7 Comments

Summary:

Sometimes, the cellular data network just doesn’t want to play ball with your iPhone. It may not be immediately apparent, but you’ll find out when you try to load a page in Safari, for instance, and the progress bar will get stuck in one place.

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Sometimes, the cellular data network just doesn’t want to play ball with your iPhone. It may not be immediately apparent, but you’ll find out when you try to load a page in Safari, for instance, and the progress bar will get stuck in one place.

To sort this out, you need to try the old, clichéd “turn it off and turn it back on again” approach. Navigate to the Settings app on your phone and turn on Airplane mode (the orange switch at the top of the first settings page). This deactivates everything — the data network, Wi-Fi, GPS, etc. Leave Airplane mode on for around 15-30 seconds and then turn it back off again. This should fix the problem, and get your iPhone back on the Internet again.

If not — you know exactly what I’m going to say now — turn off the iPhone entirely and turn it on again. If, even after doing that, your phone still won’t connect to the Internet, I’d recommend contacting your network provider and asking them if they know what the problem might be.

As a side note, this works just as well with unresponsive Wi-Fi networks. If it’s happening with Wi-Fi, however, you can turn Wi-Fi off by itself by going to Settings &gt Wi-Fi and turning the switch to off. If that doesn’t work you can try turning the router off and on (if it’s yours), or telling your iPhone to forget the network by tapping the blue arrow in a circle next to the network name and tapping “Forget this network.”

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  2. The single most common failure on WIFI networks that causes this behavior is failed DNS lookups. Sometimes quitting the application are restarting it will resolve the problem, however, it is my assumption that what this approach does is simply to allow more rme for the response to be cached by local DNS server.

    I generally see these failures on advertising intensive sites. Quite often the responsible lookup is to the doubleclick domain. In these cases I have assumed that the problem is bandwidth to the doubleclick primary DNS server.

  3. Quite often I find that the iPhone gets…confused…when it has a week WiFi signal (sometimes not so weak). Some apps won’t load data at all, others are ridiculously slow. As a result, I just don’t even bother with WiFi most of the time…but when I forget to turn it off before I leave home, I find that if I turn it off and go back to whatever app I was trying to use, the 3G connection loads perfectly fine.

  4. Scott Weidig Monday, April 12, 2010

    I have found that you do not have to wait 15-30 seconds. You can simply flip airline mode off and then back on. The same goes if wireless flakes on your MacBook (MBP) just flip the airport off and immediately back on and it will reconnect.

    Scott

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