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Tracfone No Service: 8 Causes & Fixes (2023 How-To Guide)

Tracfone No Service

Tracfone makes every minute and megabyte count.

They offer a wide range of airtime cards – from 30 minutes to 30 days – so you can get the most of what you need!

But this doesn’t mean glitches don’t come up once in a while.

Just like any mobile network provider, there’s still that problem users get riled up most about…

That “No Service” message. Paired with empty signal bars.

“But this Tracfone SIM card is new! How could this be?”

Don’t fret.

Read on to find out:

  • Why your Tracfone shows “No Service.”
  • 7 quick fixes to get Tracfone’s service back in seconds.
  • How your Tracfone SIM card could cause service problems.
  • And so much more…

Why does Tracfone say “no service”?

Tracfone says “No Service” because you’re using your phone in a closed area without a signal. Your SIM card may be broken or installed incorrectly. Your phone’s software could have bugs or need an update. Its APN settings may be incompatible. Or you’ve maxed out your data and minutes plan.

What do I do when my Tracfone says no service? 7 causes & fixes

#1: The phone is not activated correctly

Maybe your Tracfone just needs some time to adjust. Especially with all the new settings, apps, and data you’ve put into it.

Also, with anything that involves software, bugs are inevitable.

These software bugs meddle with your phone’s functions. Including picking up the network signal.

These pesky virtual critters are temporary. And with a little toggle here and there, they may go away.

Restart your Tracfone

Maybe a quick restart is what your Tracfone badly needs.

Every phone has its own instruction. Generally, holding the side button will make the power off slider appear. Android phones have the lock/power button. While Apple devices use the volume and side buttons.

Choose Restart so your phone can reboot by itself. Or you may select Power Off. Wait for 10 to 30 seconds. Then, turn it back on again.

Check if the service comes back. It should appear after a few seconds.

Reconnect your mobile network

If it’s not your device, give that network a kick too.

Your device’s buttons may differ. But the commands on phones mainly have the same idea.

To disconnect and reconnect your mobile network on an Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Network & Internet.
  3. Tap Mobile Network.
  4. Toggle the Mobile Data slider to Off.
  5. Wait for 10-20 seconds.
  6. Close all tabs and running applications. You may also clear your phone’s RAM.
  7. Go back to Settings to turn the Mobile Data slider back on.

To disconnect and reconnect your mobile network on an iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Cellular.
  3. Turn off the Cellular Data.
  4. Wait for 10-20 seconds.
  5. Close all tabs and running applications. You may also clear your phone’s RAM.
  6. Go back to Settings to turn on the Cellular Data.

After reconnecting, No Service should be gone.

Use Airplane Mode

One last option to boost your phone’s functions is to turn on Airplane Mode.

Airplane Mode, or Flight Mode, shuts down your phone’s ability to receive and emit signals. Blocking any calls or messages. This can also give the Tracfone network a restart.

To turn on and off the Airplane Mode on your device:

  1. Go to your Home screen.
  2. Open the Quick Access menu. For Android phones, it slides down from the top. For iPhones, slide it up from the bottom of the screen.
  3. Look for the airplane icon.
  4. Press to activate.
  5. Wait for a few seconds.
  6. Tap the airplane icon again.

Doing this may bring back your Tracfone service.

#2: You’re in an area with no service

That horror movie trope wherein the final girl flees from the monster.

We’re rooting for her as she grabs her phone. Dials 911. Hands shaking.

“No service?” *proceeds to throw the phone away while running*

Oh, right. All this happens in a desolate area. In the middle of the woods.

Your Tracfone may show “No Service” because you’re calling from a basement or a cabin. Or somewhere with lots of trees. Or even a remote island.

Tracfone’s signal may not be strong enough to pass through these elements.

Move to an open location

If you’re indoors, go out of the building. And see if the service comes back.

Also, move away from rural areas like forests and mountains. Cell towers may not exist in these places. Or if there are any, they’re too far away. Making it impossible for your phone’s signal transmitter to bounce off of the tower.

Check the weather

Trees and concrete walls are not your Tracfone service’s only obstacles.

Harsh weather conditions can also affect the signal. Heavy rain and snowstorms can throw off the network.

Since this is something beyond our control, it’s best to just wait it out. The service should return shortly after the bad weather.

Avoid devices that cause wireless interference

Your spot may have no service. Because you’re surrounded by items that also create signals of their own.

Appliances like microwaves give off electromagnetic waves. These are responsible for their ability to create heat. These can also interfere with mobile network signals.

If you need to call someone or use your data, stay away from these devices.

You might also like: Can Alexa make calls without a smartphone?

#3: The phone has a pending software update

Pending Software Update

Are you sure you’re really paying close attention to your phone?

Smartphones are literally mini computers. And computers have software so you can use all its handy features. Tech companies add nifty improvements from time to time. Just to make your user experience more comfortable.

These improvements come in the form of software updates.

Maybe you didn’t notice it. Or you just swiped that update notification away.

Don’t ignore it when your phone asks you to update. 

The outdated software could be the one causing the service trouble.

Update your phone’s software

Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, these steps are crucial.

Make sure your Wi-Fi is on. And the battery should be at least 50%.

Your device would also inform you if you don’t have enough storage for the update.

Note: Wait for your phone to finish installing the updates. This can take a few seconds to a few minutes. Your phone may even restart in the process.

To check pending updates on your Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Select System Updates.
  4. Wait for your phone to look for any pending updates.
  5. If there are needed updates, tap it to install.

To check pending updates on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Updates.
  4. Wait for your phone to look for any pending updates.
  5. If there are needed updates, tap it to install.

#4: APN settings are misconfigured

APN stands for Access Point Name. Without this, your phone can’t connect to the internet.

The correct APN settings build that link to your carrier’s gateway. Here, that carrier is Tracfone. When the carrier detects this, it makes a unique IP address for your phone.

An IP address is your identity on the internet. If you don’t have one, you can’t navigate.

For that, misconfigured APN settings can hinder your phone’s network service.

Change your phone’s APN settings

Luckily, setting up your phone correctly is pretty easy.

To modify the APN settings on your Android phone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Mobile networks.
  3. Select Access Point Names.
  4. Go to Menu.
  5. Select New APN.
  6. For the name field, type “Internet”. Select OK.
  7. For the APN field, type “everywhere”. Select OK.
  8. Add “eesecure” as the username. Select OK.
  9. Choose secure for password. Select OK.
  10. Select Save.

To modify the APN settings on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Select Cellular Data Network.
  4. Tap New APN.
  5. For the name field, type “Internet”. Select OK.
  6. For the APN field, type “everywhere”. Select OK.
  7. Don’t write anything for Username and Password.
  8. Tap Save.

Once these settings are adjusted, your Tracfone’s network should appear.

#5: The SIM card isn’t installed correctly

Starbucks has Tall, Grande, and Venti. 

SIM cards have Standard, Micro, and Nano.

Most newer phone models use Nano-sized SIM cards. But you may still be using one that needs a Micro-SIM or a Standard one.

These SIM cards go on a tiny tray. That slides out from the side of your phone.

However, the SIM card tray of older models is on the back of the phone.

You may have inserted your Tracfone SIM yourself. Or had the technician or salespeople do it for you.

Using the wrong size SIM card or not putting it properly makes it hard for your phone to detect it. Thus, causing the “No Service” error.

Identify the correct SIM card size for your phone

One way to know which SIM card size to use is to check your phone’s manual. Or look for your phone’s model in this list.

Also, you may take out your phone’s SIM card tray. Look at the hole where the SIM card would go. Then, compare it to the 3 SIM card sizes.

Reinstall your SIM card the right way

Now, you need to take out your SIM card. 

Note: Be sure to turn off your phone before doing these steps.

Your phone’s SIM card tray may be on the side of your phone. Or at the back behind the battery.

To remove a SIM card from a phone with a side tray:

  1. Get your SIM removal tool. If unavailable, you may also use a paperclip. 
  2. Insert the tool into the hole. Then, push.
  3. The tray will partly slide out. Pull it out completely.
  4. Remove the SIM card
  5. Put the SIM card back in. You’ll know it’s misaligned if it doesn’t fit firmly into the hole.
  6. Push the tray back in the slot.
  7. Turn on your phone. The service should be fixed.

Here’s a video of how it’s done:

To remove a SIM card from a tray in the backplate:

  1. Flip your phone on its back.
  2. Gently take off your phone’s backplate.
  3. Some phones have the tray under the battery. If yours does, take out the battery. If not, you’ll see it on top of the battery slot.
  4. Slowly lift the tray open.
  5. Take out the SIM card.
  6. Put back the SIM card. Make sure it’s aligned with the shape of the slot.
  7. Lock it in with the tray.
  8. Put the backplate (and the battery) back in its place.
  9. Turn on your phone. The service should be fixed.

#6: The SIM card is broken

So after the previous step, you’ve confirmed which size SIM your new phone has.

You found out it needs a Nano-SIM. But your Tracfone SIM is a Micro one.

You don’t wanna let it go yet. Because you’ve used that number for ages. And all your loved ones have it.

But guess what? A broken SIM card can be caused by cutting it yourself. 

Inspect any damages on your SIM card

Recall the first time you bought your SIM card. Was the seal in place on its packaging? Or did it get scratched or tampered with? That’s a sign that you got a defective SIM card.

Now, take a closer look at your SIM card.

Watch out for:

  • Dents.
  • Cracks.
  • Scratches.
  • Cut or clipped edges.
  • Signs of age like discoloration.

Checked one or two things on that list? Most likely, your SIM card can’t be saved.

Get a new SIM card

There’s no use crying over spilled milk.

And there’s no use fixing a broken SIM card. Those things are very sensitive.

The best solution would be to get a new SIM card. To make it easy, purchase a new Tracfone SIM card here.

#7: Mobile data and minutes have run out

Tracfone has definitely won the hearts of many users.

They have a wide array of service plans with varied ranges of minutes and data. Well-suited for anyone’s needs.

For on-the-go workers who make tons of calls a day. Or for adventurous millennials to post on their Instagram stories.

You may be in the middle of a funny group chat with friends.

Then, poof! No service. Your friends are wondering where you vanished off to.

You may have maxed out your data and minutes. Without realizing it.

Fortunately, you can check this anytime. And prevent you from missing out ever again.

Check your Tracfone’s service plan balance

You can easily see your balance in 3 ways:

  • Via text message.
  • Using your computer.
  • Opening the My Account app.

To see your balance using the My Account app:

  1. Open the My Account app.
  2. Enter your account login details.
  3. You’ll see your balance information on My Account Summary. If this doesn’t appear, select the Menu icon, then Dashboard.

To see your balance through text:

  1. Type “BALANCE” in a new message.
  2. Send it to 611611. You’ll get a link to the Terms and Conditions.
  3. Type “Y”, and send. 
  4. Wait for the message with your balance information.

To see your balance on your computer:

  1. Go to Tracfone’s official balance inquiry page.
  2. Choose from two options: Log In To My Account or Use My Phone Number.
  3. For Log In to My Account, enter your account details. Then, your balance will be displayed.
  4. For Use My Phone Number, enter your phone number. Go to your phone, and text “FOUR” to 611611.
  5. You’ll receive a 4-digit number. Enter it on the website, and hit Submit. Then, you’ll see your balance.