is also required.
  • Use this step-by-step guide to reinstall the most recent iOS 16 version.

5. Switch to eSIM

Another option to fix the ‘An update is required to use mobile data’ error is to convert the physical SIM to an eSIM. This can be done in:

  • Settings -> Cellular.
  • Tap on Convert to eSIM. (If this option isn’t available you have to contact your carrier for manual activation).
  • Tap Convert Cellular Plan.
  • Tap Convert to eSIM.
  • Be patient until the eSIM activates.
  • Remove the physical SIM from your iPhone and restart the device.
  • Tip: More details available on Apple’s support document.

B. Hardware Fixes

If nothing from the above helped out you can also try the following:

6. Re-Add SIM Card

If your carrier doesn’t accept eSIMs yet, remove the physical SIM from the Tray clean it carefully. Reinsert and reboot iPhone. Is the carrier data back?

7. Change SIM Card

Last but not least you can also visit your carrier and ask for a replacement SIM card. The SIM might be worn out or simply too old. Please let us know if any of the workarounds mentioned here helped you out!

Have you managed to fix Cellular data not working on iPhone in iOS 16.1.1? Do you have a better solution or other problems to report? Share your feedback in the comments.

Related: For more iOS 16.1.1 issues and the available workarounds please check our extended review.

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