How to fix the Internet on an Android smartphone

Having problems connecting to the internet on your Android phone? Is the mobile data on your mobile phone not working? Looking for some suggestions to get your cell phones internet working properly again? Look no further. This guide is exactly what you’re looking for as it lists some common reasons why this can happen on an Android phone and better yet it provides some advice on how you can get your internet back up and running again.

Mobile data vs. Wi-Fi data

If you can access the internet when connected to Wi-Fi but you cannot connect to the internet when using your phones mobile data then you’re in the right place and I encourage you to keep reading. If however you can access the internet through your mobile data but you cannot access the internet using Wi-Fi then I suggest reading How to fix the Wi-Fi internet on an Android smartphone instead for more specific instructions for that issue.

Possible issue with the web browser

Before you begin troubleshooting the internet on your Android smartphone you are going to want to make sure that the issue is in fact internet related and not a problem with the internet browser. If it turns out to simply be a problem with your internet browser than fixing your internet problem is going to be extremely quick and easy.

Checking a web browser is a relatively simple process. Open your internet like you would if you wanted to look something up online or visit a website. Just tap on your Internet icon (usually located on the bottom your phones main screen, or listed amongst your phones applications) when the page loads you might get a “Webpage not found” or “Webpage not available” error message. That’s ok. Then you are going to want to tap on the URL bar at the top of the page (the one that shows the website that you are currently on) and you are going to manually enter the URL of a major website that you know should be working. My favorite URL to try is google.com. Just type it in and then hit ENTER on your phones keyboard (the Enter key on your phones keyboard is in the same location that it would be in on a computers keyboard and it looks like an arrow that goes down and then points to the left).

If the webpage loads properly and Google’s Search bar appears then click on the search field and type in anything you want to try to search for and press Enter to see if it will load the search results. If it does then congratulations your internet is working and there is simply a problem with your web browser’s homepage. You can change your phones homepage and you shouldn’t have any further issues. You can read more about this problem at how to fix a “webpage not available” error message on an Android phone if you would like more information about this issue.

If you are using a third party or downloaded web browser than make sure that you try using the default web browser that came with your phone to see if the original web-browser is working properly. If the original internet browser is working properly then that third party browser is experiencing problems and you might need to contact the software developer of that program for additional assistance as their app or software might need to be updated in order to work properly.

If you type in the URL or Web Address of a major search engine like google.com or a website that you know is working and the page(s) still don’t load then please continue reading as you’re in the right place and the following guide can help you fix the internet on your Android smartphone.

Have wireless service but no internet

This guide is intended to help fix an Android phone that is still able to make and receive calls but is unable to browse the internet properly. If you have no service at all and your phone cannot even make or receive calls then I suggest contacting your wireless provider’s customer care department so that they can review your wireless account and check for any problems on their end. That being said, if you’re only having problems access the internet on your phone please keep reading for some suggestions to get it connected and working properly.

Signal strength

If your cell phone only shows one or two bars of service then chances are your cell phone will not be able to connect or stay connected to its mobile internet. Try moving to a location where you can get more than 2 bars of signal strength on your cell phone and then try accessing your mobile internet again. If this problem persists, even with 3 or more bars of wireless service, then let’s look into some other possible causes.

Airplane Mode

Make sure to check that the Airplane Mode is not active. This setting is actually designed to cease the communications between a cell phone and its mobile network. If this setting is activated then chances are you are having more trouble on your phone than just the internet as it prevents the phone from making or receiving calls, sending text messages, and of course accessing the internet through your mobile data. So access your phones Airplane Mode and make sure that it’s not enabled and doesn’t have a checkmark on it.

If the Airplane Mode does have a checkmark then uncheck this setting and try to access your mobile internet to see if this was the cause. If your phones internet starts working then enjoy, if this setting is disabled as it should be then keep reading for some additional suggestions.

Wi-Fi

You’re going to want to make sure that your Wi-Fi is switched off for a few reasons. One of the main reasons being that you’ll want to make sure that if your phone connects to the internet it’s through your mobile data connection and not a Wi-Fi data connection. You don’t want a test your internet connection after trying some troubleshooting and have a Wi-Fi connection trick you into thinking that your mobile internet has been fixed.

Verify that mobile data is on

If your mobile data was accidently turned off or disabled then that would be a very good reason why the mobile internet on your cell phone is no longer functioning properly.

The steps used to access these setting may be different depending on what make and model of phone you are using but generally to get to these options you can access your Home page (the screen you see when you first turn on your phone), tap the Menu key (usually located in the bottom left hand corner of the phone), Tap Settings, select Wireless & Networks, and then check to make sure that the Mobile Network check box has a check mark.

While in these settings, make sure to check that Data Enabled is checked and that the Use Packet Data is selected and checked as well.

Note: if you have changed wireless carriers or have flashed, rooted, or loaded a custom ROM onto your Android phone and you see an option available under the “Mobile networks” settings that says “Network operators” then press that option as you might need to manually select a network operator.

If you end up having to correct or adjust any of these settings then make sure to test your mobile internet afterwards to see if it solved the problem.

Check your limit

Many new smartphones allow you to set a limit on how much mobile data your phone is allowed to use. This can be a useful and powerful tool that can help prevent you from accidently going over on your data plan.

This feature will be located in your phones Settings under “Data usage”. There is often an option to “Limit mobile data usage”. If this option is checked then look at the data usage chart on that screen and see if your usage has reached the set limit. If this has happened or the “Limit mobile data usage” option is selected then go ahead and deselect it (uncheck it if it’s checked) and try your mobile data again. If the data limit option is not selected and your Data usage settings look correct then proceed with the next step in troubleshooting.

Power cycling trick

Before we get into the next section of this guide if you have not already powered your phone off completely for 30 seconds to a minute and then powered your phone back on and then tested your internet then make sure to do so.

Rebooting (not to be confused with resetting) your Android phone should be one of the first things to do when trying to fix an issue on your smartphone as it can solve many minor software glitches hiccups and or bugs. So go ahead and power your phone off for a minute and then power it back on and then test your mobile internet connection.

If it starts working properly then enjoy your working internet and if it still has issues then try this little trick...

Turn on your Airplane mode, turn off your phone, count to 30, turn your phone back on, turn the Airplane mode off again, wait for about 30 seconds and then test your internet to see if this trick fixed it, if it does then enjoy and if not then keep reading for some additional suggestions.

APN settings

If your phone is loading web pages while on Wi-Fi but not when using your Mobile data or if some applications and programs seem to be able to connect to the internet and work properly then try resetting, clearing, adding or changing the phones proxy or APN settings…

This is going to depend a lot on what make and model of android phone you have but a quick search on Google should point it out pretty quickly if the following methods don’t seem to work on your specific cell phone.

Common methods for changing a phone’s Proxy/APN settings include:

  • Access your phones Settings, open Wireless and networks, tap on the Proxy settings, tap Clear, reboot the phone and then test your web browser.
  • Go into the Settings, tap on Wireless Controls or Wireless networks, tap on Mobile networks, select Access Point Names, press the Menu key, then tap on New APN and then enter the APN settings for your wireless network.
  • Open the Settings, tap on Wireless and networks, click on Mobile networks, tap on Access Point Names, press on the Menu key, and then tap on New APN.

Note: some phones and some carriers (especially in the US) do not allow you manually adjust these settings on your cell phone without rooting or downloading a third party application. If you open your Mobile networks settings and you do NOT see an Access Point Names option then it’s likely you will need to skip this step for now or contact your Wireless provider for further assistance.  

Once you locate your APN or Proxy settings you may need to search for the correct settings for your specific mobile network online in order to verify that everything is correct. You can also, for good measure, create a new APN and see if it allows you to connect to your mobile network properly again.

Checking or adjusting your phones APN settings is often a successful fix when troubleshooting the mobile data connection and internet on an Android smartphone so don’t skip this step if you don’t have to.

Hard reset

Performing a hard reset is going to be a last resort when troubleshooting the internet on your cell phone as it wipes pretty much everything off of the phone and sets the phone back to its factory default settings. If this issue is the result of a incorrect setting, a bad application, a software problem, a glitch, bug, or virus, then a factory data reset (or hard reset) will resolve this issue as your phone will be like it was when it was brand new out of the box (software wise anyways).

But like I said this is often a last resort in troubleshooting internet problems on a cell phone. If you have tried all of the suggestions listed above then I recommend contacting your wireless service provider before performing a hard reset as the issue may be with the network and not with your phone.

Network problems

There can be many things on your Wireless Service Provider’s end that can cause problems with your mobile data connection. It can be as simple as the data feature on your specific account not being added properly during activation and has expired in which case the customer care representative could correct the feature and the problem can be solved in a matter of minutes. It could be a configuration error, a provisioning error, a problem with a tower in your area; it could be a lot of things.

Common signs that point to a problem with your network as opposed to a problem with your cell phone include:

  • Mobile data works in some places but not others - If there is a problem with a tower in your area or your geographical location this could indicate a network issue as opposed to a problem with your cell phone.
  • Other phones in your area are having the same problem(s) – if other people seem to be experiencing the same issues with the internet on their mobile phones then chances are there is a problem with the service in your area and you should contact your network provider to make sure that they are aware of this issue.
  • Trying a different SIM card allows the internet to work again - This could indicate an issue with your specific wireless account through your network. Usually when SIM cards malfunctions your wireless service won’t work at all BUT this could also indicate that you need a replacement SIM card as well. Note: not all cell phones use SIM cards so if your phone doesn’t use a SIM card then you can disregard this step.
  • Wi-Fi internet works but not mobile data – if you have tried the suggestions above and your phone cannot connect and use mobile data correctly but it can connect to the internet when connected to Wi-Fi then this could be a problem with your mobile carrier which will have to be taken care of on their end.

Contacting your Service Provider

If you need to contact your wireless carrier make sure that you have the time for proper troubleshooting as they might need to ask you questions and walk you through some troubleshooting in order to pinpoint possible causes on their end.

If you do contact your cellular carrier then make sure to contact them on a phone other than the cell phone you are having issues with. Your carrier may need to take your phone off of the network in which case the call will be disconnected. They may also need to perform other network troubleshooting which they won’t be able to perform if you are using the device in question. So make sure to have your cell phone available but do not call them with it as they won’t be able to properly troubleshoot if you do.

Before contacting your wireless provider I also recommend that you do a quick backup of your phones information. If the tech support determines that the issue may still lie on the phone itself then they may have you perform a factory data reset in an attempt to fix it. As mentioned above a hard reset will erase all user data from your phone so you will want to make sure your information is all saved somewhere other than your cell phone so that after the reset you can restore it back to your phone. If you would like some help with backing up your phone then you can read How to Backup and Reset an Android Smartphone for step by step instructions. If you want to rule out the phone as the culprit before contacting your service provider you can backup and reset your phone, if you want to wait before resetting then you can just reference the backup section of that guide.

Conclusion

After trying all of the suggestions listed in this guide the internet on your cell phone should be fixed and working properly again so enjoy.

If your phone is still having problems connecting and or using its mobile data to access the internet then when contacting your wireless provider make sure to ask about what options are available as you are paying for a service that you are not receiving. They should be able to provide you with some options to fix your internet or provide you with a working phone.

I hope you found this guide informative and helpful. If you liked it you can let me know by pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button or sharing it through any of the other social sites shown below.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the mobile internet on your Android smartphone.

Tags: 

13 Comments

Authentication Problem

I have an LG L5 2 and recently my internet modem was changed and whenever I try to connect now it says Authentication problem, and im 100% sure the password is correct, I´ve tried resetting the phone and everything and when I called tech support they said its with the phone not the internet. I dont know what to do at this point and I have no more of my monthly internet plan for my phone left

Connecting to the internet on your LG Optimus L5 II

Hi NateSmoove,

That can be a tuff issue to solve sometimes but there is hope.

First of all you were right to check your password as Authentication problems are often (not always) due to an incorrect password, so good job starting with that.

The article above is intended to help fix an Android phone when it’s having problems with its mobile internet as opposed to internet drawn through a Wi-Fi connection and from what you described in your comment it sounds like not being able to connect to the internet through a Wi-Fi connection is the issue that you are having on your LG Optimus L5 II smartphone. You try to connect to your home network and you get an Authentication error instead.

My first thought was to refer you to how to fix the Wi-Fi connection on an Android smartphone which was briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article because it lists many common fixes for not being able to establish a Wi-Fi connection with a smartphone, but it sounds like you might have already visited that guide since you mentioned that you hard reset your LG Optimus which unfortunately didn’t resolve the issue and leads me to believe that the issue isn’t with your phone but it probably has to do with your wireless modem/router.

You yourself provided an even stronger hint that it was a problem with your Wi-Fi network when you mentioned in your comment that your “internet modem was changed”. Chances are that you just need to configure your newest modem to work with your LG properly.

Since there can be many different setting in your modem that can be preventing your Android from connecting properly check out this Advanced Wi-Fi troubleshooting guide for some suggestions.

I’m not sure which tech support you spoke to whether it was your home internet provider or your mobile service provider but it doesn’t sound like an issue with the phone to me. Even more so if your phone is still able to connect to other Wi-Fi networks. If you’re able to go to a local fast food restaurant, coffee shop, book store, or library that offers free Wi-Fi internet and you are able to connect to it with your phone without any problems then it will be an even greater indication that the problem is with your modem and not your phone.

Hopefully that advanced Wi-Fi troubleshooting guide will help you locate the setting that you’ll need to adjust in order for your network and your phone to connect to each other properly again. If it doesn’t, which I think it will, then contact your homes ISP (Internet Service Provider) or the modems manufacturer and tell them that you need to configure your modem to work correctly with your smartphone. Let them know that your cell phone connects and works properly with other networks perfectly fine, but it just won’t connect when at home and if you get a good tech agent they should be able to configure it properly fairly quickly.

I have a problem

I have a problem. My connection is on and I can connect to internet through my browser, but when I open some apps, they say your device not connected to internet. Can you solve my problem? Thax

Trying to fix an Android when Apps cannot access the internet

Hey Kevin,

A strange issue you have there if your internet seems to be working for a web browser but not applications… Does this issue occur when using either mobile data or Wi-Fi data or does it seem to only happen when you use one or the other?

You mentioned that its “Some Apps” so I am assuming that some apps allow you to access the internet and some apps do not?

First of all, what make and model of phone are you using, what version of Android is it running on and what are some of the apps that seem to be experiencing problems? Have you rooted or customized your phones software? When did this issue start occurring?

Are the date and time settings on your smartphone correct? If not then update the settings, restart the phone, and try to use the app(s) again. It may just be a verification issue, especially if the app is trying to access a secure server (like a banking app or website you need to log into). Are you getting other error messages that you can recall? Anything about server certificates? Is your phones software up to date? Have you tried reinstalling the problematic application(s)?

Check these things and make sure to double check the article above and if you still have issues accessing the internet through your App(s) then let me know what device you have, what you have already done to try and resolve the issue yourself, and some answers to the other questions in this post and I will do what I can to try and help fix this annoying issue.

The more information you can provide the better.

I hope to hear back from you soon Kevin and if you do end up resolving the problem don’t forget to come back and let us know what method that you ended up using to do so.

WiFi App Connection Resolution on Mobile Devices

Hi I hope this advice helps whoever is experiencing issues with connectivity concerning Apps. More specifically when connecting to your WiFi.

If some of your phones internet WiFi applications are working, for example, email or some other app, but your browser is not working, or vice versa, try this:

Log into your Router, some are 192.168.2.1 or 192.168.1.2, (you should find this in the book provided by your ISP or on the router itself). Once logged in, go the tab where it displays your Internet connection. Once there you should see Channel: 6 or something along those lines. Change the Channel setting to another number, lower seems to be best, however, not proven. Once this resets, you should see your other apps, as well as the previous ones, all working as they were prior to the issue.

It seems that Android devices, more specifically Samsung's, encounter this issue and the aforementioned solution is providing the means to stop the problem. I hope this works for many of you as I know it can be frustrating to see something working, based on an internet connection, and then something else not working when it is the same type of web based application.

Mobile Data vs. Wi-Fi Data

Thank you John for taking the time to contribution to the site, and you are correct. That is one of the tricks that you can use to help solve internet issues when your Android is pulling its data from a Wi-Fi connection. Remember to refer to the “Mobile Data vs. Wi-Fi Data” section mentioned at the beginning of this article as the troubleshooting for each of these issues can vary depending on how your phone is utilizing its data connection.

If this seems to be happening through your Wi-Fi connection as opposed to your Mobile Data connection then make sure to review the advice listed at How to fix the Wi-Fi internet on an Android smartphone and if necessary then make sure to also review the advice listed in this Advanced Wi-Fi troubleshooting guide, where checking the channels and other tricks are mentioned in more detail.

Thanks again for the contribution John. Keep up the good work and enjoy your working Internet.

I can't watch any videos off the internet on my mobile

I can't watch any videos off the internet on my mobile device it gives me an error saying "Check internet connection" I did that but nothing I do seems to work, my phone has been flashed but when i first got the phone it worked I just did a factory reset now it wont work! What should I do?

Trying to fix your "Check internet connection" issue

Hi,

Does the internet work when trying to use it through an internet browser? Can you do searches online? Does this happen when connected to both mobile data and Wi-Fi data?

Did this issue occur after flashing your cell phone? If so then a hard reset is not going to help as a hard reset simply removes the user data from the cell phone and puts the settings back to default.

If this happened after flashing the phone then the issue is software related and in order to fix it you will likely need to re-flash the phone again. If it STILL happens after flashing any custom software to your mobile then then you can try flashing the stock software back onto the phone to see if the standard software installation resolves the problem and gets your videos to play again.

Texting

For some reason my husband and I upgraded to the 5s sport and gave our son the s3 and now we can't send any text messages. The error message is network. But our daughter has an I phone and she is fine and so is everything else. What can I do to fix the problem?

Trying to fix your text messaging

Hi Angela,

What exactly does it do when you try and send a text? Is it happening with regular text messages (SMS) and picture/multimedia messages (MMS) or just SMS messages? It’s possible that the computer system didn’t update your phones properly when you two switched over. This is uncommon as your carrier’s network computer system should do all this automatically and behind the scenes but sometimes a feature will creep up, confuse the computer, and cause this type of issue to occur. If this happened then you will have to call your wireless provider and ask them to review your account to make sure that your phones IMEI numbers (Device Identifiers) are correct in their system and that your messaging feature is still activate.

Just for good measure I would review another article I wrote a while back to see if the advice there seems to help solve your problem. It’s intended to help resolve a slightly different issue than the one you’re inquiring about but I think it might help. You can visit it at How to try and fix the text messaging feature on an Android smartphone. Just hold off on performing a hard reset for now and call your service provider first.

I hope this helps Angela. If you hit any snags, have any more questions, or need any more help just let me know and I will see what I can do to try and assist you.

Can't connect to mobile data when disconecting from WiFi

Hello James,

I use a Motorola Razr I, Android 4.1.2. It was working fine when switching from WiFi to Mobile Data, but after returning from an international trip, every time I get off a WiFi connection, Mobile Data connection doesn't retrieve any data. It shows the 3G/H/H+ icon in white, when it should be in blue, which means that it is connected to data. I have hard reset the phone, but after a while it started doing this again. To get a connection I have to do many of the things that you mentioned in your article. My service provider told me that it could be a problem with the antenna, which I found hard to believe, because if it was, I wouldn't have a connection at all. Thank you in advance and I hope you can help me.

Regards,
Martin

It sounds like a mobile configuration problem

Hi Martin,

Great description in your comment, very detailed. I agree with you 100% I have a hard time believing that it would be an issue with your Motorola Razr’s antenna, especially if this happened right after returning from traveling abroad. It stinks that a hard reset didn’t help but I think I have an idea of what might help to fix your phone, and I have seen a hard reset not fix this particular problem before.

I talk about this a little bit in the guide above but I bet you can fix your specific issue by manually adjusting the APN settings on your cell phone. If your mobile provider didn’t walk you through this process when you called them the first time then you might have to give them another call or do some searching online for your carrier’s correct APN settings so that you can manually input those settings into the phone. Chances are that these APN (Access Point Names) were changed when you left the country so that your phone would be able to work abroad. When you got home though I bet the APN settings stayed the same, are no longer configured correctly for your current area, and your cell phone doesn’t know how to communicate with your mobile network properly.

You would think that a hard reset would fix this as a factory reset puts all of your phones settings back to default BUT I have seen this occur more than once where a factory data reset didn’t seem to fix it and manually setting the APN settings did end up fixing it.

I hope that helps Martin. Let me know one way or the other.

Add new comment