Cell phone not working? 3 hacks to help you fix it

Switching from 5G to 4G may do the trick, but if not, here's what else you can try.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:03 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:45 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Do you ever find your cell phone not working in a particular area of town? It can be frustrating if your call keeps dropping or those text messages won’t send.

Arizona’s Family reached out to the pros at Data Doctors to find out the best hacks when you feel like you can’t connect. First, tech expert Ken Colburn says try rebooting your phone. “Sometimes rebooting your phone suddenly makes things great again, you know, especially if you haven’t rebooted for awhile or if your phone is sitting there waiting to install an update. The restart can kind of clear the deck for you,” Colburn said.

He also suggests installing a speed test app like Opensignal and use it on a regular basis to see the numbers and download speeds you get when your phone is working well and when it isn’t. He also says comparing your phone’s performance with others can be helpful especially if you have the same phone but a different provider. But, you don’t want to do it just once. “You literally want to do this two or three times a day, over several days,” Colburn said.

Another one of his suggestions is switching between 5G and 4G networks if you’re having troubles. “The problem with 5G is that it’s a shorter range, frequency. So the signal has a tougher time getting through buildings, any kind of obstruction at all. 5G is going to have more of a challenge than 4G,” Colburn said. It’s easy to switch between the two and see if that improves service. Colburn says, “that’s a simple thing that everyone can try” especially if you live in downtown Phoenix with a lot of buildings around you.

Here’s how you make the switch on your iPhone:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Click “Cellular”
  • Tap “Cellular Data Options”
  • Choose “Voice & Data”
  • Change from “5G On” to “LTE”

Here’s how Samsung suggests making the switch on their devices:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Click “Connections”
  • Select “Mobile networks”
  • Click “Network mode” and choose your preferred network