Data not working on your Android phone? Check your APN settings

Just when you’re completely and utterly dependent upon your phone, when you can’t call your kids or grandkids without it or find the closest HomeGoods or PGA Superstore unless Google Maps is ready and waiting, it gives up the ghost. Simply stops working. Just denies you the data you need right then and there.

We’ve all been there and it’s insanely frustrating. But there are ways to fix the situation. In this post we’ll address data issues on your Android, the importance of checking your APN settings when things go awry, and how to get your phone back in business as quickly as possible.

And APN stands for….?

APN stands for Access Point Name and it refers to the carrier or network your cell phone uses to access or connect to the internet. Under regular circumstances, you don’t need to fiddle with it. It comes preconfigured by the manufacturer and works its magic behind the scenes. Sometimes, though, things go wrong (like when Google Maps stops helping you get to HomeGoods!) and your APN needs to be reset. Here’s how you do so.

Reset your Access Point name

These instructions are simple and easy to follow and they should allow you to reset your Access Point Name quickly and easily.

Go to:

 “Settings -> Network & internet -> Mobile network -> Access Point Names.”

If you have an Android 11 or earlier, tap “Advanced” under “Mobile Networks” and you will see “Access Point Names.”

At this point you should see a list of APNs. In the menu icon, on the top right, click “Reset to default.”

This should do the trick. But if it doesn’t, keep reading. We have other tips up our sleeve.

Additional ways to reset your Access Point Name

Sometimes after an Android software update APN settings can go awry. If the above solution hasn’t fixed the issue you’ll need try one of the following methods.

1. Enter your APN address manually.

1.Go to your APN list using the method outline above, then tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner.

2.Enter all the APN details for your network. These should be available on your carrier’s website (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.).

3.Save the APN details you’ve just entered, then select them from the APN list on your phone.

2. Clear your cache

A good chunk of your phone’s memory is dedicated to what’s called a cache. This is where data for apps and various processes your phone runs is stored for easy, automatic access when called upon.

Sometimes though, errors occur in the cache and wreak havoc on your data connection. When this happens you need to clear the cache and to do that you need to access what’s called the recovery screen.

Accessing the recovery screen can vary a bit from phone to phone, but on a typical standard, stock Android device, you should be able to get there by doing the following:

1.Turn your phone off. Then, when you turn it back on, hold down the power and volume buttons until the little droid shows up on your screen.

2.Using the volume buttons, work your way to what’s called “Recovery Mode.” It’s possible you’ll get a message on your screen that says “No command.” If that happens, try holding different combinations of the volume and power buttons. One method that works – according to Android users we’ve spoken with – is to hold the volume button up and the power button at the same time.

3.Once you’ve reached the recovery screen, select “wipe cache partition” by navigating to it using the volume button, then select “wipe cache partition” by using the power button.

Wiping the cache in this manner should only take a couple of seconds. When it’s done, turn the power off of your phone and then turn it back on.

3. Check your network

If methods one and two haven’t helped yet, it’s possible that your data isn’t working because your phone is set to access a network – 3G or 4G – that’s not providing the best coverage.

Do you have a 4G phone? If so, be sure 4G is selected as your network. And if you don’t have a 4G phone, it’s possible your phone is trying to connect to a 4G network. That won’t work as the phone isn’t capable of it so you need to check your network settings.

That’s easy.

Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile network -> Preferred network type,” then navigate to the network that works best with your phone. If your phone is 4G, set it to 3G/4G Auto. This way it will always seek out and connect to the best possible signal.

4. Return to your device’s default settings

We all love our various apps, but often they – as well as system updates – cause errors that result in our data not working. When this happens, it’s sometimes best to simply restore all your network settings to their default status. Here’s how to do this:

1.Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Network settings reset.”

2.Click “Reset Settings.” You’ll be asked to confirm the selection, so click “Reset Settings” again.

3. Power down your phone, wait a few seconds, and then restart it.

Remember that when your return your device to its default settings, you will have to reenter your Wi-Fi passwords and pair your Bluetooth devices again. It’s a little bit of a hassle but a small price to pay for having your data connection up and running again!

5. Pop out and switch out your SIM card

If you’re still having data issues with your cell phone, try switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

1.Shut down your phone.

2.Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card. The SIM card will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.

3.Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.

4.Now, turn your phone back on.

Now that your data is working, bring your phone to PureTalk and save

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. We’re on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

More about that 5G network: As we mentioned, PureTalk is on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies. The 5G network provides significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. What does this mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college-age child or grandchild before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

And more about those big savings: Because saving nearly a thousand bucks a year bears repeating! Families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year. That’s a lot of money; money that can certainly go toward better things than your cell phone bill.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us – our coverage, our service, our flexibility! But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any hassles or penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your (now data connected!) phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

So, you’ve got your phone working again or you just bought one right here. The next step is to pick a plan that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and helps you save.

More reasons to love PureTalk

PureTalk requires no contracts, no long-distance fees, no roaming fees, no additional handset fees, and no prepaid cards. All PureTalk phone plans include Unlimited Talk & Text with high-speed data with speeds up to 5G. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, conferencing, call waiting, and everything else you would expect from your carrier.

There are no gimmicks with PureTalk. It’s just Simply. Smarter. Wireless.

What our customers are saying

Customer Service is phenomenal! It's refreshing to talk to someone so quickly when calling about a technical glitch which they handled quickly and with grace. Website is easy to navigate. So so glad we made the switch. Thank you! - Tracy of Fayetteville, AR

For the past 8 years I was using a different "alternative" cell phone service, but with no data plan. Now, for the same price I have 500 mb data and unlimited texts and talk. It is great, $20 and I get so much for my money! Heard about it on the Dave Ramsey Show. – Adrienne, Bowling Green, OH

I am thrilled with my PureTalk phone. For the first time in years, I can use my cell phone in my home. Calls were constantly being dropped when using my cell phone at home with service from other carriers. Consequently, I just did not use my cell phone at home. Now, I can. – Thomas, Olney, TX

Don’t wait a moment more. Get the most out of your phone (and its rejuvenated data connection) today!

Posted 1 month ago