Fifth generation of iPhone. Repair of this device is straightforward, and requires screwdrivers, prying tools, and patience. GSM/CDMA / 16, 32, or 64 GB / Black or White.

2864 Questions View all

No signal after screen repair, Searching... NEW

Hi All, I am a phone repairer who has fixed over 3000 iphone 4/4s phones.

In the last 2 weeks, almost every single 4S I have repaired (using the same aftermarket parts I have always sourced) the phone is now showing Searching... when the phone is turned back on.

I have had some that show the following:

Searching.... 3G

And they actually have signal, but no showing of bars or signal strength.

Others show the following

Searching....

And do not have reception at all. Removing the sim card and tray does not even generate the 'No sim card' message. So it is almost like the phone does not even recognise the sim card is installed.

I have come across a couple of work around solutions to get the signal back.

1. Start phone with no sim tray. Once phone is booted insert sim tray. This has only worked maybe once or twice.

2. Start the phone with an invalid sim (from another carrier). The phone then recognizes this invalid sim and asks the phone to be activated. I can then remove the invalid sim, put in the correct sim, it prompts for the sim lock. Once sim lock is cleared phone is back to normal.

3. Boot phone with sim in, get Searching... message. Turn on and connect to a Wifi signal, then remove the sim. No sim message appears. Re-insert sim, it prompts for sim lock. Once sim lock code entered phone is fine.

It almost seems as though if the sim has a lock, the phone is not bringing up the 'Sim Locked, Unlock' message. Most of the workarounds I have found produce the "Sim Locked" message after the procedure that then allows reception again.

From what I can tell, all of these phones have IOS 6.0 or later and Modem 3.0.04

I would like to know what is causing this and how to more quickly resolve this issue.

Have any other repairers been having these issues?

Thanks in advance.

Update

As the original poster of this thread I have to say that after seeing this issue over and over again (easily more than 100 iphones) I can say that whenever there is a service issue, simply setting the correct date and time will restore service. Sometimes the phone needs to be rebooted twice, but most of the time one reboot is fine. If there is a sim pin, that will complicate the process. Usually when there is a sim pin it takes longer for the phone to recognise the sim and give you the sim pin prompt. But again, it always comes good.

Now if the phone had signal issues before the phone was repaired, then you will continue to have issues after a screen replacement. They are not directly linked at all. Also, there are lots of issues with carrier locked phones and stolen phones. I have people all the time come in to have a phone repaired that they 'just bought cheap of ebay' or 'just bought cheap of a friend of a friend'. We repair, and then they go and chuck any old sim at it and expect it to work. When it doesn't they assume it is our fault the phone is 'broken' and not working. So be careful with signal issues, the problem can be for many varying reasons.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 20

Comments:

Thank you so much @jamesgid

Point 2- worked a treat i know have service def somthing to do with the sim lock

by

My iphone 4 , after a battery change shows 'Searching....'then, 'No Service' help please!

by

The answer to searching or no service after battery or screen change on iOS 7 is time and date is wrong. Connect to a wifi with internet to automatically set it or manually but which is very tedious

by

Hi James. This was really helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience. My 4s was searching so I set the date manually. Took me like 3 mins to go from 1970 to 2014 :-). But worked exactly as you said.

Thanks a million. Andy

by

this is really great thank u man

by

Show 12 more comments

Add a comment

25 Answers

Chosen Solution

If you replace the battery of an iPhone with iOS 6, the time and date will be wrong. The phone will think it's in 1970. If you set the time and date manually, take out the sim card, and put it back in the phone, it will get a signal again.

Just set the time and date back to automatic.

As you mentioned, you will get a signal after connecting to WiFi. This is because the time and date updates when you connect to the internet.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 13

Comments:

I have tried this only once in the last few days and seems to help. Can anyone else confirm this? It has been a quiet week for me this week. Tomorrow should be busy though, so can definitely confirm then.

by

I have repaired about 20-25 iphone 4, 4s. Today after replacing the power/ proximity sensor flex, the phone only displays "searching". I have tried all of the above "fixes" and none have worked. I even replaced the antenna and nothing.

This is a 4s with V 7.0.3. After numerous i device repairs and android repairs, this is the first time I have had to hand the phone back saying " I fixed the original problem, but i will be damned if I know what is wrong with it now'.

How embarrassing and humiliating. I wish someone had the 100% solution. If I understand correctly the 4S does not have a blue coil. If it does, I could not locate it to check it for damage.

Even if it is the blue coil, I don't know how I could have damaged it and I could not do this kind of repair.

Sad in Minnesota.......

== Update ==

Hi Alex, I have tried all of the above and still no luck. Any thoughts?

by

Bobby Gorden,

I have had the same problem as you have. I also fix Iphones for kids around campus and I fixed one last night with this problem. The girl went to the Verizon store and they said there was nothing they could do about it and she would need a new phone. This horrified me being a poor college kid trying to make a few extra bucks!

If anyone knows anything about this problem please let me know. The girl was using IOS 7.02 on her Verizon Iphone 4s

Thanks!

by

I've repaired a lot of iPhones with iOS 7. And I fix the searching problem as I wrote above. Eather set the date and time manually or just connect to WiFi. I prefer the WiFi.

After the WiFi is connected and the date and time are correct i restart the phone. It may take some time before it recognize the sim.. But it has never occurred that it haven't worked :)

by

Thanks Alex!

by

Show 4 more comments

Add a comment

Yes and I have only seen it after IOS6 and it has been turned into Apple, surely if its the IOS it will be fixed with the next update.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3

Comments:

It really worked out... Am so happy as soon i see the signal coming up after setting the time and date manually. Mitch you rock!

by

Add a comment

Accepted Answer doesn't work for iOS 7+

I just made the full screen replacement this afternoon. And I've gotten no signal. It's just "Searching..." forever. I tried all the above steps, but it did not restore my AT&T signal. My iPhone 4S iOS is 7.0.3.

I am currently upgrading to 7.0.4 in hopes that it will improve the situation...

---

Well, don't try that. It fails just past halfway through (looking at the progress bar in the iPhone). Now it's permanently stuck in Recovery Mode. Any ideas?

The alert popup says:

"The iPhone "<your-device-name>" could not be updated. An unknown error occurred (1)."

[More Information] [OK]

When you click More Information it takes you to Apple's iOS Support page. And the error code #1 is unlisted. From googling around various forums, this seems to be code for "jailbreak" or "unauthorized hardware," and Apple refers everyone to the store for this.

---

Installing a new screen basically downgraded my iPhone to an iPod touch. Then upgrading it, bricked it.

The entire point of this exercise was to avoid Apple's $199 price gouging. I'm out $85 ($60 screen + $15 kit + $10 expedited shipping), I had a working screen, but no cell service. Now I've got another Apple paperweight.

I'm strongly considering jailbreaking, but not sure if that would help the cellular connectivity issue. Can anyone speak to that?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

No one has a valid, confirmed iOS 7 jailbreak, yet. Even then, you still need a working phone to install it.

by

@alex I'm confused; is this your procedure?

10. Turn off WiFi.

20. Remove battery.

30. Reinstall battery.

40. Turn on iPhone. It will think it's 1970 (Unix timestamp = 0).

50. Remove SIM card.

60. Set datetime manually.

70. Put in SIM card.

Then signal works?

by

Here is my procedure:

1. Turn off phone

2. Repair the phone (which of course includes taking out the battery)

3. Turn on the phone (Sim card is inserted)

4. Connect to WiFi

5. Wait until the clock is correct

6. Take out the sim card. (wait a few sec) and set in back in. Now it should recognize it and the signal will return :)

Insted of connect to WiFi, you can set the date and time. But in iOS 7 you have to scroll each day from 1970 to 2013, so WiFi is easier ;)

by

Thanks. 1000 times thanks. Option 3 worked for me. IOS 7.0.4. Before i read this i feared it was a hardware issue.

by

@Benjamin Bertrand

I got my phone stucked on iTunes restore code 1! Do you have any solution for this problem??

by

Add a comment

1000 thanks 3 option worked for me too:)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I read everything on line today and NONE of it worked. But I did take on board it was a date issue. So I sat and manually rolled the date from 1970 to today.. then did the power and home button and after 8 hrs of total stress worrying I had bust my phone (after getting the trashed screen fixed for 45 quid!! ) its fine!!

Hope some other folk out there get this and are lucky enough to 'fix' their phone themselves.

Chele xxxx

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Does anyone know what to do if you are getting no service with a iPhone 5 after replacing LCD and screen?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Same thing, says searching for signal. This is on Verizon iphone 4 after LCD repair. Turns out went into settings, reset network settings. Found signal right away.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

What worked for me was just going to date and time and took it off from automatic and back on automatic again. Boom, the problem fixed.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

setting the time , date , not forgetting the year from 1971

was perfect solution for my i phone 4 , after i replaced the screen.

excellent tip , i have been struggling with this issue for a over a week ,

many thanks to all concerned

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

The date setting didn't work on my 4S with IOS 7.1.1 because there was no way to set the YEAR!

Date sliders only move day and month, not year, unless I missed the setting somewhere else. So fixing the date to the "current" day just got me to the same day in 1970.

What worked was to reset network settings. Do the reset, the phone reboots and then is back to normal functioning.

Cheers,

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

I tried resetting Network Settings. That didn't work. Then I just went for resetting ALL settings, BINGO, cell service up and running. Should have done this first, would have saved lots of calls to Tracfone CS.

by

Add a comment

Just connect to wifi set time and date to auto when time changes turn airplane mode on for 10 seconds then off and bobs your uncle

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

i replaced with chinese fake, and it did work after 2 reboots 4 me

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I cannot seem to get my iPhone 4s sprint (cdma) to get signal again. All I did was replace the battery. Now it just says "searching". I've already reset my network settings. What should I do? (iOS 7.1.2)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I have an iPhone 5S on Verizon and had the same problem -- perpetual Searching problems. Restarting, restoring, and resetting Network Settings never helped. This simple fix worked! Changed Date/Time from Automatically Set to manually setting it. It immediately stopped Searching. I turned Automatically Set back on and so far so good. But here are my questions: (1) What caused this? (2) Is it also a sign of any defect with the phone or is it purely a software glitch? (3) Does it typically return, what has been your experience?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

all I did was replace the battery and then it happened. it doesn't even read other sim cards

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Actually this problem will be arises when you will put off the battery from the iphone. Date & Time will be changed. So set your time manually or with the automatic settings using wifi. Problem will be solved. I had the same problem today.

But still I have another iphone. Which has the exactly same problem. I couldn't solve it on that phone. There is an another problem with "wifi button greyed out" I mean disable. wifi is not working right now. So how can I solve these problem for the second set.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

Would manually setting the time work for the second phone?

If not, you can try to fix the wifi issue on the phone first. I presume it was a iPhone 4s? There are fixes for that, may require a hot-air rework station.

by

Add a comment

I have an iPhone 4s and tried replacing the battery yesterday. Kept powering on and off. Still working on that problem but in the mean time I put the old battery back in. It did the "searching..." and stayed that way. Friend suggested trying the network reset. Worked like a charm! I have a 64Gb running iOS 7.1.2. WiFi is back up, it found the network and everything is fine. Now to just solve the battery issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Hi guys & girls, a special thanks to JamesGID for answer about setting time/date manually. Couldnt find any signal "searching", after time/date setting the phone is on. I still have a little problem, though - no WiFi, trying several tweaks - still no luck. Ill keep trying new tweaks, but until now - network reset and other suggests doesnt help.... All advice hughly appreciated!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Just did the time and date reset on iPhone 5c and it fixed the issue.

Many thanks for the heads up !

regards

Jamie

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

iPhone 4 CDMA Verizon here. Just replaced the screen and it did not stop searching for cellular signal even after trying date/time, reset network settings, or a hard restart (holding home + power button until it restarts and Apple logo appears release buttons). BUT, after erasing all content & settings it did work! FYI - I had a problem with a previous iPhone 4 where it wouldn't connect to cellular and I removed the bottom speaker and cleaned the gold contacts on the charge port & speaker (oil from fingers caused the interference).

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Worth mentioning for a novice (my first iPhone 4 repair) double check you have reconnected the antenna correctly to the mother board. I thought I had, but after trying all of the above and drawing a blank, I re-opened the back and disconnected the battery and then connected the antenna that was actually loose. And BINGO - it's fixed! See video below to help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1nR_Tbs...

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Guess what? I received a iTunes Card Code and surprisingly it worked! Check out http://linkshrink.org/free-itunes2015

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I walked out of the phone shop and had the same problem, went in Google and couldn't find anything useful, I literally just figured it out myself, put you phone into airplane mode for 30 second and it'll fix itself

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Thanks for that tip.

It works with IOS 7.x

I had the same problem after replacing the power button and sensor circuit.

No Wifi - no mobile signal.

The phone (4S) could see my Wifi network but could not get connected.

I had to set a static address and then it immediately got connected.

Then the time/hour was automatically set.

After that I re-inserted the SIM and it asked for the PIN code.

But it continued searching for the mobile network.

As for WiFi, the device could see the different available operators but could not get connected.

I selected one manually and it got connected then reactivated the automatic selection.

Everything is fine.

Thanks again.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

After screen replacement, I had permanently the iPhone "Searching" for the cellular network. Removing the sim won't even show the "No sim card" error message. I've tried to connect to wifi, did check the date and hour, tried to turn airplane mode on and off... No luck.

I've restored with DFU mode (type DFU helper in youtube for correct timing) and everything is alright now, no more problem with the 'Searching' state.

I'm now restoring the backup from iCloud.

Regards,

FX de Rennes

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

jamesgid will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 23

Past 7 Days: 162

Past 30 Days: 426

All Time: 104,785