Wondering why is my phone roaming at home? Confused?
Well, there are multiple reasons related both to your device and the cellular operator settings so let’s explore more and learn the essentials!
Your phone will roam at home when the network coverage is weak or when the cellular settings of your smart device are incorrect.
It is also possible that there are changes in your carrier’s subscription or there is physical/wireless interference present at home.
Let’s dig deeper into this problem and learn more!
Why Is My Phone Roaming When I’m At Home?
Your phone “roams” whenever it disconnects from your carrier’s network and hops on another network.
This can happen whenever the wireless signal of your carrier is obstructed, weakened or there’s a software issue with your mobile device.
Here are some of the most frequent reasons why phones are roaming at home:
- Weak carrier network coverage
- Insufficient network bandwidth
- Issues with the carrier SIM card
- Wireless/physical interference
- Outdated network carrier options
- Alternative partnership agreements
Note Before We Start:
If you’ve recently changed the clauses of your carrier subscription in any way, this may have an impact on how your SIM reacts with the network.
Double-check whether you have enough cellular internet as well as calls since this is essential for troubleshooting the problem!
The 7 Solutions When Phone Roaming At Home!
Note: To learn why is my phone roaming at home, follow our instructions consecutively!
1. Check your Carrier’s Network Status!
The first step in the best user’s interest is to determine whether the mobile service carrier is experiencing a temporary outage in your area/residency.
While undergoing maintenance, users in specific areas may have their service stopped for the time being.
- When the carrier’s network is down, your device will search for new networks!
Though your device will “roam” in search of new networks, as soon as the carrier signal is reachable again, the device will reconnect automatically.
Hence, during the service on your service is stopped, your phone may be accruing cell coverage from other nearby networks.
Tip: Check for planned/unplanned outages on the official website of your operator!
2. Deactivate the “Data Roaming”
Both iOS and Android devices have a feature that respectively turns off the data roaming and activates it.
When your phone is having issues with establishing a connection to the provider’s network, it’ll remain offline rather than searching for other connections.
How to Turn Off “Data Roaming” (iOS)
- Open the “Settings” app.
- Navigate to “Mobile Data”.
- Press “Mobile Data Options”.
- Deactivate “Data Roaming”.
- Toggle the activation slider to “OFF”
How to Turn Off “Data Roaming” (Android)
- Launch the “Settings” on your phone.
- Navigate to the “Network & Internet” tab.
- Press on “Mobile Networks” or ”Mobile Data”.
- Press the toggle next to “Data Roaming”.
Info: If “Data Roaming” is deactivated, the activation slider on iOS will turn gray.
For most Androids, the deactivation is similar, though the slider may be in a different color.
3. Power Cycle your Smartphone!
Next, we’ll approach the problem with something as simple as rebooting your device.
If you’re wondering why is my phone roaming all of a sudden, restarting the system of the device by performing a power circulation.
How to Power Cycle iOS Device:
- Go to the “Settings” app.
- Access the “General” page.
- Scroll all the way down.
- Select the “Shut Down” button.
- Hold the power button to turn on the device.
How to Reboot Android Device:
- Hold the power button of the device.
- Select the “Power Off” option from the menu.
- Wait for the device to shut down.
- Hold the power button of the device again.
- Wait for the Android device to restart.
Tip: It’s important to Shutdown the device and not only select the “Restart” option.
4. Reseat the Mobile SIM Card
Your device’s roaming may be occuring because there’s a problem with the SIM card.
Some devices may even automatically enable the “Roaming” feature when they disconnect from the carrier’s network, hence when the SIM card is not recognized.
Follow these steps to reseat the SIM on any device:
- Grab a SIM tool (or sharp and thin object).
- Insert the tool into the device’s SIM tray.
- Take out the cardholder and eject the SIM.
- Clean the SIM tray properly and embed the SIM.
- Tip: Use the cut (orientational) SIM card corner.
- Insert the tray as well as the SIM back into the device.
About SIM Nests (Android):
Whilst iOS devices don’t have this feature, upon rebooting some Android devices, you’ll receive information as to which SIM nest is occupied.
Reboot your Android device and check the first notification you’ll receive, whether the SIM is detected by the device.
5. Reconnect to the Provider’s Network!
It is possible on any mobile device, to manually reconnect to the provider’s network.
As long as your device has a SIM card inserted, it’ll be eligible to scan the area for available provider networks and specifically tell you which one is your carrier’s.
How to Reconnect to Carrier On iOS:
- Launch the Settings app on your iOS device.
- Navigate to the “Cellular” tab and press it.
- Choose “Network Selection” from the list.
- Change the feature from “Automatic” to “OFF”.
- Use the search field to locate your network.
How to Reconnect to Carrier On Android:
- Enter the Settings on your Android.
- Navigate to the “Network & Internet” tab.
- Go to “Mobile Networks” or “Mobile Data”.
- Select “Network Operators” from the list.
- Write your network’s name in the search field.
- Press on “Connect with this Network”.
Tip: If the operator connection on iOS devices fails, revert the “Network Selection” feature back to “Automatic” Once the carrier’s network is available, your device should connect by itself.
6. Change the Data Mode Option!
If you’ve selected a mobile data type that is unavailable from your location (such as 5G), your phone will switch to roaming.
You must select a type of signal that is available in your location, in order to connect with your provider’s network.
How to Change Mobile Data Mode (iOS)
- Launch the Settings of your iPhone.
- Head to the “Mobile Data” tab.
- Enter. “Mobile Data Options”.
- Choose “Data Mode”.
- Select “Standard” from the options.
How to Change Mobile Data Mode (Android)
- Get into the Settings of your Android.
- Navigate to the “Connections” tab.
- Press on “Mobile Networks” next.
- Select the “Network Mode” button.
- Select “2G”, “3G”, “4G” or “5G”.
Info: By setting the mobile data on your iPhone to “Standard”, you’ll allow the device to use whatever network is available, regardless of whether it is 3G, 4G, or 5G.
7. Reset the Network Settings!
The final step is to reset the network settings of your mobile device. If there is some sort of configuration fault with your device’s network behavior, this is the best way to resolve the issue!
- This method will permanently erase, all remembered WiFi/Bluetooth networks!
How to Network Reset an Android?
- Launch the Settings app on your Android.
- Scroll down and tap on the “System” button.
- Press “System and Updates” from the list.
- Enter the “Advanced” configuration page.
- Choose “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth”.
- Enter the device’s PIN to confirm the reset.
How to Network Reset an iOS Device?
- Get into the Settings of your iPhone.
- Navigate to the “General” tab.
- Press on “Transfer or Reset [Device]”.
- Choose “Reset” from the options.
- Select “Network Settings Reset”.
- Follow the remaining steps…
Info: When the network settings are reset, your device would need a couple of minutes to automatically reconnect to the network.
In case you’re out of service, reseat the SIM again.
One More Thing! – APN Settings?
Well, it’s possible that after the network reset your mobile device will not automatically receive the APN settings from the supplier.
APN on iPhone – Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network > Access Point Names
APN on Android – Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names
Info: Then you can check online and manually configure the APN settings as per your provider!
Need More Help?
In case your phone keeps roaming at home, it’s possible that the fault is on your operator’s side, so you would need to call them. Describe what you’re facing and hopefully, they’ll help.
Now that we know why is my phone roaming at home, we’ve learned that the “Roaming” setting is enabled or something with the network settings is wrong.
The solution requires all users to power cycle their devices, reseat the SIM, and reset the network settings.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.