Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

iOS 17.2.1 bug stops iPhone from connecting to cellular: 4 possible fixes

Published Dec 29th, 2023 8:49AM EST
Best iPhone wallpapers
Image: José Adorno for BGR

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

A week after seeding iOS 17.3 beta 1 to developers, Apple released iOS 17.2.1 to iPhone users to fix a bug that makes battery drain faster. While it’s unusual for the company to release a software update so close to the end of the year, users were eager to download it to see their iPhone’s battery life improve.

Unfortunately, what should have been a smooth update to the iPhone in late December has become a nightmare to some users, as iOS 17.2.1 seems to cause an issue where the iPhone can no longer connect to a network provider.

According to an Apple Community Forum discussion (via ZDNet), several users have reported that after installing iOS 17.2.1 on their iPhones, a bug prevented them from connecting to their network provider.

One user wrote: “I use T-Mobile. I spoke with their support and also brought the phone to the store. They replaced the SIM twice, first with an eSim and then with a brand new SIM card at the store. No VPN profile installed. Still no IP on personal hotspot. Only infrequent internet on the phone. Most of the time, I get a message that says I need to activate cellular data with my provider, even while the connection shows 4 bars of 5Guc.”

Another user reported their daughter is experiencing the same issue: “My daughter has this same issue right now. There is something in this latest update that is causing this. We went into the Apple store, they went through some stuff, told her to re-download the new IOS update, she did, and it worked for about 5 hrs before getting back to the same issue.”

Interestingly, while iOS 17.2.1 was supposed to improve battery life, users are complaining about a bug with the iPhone 15 heating and battery draining faster than it should.

Although Apple hasn’t acknowledged this issue, there are four possible fixes for this iOS 17.2.1 bug.

Here are four possible fixes for the iOS 17.2.1 bug preventing iPhone users from connecting to their cellular network

No one wants to be without a cellular network during the holiday season. These fixes are not guaranteed to work for everyone, but it might help you.

  1. Delete any VPN profile: Some users say that after deleting a VPN profile, the cellular network bug disappeared. Go to Settings, General, VPN & Device Management, VPN, tap the “i” in VPN profiles, and Delete VPN.
  2. Reset Network Settings: Go to Settings, tap General, Transfer or Reset iPhone, Reset, and tap Reset Network Settings.
  3. Restore your iPhone: Follow the steps above, but erase everything instead of resetting only network settings.
  4. Update to iOS 17.3 beta: Since this beta was released before iOS 17.2.1 launch, it might help prevent this bug, if the other options don’t work. Installing the public beta profile is easy, and we have taught you how to do that previously.

If none of this helps, you might have to wait until Apple releases iOS 17.2.2 or iOS 17.3 at the beginning of 2024.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

Latest News