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How to enable or disable access point name (APN)

Young woman in braids and headphones uses her mobile phone to access public transportation

What is an APN setting?

An Access Point Name (APN) is the information your phone reads to make a connection to the gateway between your mobile network and the internet.

When you access the internet via your smartphone, your carrier’s network will use your APN to give your device an IP address and make sure the connection is secure.

Why check your APN settings?

For the carrier to be able to ensure these things, the settings on your device need to be correct.

In most cases, your mobile’s APN settings will be pre-configured, meaning you don’t have to worry about adding any extra information to connect to your network.

However, there are some instances when you’ll need to manually change your APN settings.

If your phone is not connecting the way you want it to, there may be an issue with the in-built settings requiring you to re-enter the correct settings.

  • The most common reason for needing a new APN is when you move from one network to another, as an APN is specific to each network operator. This is particularly relevant if you’re purchasing a refurbished phone that has been unlocked.
  • Not all connectivity issues are caused by an APN issue, so make sure you change the settings with care. Incorrect settings can prompt a loss in connectivity.

Learn more: WiFi vs cellular data: What’s the difference?

View and change your APN settings

If you enter incorrect APN settings, you might lose cellular data connectivity and receive additional charges.

Don’t edit the APN unless directed by your carrier.

Contact your carrier to verify the correct APN settings.

If your carrier allows it, you can view your APN settings in one of the following locations:

      • Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network
      • Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network

If your device doesn’t have either option, contact your carrier.

To change your settings, tap each field and enter the details from your carrier.

The settings should save automatically.

Depending on your carrier, you might not be able to change the cellular data settings.

If your carrier needs a different APN setting, you might be able to use a configuration profile with the correct setting.

Unless you’re using a configuration profile, updating iOS resets any changes made to your APN settings.

If you edit your APN settings before updating iOS, your settings will reset to the default values.

You might need to reenter your settings after an iOS update.

Reset your APN settings

If your carrier allows it, to revert to your carrier’s default APN information, go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network > Reset Settings.

If you installed a configuration profile, the profile’s default information will be used instead.

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad in an enterprise environment, you might need to contact your mobile device administrator to change your APN.

If you change APN settings that a mobile device administrator set for you from a configuration profile, here’s how to change it back:

    • On iPhone: Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network, then tap “Reset Settings“.
    • On iPad: Remove the configuration profile and add it again.

If you’re a mobile device administrator, you can use Apple Configurator or another mobile device management solution to change the APN and other advanced settings.

Looking for something else?

Check out the Support Center for all Mobile support content.


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