How to Update Carrier Settings On Your iPhone

How to Update Carrier Settings On Your iPhone

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Learn how to update iPhone carrier settings and other vital details on why this is important.

Carrier settings are a collection of parameters that control the operation of your device, and on an iPhone, you can update it. These parameters include information about how your phone uses, processes, and stores data and other features such as call forwarding, hotspot (tethering), mobile hotspot, and Personal Hotspot (Android only).

It enables you to access new and recent network features and functionalities. Updating the carrier network allows data connection to remain more robust, updates also fix bugs and minor issues with the network, and it fixes network security issues as well.

In this article, I will teach you all you need to know about carrier settings and how to update them on your iPhone easily.

What Are Carrier Settings?

Carrier settings allow your iPhone to connect with the mobile network. They’re needed for your mobile network to work and function properly, but they’re updated by Apple and your Carrier with security patches and bug fixes. Carrier settings allow you to do other things like setting a data limit and other notification options, so you must have access to them.

Carrier settings are essential for quite a several solid reasons, including:

  • Updating carrier settings ensure that you’re getting the correct data, call, and service plans and not paying for more than you need.
  • Carrier settings also allow you to set up your iPhone or iPad as an international device. This means your device can be used outside of the country in which it was purchased.

What Does It Mean To Update iPhone Carrier Settings?

Carrier settings updates are system updates made to your device’s carrier settings that the Carrier can push. It is important to note that carrier updates are not iOS updates, nor are they full-fledged operating system updates like what comes with a new iOS device.

If you’re wondering why your iOS device keeps asking for “Carrier Settings Update” every day, Apple allows carriers to deliver these updates through iTunes and iCloud. Carrier updates are essential because they allow you to use new features, use the latest technology, and enjoy the latest security features.

When your phone or device is running an older version of the operating system, some restrictions may be placed on your device. You may not be able to access some of the newer functions and features offered by your network provider or mobile device manufacturer. For example, newer phones often have added functionality and features that aren’t available on older models.

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If you don’t update your phone’s OS (operating system), you can’t take advantage of those enhancements without getting a newer model altogether. You can locate your carrier settings by following the following process:

  • Open the setting app on your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, and Mac).
  • Scroll down and click on ‘General.’
  • Click on about in the new menu page in ‘General.’
  • Scroll down and look for Carrier under system update.

How to Check If Carrier Settings Are Up to Date

How to Update Carrier Settings On Your iPhone

When a carrier settings update is available, your device will automatically prompt you to install it. A carrier upgrade takes less than one minute to download and install. You can continue using your phone as usual after installing if a provider launches a critical update.

If you’re trying to use a carrier setting that’s not available on your device, you’ll get an error message saying that the carrier setting can’t be used. If this happens, you don’t have the latest version of the carrier set. Below are steps to check if your carrier settings are up to date:

  • Shut down your iPhone by long-pressing the power button until the power icon “slide to switch-off” appears. Then swipe the icon from left to right to turn off the device.
  • Wait for about 30 to 45 seconds, and turn your device back by long-pressing the power button till the Apple logo appears on your screen
  • Open up the settings app, and click on “General.”
  • Then scroll down to ‘About.’
  • If there is an alert or pop-up on the screen about carrier settings updates available for your device, your device is not operating on the latest version.

Alternatively, you can also contact your Carrier to know if your device is running on the right carrier setting.

How Do I Know If A Carrier Settings Update Is Available?

How to Update Carrier Settings On Your iPhone

When carrier settings are available for iPhones, users will usually get daily pop-ups and notifications on their devices that say, “Carrier setting Update: New updates available, would you like to update now?

Asides from this, you can also manually check for updates on your iPhone. Although there is no “Check for Carrier update” button available on the iPhone, there is another way to check updates. To check for a carrier settings update on your iPhone:

Open the Settings app and tap the ‘General’ and ‘About’ buttons. If there’s an available carrier settings update on your iPhone, a pop-up will appear on the screen asking if you want to update. If 15-30 seconds pass and no pop-up appears on your iPhone, there aren’t any new carrier settings updates for your iPhone.

How to manually update iPhone carrier settings and iPad

Updating your carrier settings can be very beneficial in small but significant ways. If it weren’t helpful and essential, Apple wouldn’t make these updates mandatory to users at times. Updating your Carrier allows your phone to stay or remain connected to your network service provider’s network.

  • Open up the settings app on your iOS device iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  • Scroll down and click on ‘General.’
  • Then click on “About.”
  • Scroll down and tap “Carrier.”
  • Click’ Update Settings’ and click ‘Agree or Accept.’ Your Apple ID is required for this action to be completed.

How to Automatically Update Carrier Settings

If you’re using the latest version of iOS, carrier settings updates should happen automatically. But suppose Apple doesn’t automatically update your carrier settings. In that case, you can manually update them at any time by connecting your iPhone or iPad to a computer. However, such computer much have iTunes installed. Once you do this, follow the steps below:

  • Open iTunes on your computer and connect your device using its USB cable.
  • Select it in the sidebar of iTunes if it’s not already selected; you may need to click Devices in the top menu bar.
  • Click ‘Summary’ in the main menu bar of iTunes, or click ‘Account’ in the top menu bar.
  • Select ‘Update Carrier Software’ at the bottom left corner of this window.
  • Then follow any additional prompts on the screen. This will allow you to choose whether you want automatic software downloads turned on or off for future syncs with iTunes.

Are Carrier Settings Different from an iOS Update?

Users often confuse carriers’ settings update with iOS updates. An iOS update is more prominent and comprehensive than a carrier update. Update to iOS is about upgrading from one version to another with much newer and better performance. For instance, updating from iOS13 to iOS 14 or iOS 11 to iOS 12.

These updates introduce several new features to the phone, fix bugs, and other things. But more minor updates like from iOS 12.1.1 to iOS 12.5.5 fix only bugs and add little features.

Updating iOS versions affect the entire device, but on the other hand, carrier settings updates are minor tweaks. Such upgrade affects a small section of settings and can only fix network issues but can’t alter how the device works.


Carrier settings are an integral aspect of any device. Thankfully, we have taken time to extensively explain above why it is essential to update carrier settings. By now, you know what carrier settings are, how to check for updates, and carry out updates manually and automatically. Carrier settings, in general, help users solve network issues and offer them a chance for a better network experience. With the outlines above, we hope we have helped you understand Carrier settings and its updates in a significant way.

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