Fix: Android Emergency Calls Only and No Service

The “Emergency calls only” and/or “No service” issues are some of the more common problems that Android users often face. This problem is network-based and prevents users from successfully utilizing any network-based functionalities of an Android device. Not being able to use a smartphone to make calls, send texts, and connect to mobile data networks certainly is a major letdown.

While this issue is most commonly found to affect Samsung Galaxy smartphones, it does not exclude all the other makes and models of smartphones out there. An Android device can be forced to display an “Emergency calls only” or “No service” error due to one of three things – poor signal strength, some kink or problem in the device’s software, or faulty hardware.

As long as the cause of this issue is not faulty hardware, such as a defective SIM card or flawed SIM card reading equipment in the device, there are quite a few things that a person can do to try and fix it.

The following are the three most effective solutions that can be used to eliminate the “Emergency calls only” and/or “No service” issue:

Solution 1: Select the carrier manually.

Manually selecting a Smartphone’s carrier can, in many cases, allow the device to connect to its carrier successfully.

1. Go to settings.

2. Navigate to the network settings for the device.

network settings

3. Tap on ‘Mobile Networks.’

4. Press the ‘Network Operators‘ button.

5. Allow the device to search for networks. If the device does not automatically start searching for networks, tap on “Search Networks.

6. Select the device’s carrier from the list of available networks.

Solution 2: Change the network mode to ‘GSM Only’.

If an Android device cannot connect to its carrier due to a signal problem, changing its network mode to ‘GSM only’ can do the trick, as 2G signals are much stronger and have greater penetrating power compared to 3G or 4G signals. Weak signals have also been known to trigger the ‘Failed to Send SMS’ error on Android phones.

1. Go to settings.

2. Find the way to the device’s network settings.

3. Tap on “Mobile Networks.

4. Tap on the “Network Mode.

5. No matter which mode the device is in, select GSM only.

Solution 3: Use the Ariza Patch (root required).

The Ariza patch is an Android system patch designed to fix kinks in an Android device’s baseband (modem). Applying the Ariza patch to an Android smartphone suffering from “Emergency calls only” and/or “No service” issues has significant chances of fixing the device, especially in the case of Samsung smartphones. Before proceeding, make sure that you root your phone.

1. Make sure that the device has root access.

2. Install BusyBox on the device.

3. Download the APK file for the Ariza patch from here.

4. Go to Settings > Security, and ensure that the installation of applications from unknown sources is allowed.

5. Install the Ariza patch.

6. Open the Ariza patch.

7. Tap on V[0,5] patch and apply it.

Wait for a few minutes, and once the patch has been applied to the device, reboot it.

Solution 4: Perform a Soft Restart.

In some situations, the phone might have acquired a glitch due to which it is unable to properly register the SIM card installed inside the mobile phone. Therefore, it is always a good idea to perform a restart to ensure that the glitch is removed. To do this:

  1. Press and hold the power button on the phone until the reboot menu appears.
  2. When the menu appears, click on the “Restart” option to restart your mobile device.
    Restart Phone
  3. After the restart has been completed, check to see if the issue persists

Solution 5: Reinsert the SIM Card.

In some cases, the SIM card might have been slightly displaced from its normal position inside the SIM tray. When this happens, the easiest fix is to turn off your device from the reboot menu and remove the SIM tray. Afterward, take out the SIM card from the SIM tray and blow air onto the SIM card and into the SIM tray slot to eliminate any residue or dust particles. After this, accurately place the SIM card on the SIM tray and check to see if doing so resolves the issue.

Solution 6: Toggle Airplane Mode.

In certain situations, the SIM card might be bugged inside the phone, causing the phone to be unable to properly register it on the mobile network. Therefore, in this step, we will be toggling the airplane mode to somewhat reinitialize this process and get the SIM working as normal. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Unlock your device and navigate to the home screen.
  2. Drag down the notifications panel and click on the “Airplane Mode” icon to put the device in Airplane mode.
    Enable the Airplane Mode
  3. Once in airplane mode, leave the device untouched for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Please turn off airplane mode, then check to see if the phone registers on the network, and if the error message still persists.

Solution 7: Prevent Fixed Dialing.

In some situations, the Fixed Dialing feature on your phone might be enabled, which could cause this error to appear on your mobile device. Therefore, in this step, we will disable this feature on our mobile. To do this, we will have to reconfigure it through our settings. For that:

  1. Unlock your device and drag down the notifications panel.
  2. Click on the “Settings” icon and select the “Call” option.
    Dragging down the notifications panel and tapping on the “Bluetooth” icon
  3. From the calling settings, click on the “Additional Settings” or “More” options.
  4. In this setting, click on the Fixed Dialing Numbers option and then select the “Disable FDN” option.
  5. After disabling Fixed Dialing Numbers on your mobile, check to see if the error message persists.

Solution 8: Perform a factory reset.

It is possible that a faulty app or configuration on your device is preventing the SIM card from functioning properly. It is also possible that the software installed on your mobile phone has been bugged. To resolve any such issues, you can perform a full factory reset on your device to rule them out. In order to do this, make sure to back up any necessary data beforehand and follow the steps below.

  1. Unlock your device and drag down the notifications panel.
  2. Click on the “Settings” cog to open the phone settings.
  3. In the phone settings, scroll down and click on the “System” option.
  4. Select the “Reset” option from the next screen, and then click on the “Factory Reset” option.
    Factory Data Reset
  5. Enter your password and PIN to grant authorization for the reset.
  6. Once the reset is complete, check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 9: Verify the IMEI.

It is possible that the IMEI number on your cellphone might have been changed due to a software flash or another reason. The IMEI is like a physical trace of the cellphone device, and it is a unique number assigned by the manufacturer to identify the device. The same number is also used by the SIM card provider to propagate their network services on your device. However, if this number has been replaced or improperly configured, you might encounter the SIM card issue where only emergency calls are allowed. To check this:

  1. Unlock your phone and launch the dialer.
  2. Type in “*#06#” and press the dial button on your device to obtain the IMEI number being used by the device.
  3. Once the number is displayed on the device, match it with the IMEI number listed on the box in which the phone came.
  4. If the numbers match up, the issue shouldn’t be due to an IMEI mismatch.
  5. However, if the numbers don’t match, it means that the IMEI on your device has been changed. Due to this change, you are getting this error. It is recommended that you replace the phone device, as it probably won’t be able to function with a SIM card anymore.

Solution 10: Reset the Network Settings.

It is possible that the network settings on the mobile were changed manually, or they were changed automatically by the phone, and now they have been misconfigured, which is causing this issue. Therefore, in this step, we will reset the network settings to the default ones in an attempt to resolve this issue. To do so:

  1. Unlock your device and drag down the notifications panel.
  2. Click on the “Settings” cog to open the phone settings.
    Dragging down the notification panel and clicking on the Settings icon
  3. Inside the phone settings, scroll down and click on the “System Settings” option.
  4. In the system settings, click on the “Reset” button, and on the next screen, select the “Reset Network Settings” option.
    Clicking on the “Reset Network Settings” button
  5. Confirm any prompts that appear on your screen and wait for the network settings to be reset.
  6. Check to see if doing so fixes the issue with the SIM card.

Solution 11: Clear the cache partition.

Almost all applications cache some data to reduce load times and provide a more optimized experience for the user. However, sometimes this cached data can become corrupted and might interfere with system functions. Therefore, in this step, we will be booting the phone into the reboot menu to clear the cache partition. To do this:

  1. Unlock your device, then press and hold the power button to display the reboot options.
  2. In the reboot options, select the “Power Off” button.
  3. Wait for the device to be fully powered off before proceeding with the next steps.
  4. Press and hold the Volume Down button on your phone, and simultaneously press the Power button to power up the device.
  5. Keep the volume down button pressed until the phone boots up to the bootloader screen.
  6. On the bootloader screen, navigate through the options using the volume buttons until you highlight the ‘Wipe Cache Partition‘ button.
    Navigating down to the “Wipe Cache Partition option”
  7. Press the “Power” button to select the highlighted option, and wait for the phone to proceed.
  8. Once the cache partition is wiped, highlight the reboot option and use the power button to select it.
  9. Check to see if the issue still persists after wiping the cache partition.

Solution 12: Run the SIM Card Test.

It is possible that the SIM may not be functioning properly because the phone is unable to register it on the network and verify the signal strength. Therefore, in this step, we will run a SIM card test to verify and isolate the issue on the phone and ensure that the SIM card is not at fault. To do this, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Unlock your device and launch the phone dialer.
  2. Enter the following code in the dialer.
    Opening Dialer
  3. Now that you have booted into testing mode, click on the “Phone Information” option.
  4. Scroll down on the displayed screen, and you should see the “Turn off Radio” option.
  5. Select this option to turn off the radio and ensure that the command has been executed; otherwise, you might have to repeat this step a couple of times.
  6. Also, there should be a “Set Preferred Network Type” option; select the option to open the dropdown.
  7. Select the “LTE/GSM/CDMA (Auto)” option from the dropdown menu.
  8. After this, click on the “Turn on Radio” option to turn the radio back on.
  9. After completing these steps, check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 13: Check for a Faulty SIM Card.

It is possible that in some cases, you might have damaged your SIM card through water damage, or you might have broken or cracked it during usage. This seems highly unlikely, but there have been cases where the SIM card doesn’t work after water or physical damage. Therefore, first of all, remove the SIM card from the device after powering it down, and place it inside another phone to check if the SIM card works fine with that phone.

If the SIM card doesn’t work with another phone, it means that the issue isn’t within your phone and is limited to the SIM card only. Furthermore, you need to ensure that you have recharged your SIM card and that your account is in good standing with the service provider. It might be the case that you haven’t paid your dues, resulting in the SIM card being blocked by the service provider. Verify that this is not the case, and then check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 14: Remove the SD Card.

In some rare cases, it has been observed that users are unable to utilize their mobile devices with an SD card inserted into the SIM tray. This might seem like an odd solution to the problem, but if you have been unable to fix it so far, you can give it a try. Power down your device, remove the SIM tray, and take out the SD card from the mobile device. After doing so, reinsert the SIM tray after properly seating the SIM card, and then power on the device. Check to see if the issue persists after the device powers on.

Solution 15: Check for updates.

Sometimes, the phone company you are using may have released a software update that could have broken some components of the phone, potentially preventing you from using the SIM card properly. Since most companies release software patches immediately if there is such an issue, we will try to check if there are any available for your device. To do that:

  1. Unlock your device and drag down the notifications panel.
  2. Click on the “Settings” button to open the phone settings.
  3. Inside the phone settings, click on the “About Device” option.
    About Phone
  4. After that, click on the “System Update” button, and on the next screen, select the “Check for System Updates” button.
  5. This will trigger a manual check for any available updates, and they will now be downloaded automatically on your device.
  6. After the update has been downloaded, click on the “Install” button and accept any prompts to install the new update on your device.
  7. Check to see if the issue still persists after installing this update on your mobile device.

If none of the methods shown above helped you at all, it is possible that the carrier you are using is having some signal issues. Try contacting them and explaining the issue. If they say that everything seems to be fine, then there might be something wrong with your phone’s hardware.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.