It can be very frustrating when your Tracfone says no service but has minutes. You won’t be able to make or receive calls and messages.
We have the solution!
We’ve come up with surefire solutions on how you can get rid of these issues on Tracfone.
You can be sure that you’ll be able to make use of your existing minutes and that they won’t go to waste.
Let’s find out how to fix this!
To troubleshoot a Tracfone device showing a No Service error, restart it. If this doesn’t work, remove and reinsert the SIM card. Doing these should get rid of temporary bugs and glitches. If the above methods don’t work, try updating your device’s firmware and modifying network settings.
Before we discuss the solutions in detail, let us find out the possible causes of the problem. It will help us fix the issue quickly.
There are many reasons for a No Service error to appear, but you have minutes.
Some of the most common causes are SIM cards and phone hardware issues.
Corrupted software can also cause this.
If the problem is with your handset and not the backend, there are a few troubleshooting methods you can follow.
1. Service Outage
Either you are in a No Service area, or a storm or accident disrupted the services. In this case, there’s nothing you can do but wait for the signal to come back.
2. Phone Not Activated
Your phone may not be activated correctly. It’s unable to connect to your carrier’s activation server, so you have no reception.
3. Faulty SIM Card
There may be an issue with the SIM card registration. Your phone isn’t able to successfully read the data it needs from the SIM to communicate with your mobile network.
4. Using Wrong Settings
Certain settings differ from device to device, and carriers often send out settings updates to help improve connectivity.
If you miss out on these updates, you may encounter service issues with your device.
5. Tracfone has Changed Networks
You may be affected by the current network changes with Tracfone. Check if you are impacted by texting MIGRATE to 611611.
These are the possible reasons you’re getting the No service error even though you have minutes.
Now, let us proceed to the solutions.
If your Tracfone says no service but has minutes and days, there are a few things you can do before messing up your phone’s settings.
We recommend you start with the simplest solutions.
Turn off your phone’s connection and back on by toggling Airplane Mode on and off. It’s the easiest and quickest way to fix your signal woes.
Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Quick Settings or Control Center panel, then tap the Airplane symbol. If this doesn’t work, reboot your device.
If none of the above methods work, proceeds to the troubleshooting steps below.
If your phone displays ‘No Service’ instead of Tracfone, you know there is something wrong with your network.
One of the first things you want to check is the SIM card that’s on your phone.
An issue like physical damage or a faulty SIM can cause this to happen.
Before proceeding to other solutions, you want to check the condition of your phone’s SIM card.
You want to know if you need to simply align it or replace it altogether so your phone can detect Tracfone’s signal.
Here’s how to make sure your SIM card is in good condition:
- Use a SIM-eject tool and press the release switch on your phone’s SIM tray.
- Examine the SIM card and check for dirt or signs of damage.
- Align the SIM card into your phone’s SIM slot.
- Insert it back into your phone and check if the issue is resolved.
- If not, you will want to consider replacing it with a new SIM
A connectivity issue that’s caused by your phone’s software or hardware can also cause ‘No Service’ to appear.
Even though you know that your SIM is active since it still has minutes, you won’t be able to use it until your phone reconnects to the Tracfone network.
For Android devices, try using it in Safe Mode to check if your phone is experiencing software issues.
With Safe Mode activated, only the essential software that your phone needs to run is loaded.
If your phone detects Tracfone’s signal, you want to check some of your recently installed apps.
Here’s how to boot your phone in Safe Mode:
- Switch off your phone.
- Press the Power button to turn your phone on.
- As soon as your phone lights up, press the Volume Down button.
- A pop-up will appear, tap on Safe Mode.
- Turn your phone off.
- Press your phone’s Power button to turn it on.
- While the animation is displayed, press and hold the Volume Down button.
- Wait for your phone to start in Safe Mode.
Pro Tip: If Tracfone’s signal is detected, uninstall apps you recently installed.
It’s also possible that your Tracfone phone has suddenly been deactivated. Now, this is not a common occurrence, but it can also happen.
Whenever this happens, you want to check your Tracfone account and make sure your phone is activated or not.
You’ll want to reactivate your phone so that it can search for Tracfone’s network signals.
Here’s how to reactivate your Tracfone phone:
- Open the Tracfone.com website to activate your phone.
- Go to the Activate tab.
- Select the device you want to reactivate.
- Click on Activate.
- Wait for the process to finish.
Note: You can reactivate your phone wherever you are as long as you’re in an area with Tracfone coverage.
If you know that your Tracfone account still has lots of call minutes left, but it says ‘No Service’ on your phone, you’re likely dealing with a connectivity problem.
Your phone’s network settings may not be set properly. Network and carrier settings can be a bit sensitive, and the slightest difference can cause your phone not to connect properly.
You want to check your phone’s APN settings and set it up properly, so you don’t lose Tracfone service.
Whether it’s in the form of call minutes or data, you want to ensure your phone is set properly.
Here’s how to update your phone’s APN settings:
- Go to your phone’s Settings app.
- Select Cellular, then Cellular Data Network.
- Tap on New APN from the drop-down box.
- Enter Tracfone APN in the box as a name.
- Add the items below to your APN name.
- Open your phone’s Settings.
- Go to Mobile Networks.
- Choose Access Point Names.
- Select an existing APN to edit it.
- Change the items to the ones listed below.
Tracfone’s APN Settings:
- APN Name: Tracfone
- APN: TFDATA
- Proxy: proxy.mvno.tracfone.com
- Port: 80
- MMSC: http://mms-tf.com
- MMS Proxy: mms3.tracfone.com
- MMS Port: 80
- Auth Type: PAP
- APN Type: default,mms,supl
- Protocol: IPv4
As soon as you insert the SIM on your phone, it should get your carrier’s core network settings. After this is done, your phone should detect your carrier and connect to the network.
It’s also not unheard of for carriers to change their network settings allowing them to evolve with modern technology.
If you’re using a much older phone, you want to specify the carrier it needs to connect to manually.
Here’s how to change your phone’s network carrier to Tracfone so it can connect properly:
- Launch your phone’s Settings app.
- Select Mobile Data.
- Go to Mobile Network.
- Switch off the Automatic option.
- Select Tracfone from the list.
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Select Mobile Networks.
- Go to Network Operators.
- Choose Tracfone.
Note: Networks that have their settings saved on your phone will appear here. If Tracfone does not appear, you will want to use a new SIM card.
One of the main reasons why you’re getting this problem even if you have active call minutes left is that Tracfone is migrating to a different network standard.
They’re now using the VoLTE standard, which you’ll have no issues with if your phone is compatible.
The good news is that the latest phones carry this standard, and you should have no issue with it as long as you turn it on.
Here’s how to activate VoLTE on your phone:
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- Select Cellular, then Cellular Data Options.
- Set LTE to Enable.
- Tap on VoLTE to turn it On.
- Select Voice and Data.
- Open your phone’s Settings.
- Go to Network and Internet.
- Select Mobile Network.
- Under Preferred Network Type, select 4G.
- Tap on Enable VoLTE to turn it on.
Note: If you’re unable to enable VoLTE, ask your carrier about its availability in your area.
These are the ways how you can fix this particular error with your Tracfone phone.
Additionally, if you continue to experience problems, you can update your phone’s software and even perform a factory reset.
You can also contact Tracfone customer support so they can help you troubleshoot and fix your issue.
Now that you know what causes Tracfone says no service but has minutes, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.
Transferring your minutes to a different Tracfone account is also an option here so you can make use of your active minutes even if your phone does not regain Tracfone’s signal.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.