iPhone 12 5G not working? Here’s what to do

iPhone 12 5G not working? Here's what to do

If you just got your iPhone 12 and noticed that 5G is not available after setting it up, there are several factors that you should check to troubleshoot. This includes your wireless plan, SIM card, iOS settings, and more. Let’s dive into what to do if your iPhone 12’s 5G is not working.

The entire iPhone 12 lineup features 5G support (including mmWave on all US models) and 5G is turned on by default as much as iOS 14’s settings are compatible with Smart Data Mode (it can also be managed manually). However, if you did set up and activate with your carrier and your iPhone 12 5G is not working and you think it should be, here’s what to check next …

iPhone 12 5G not working: troubleshooting

Plan your carrier

  • Even if you think you have an updated plan that includes 5G, it’s a good idea to re-check what you have and make sure it includes 5G service. For example, Verizon is facing a tough situation where the new plans don’t have different names or different prices, but some customers need to make a change to get 5G service.
  • Meanwhile, AT&T alerts customers that they may also need to upgrade their plans when they log into their accounts:

SIM card

  • If you purchased your iPhone 12 through your carrier or with Apple including carrier activation, you should have no problem with your SIM card.
  • But especially if you purchased a SIM-free model and were using the old SIM card, you may need to get a new card or contact your carrier to inquire about upgrading your existing SIM card to support 5G.
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IOS Settings

  • Apple notes in a support document that if you head over to Settings> Cellular> Cellular Data Options and you don’t see a screen like the image below, try turning Airplane mode on then off. If your iPhone 12 5G phone is not working steadily or not showing up in settings, contact your carrier.
What to do 5G not working iPhone 12 Walkthrough 2

iPhone 12 5G does not work with Dual SIM mode

  • In the same support document mentioned above, Apple shares that if you use Dual SIM mode with the iPhone 12, both lines will revert to 4G LTE.
  • One caveat is, “In China, 5G data is supported while using two active lines in Dual SIM mode on the line that uses cellular data. In China, while using Dual SIM with 5G, 5G Standalone is not available”.

IPhone 12 5G does not work with data roaming

  • 5G is not yet available when roaming. Currently, Apple says, the only option to get 5G outside of your carrier’s coverage is to pick up a local SIM card when traveling.

Carriers around the world are still rolling out 5G roaming support. If you turn on data roaming, you can get cellular data over 4G or LTE networks when you travel. You can also get a local SIM or eSIM and use it as a single line with 5G wherever available.

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5G carrier coverage

  • If you’ve tried everything above, double check your carrier’s 5G coverage map
  • Note that the coverage maps for major US carriers include both 4G and 5G, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the colorful myth and zoom in as much as possible to get the most accurate picture.

For more details on manually managing 5G on iPhone 12, check out our guidelines:

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