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[10/16/16]   How to fix a cell
phone that says
Emergency Calls
Submitted by James Bond on Wed,
11/27/2013 - 7:10pm
Has your Android cell phone started
displaying Emergency Calls Only? Does
your phone no longer have service? Can
you no longer make or receive calls or
message others? Well there is little point in
owning a cell phone if it has no service.
This guide will provide some suggestions
and advice on what you can do with your
android phone to try and get it out of
Emergency calls only and working properly
once again.
Before we begin
There are so many factors that can cause
a cell phone to display Emergency Calls
Only and fixing this problem can be a real
challenge. As I am sure you already
know… It can be a software issue (which
we want it to be as a software problem
can be the easiest to fix), it can be a
hardware issue where an actual physical
piece of the device is malfunctioning
(often difficult to fix), it can be a problem
with the wireless network itself (which is
also difficult as this is usually outside of
your control), the location, a feature on the
wireless account, the list of possible
causes can go on and on which makes this
issue one of the hardest problems to try to
fix on an Android cell phone.
This guide will concentrate primarily on
what you can do to fix your cell phone so
take ALL the advice listed on this page
into consideration when troubleshooting
this issue.
Power cycle your cell phone
Power your phone off, leave it off for 30
seconds to a minute, and then power the
phone back on. Wait for the phone to
power on all the way and then try your cell
phone to see if it’s working properly.
Restarting the phone will force it to try
and reach out and attempt to connect to
your network again. If it was just a hiccup
with the software this extremely simple
reboot can fix the issue.
Second level reset
If power cycling didn’t fix the issue then
power your phone on and while it’s on
remove its battery. This is a type of “soft
reset” that can also fix minor software
issues on Android phones. Just make sure
to have the phone unplugged from its
charger and to pull the battery out of the
phone while the phone is on and running.
Some cell phones are not designed to have
a removable battery. If your phone is one
of these types of cell phones then you will
not be able to perform a second level
reset and you can move onto the next step
in troubleshooting.
Check the SIM card
Be aware that not all cell phones have SIM
cards. If your phone doesn’t have or
require a SIM card to function properly
then you can skip this portion of the
article. If your phone does require a SIM
card then read this section as problems
with a SIM card can certainly cause
problems with your service.
A SIM card or (Subscriber Identity Module)
is used by some cell phones to connect or
communicate with the phones wireless
service provider. SIM cards are not bound
to the phone and contain the subscriber’s
information including their telephone
number and on a side note can also be
used by the user to save contacts to as
well. A SIM card is NOT a memory card or
SD card but it is a very important factor in
some phones when they are getting an
Emergency Calls Only error message as it
is the thing that connects a phone to the
mobile network.
If you were to remove the SIM card from a
phone that was working perfectly fine then
that phone would no longer have any
service and would display an Emergency
Calls Only error message. So check your
SIM, if your phone has one, and make sure
that there is no signs of damage and that
the connectors are clean.
For extra measure you can remove the SIM
card and clean off the connectors with a
pink eraser. Just make sure the SIM is
nice and clean and that there are no signs
of damage. If there are signs of damage
or defect or the tips on the rest of the
article don’t seem to help fix your device
then you should head down to the closest
store that sells your phone and get a
replacement SIM. So if your ATT phone
was displaying Emergency Calls only then
you would go to an AT&T store for a
replacement SIM card, if it was a T-Mobile
phone then a T-Mobile store, etc.
If you are using a SIM card that you have
had for a while, which can be common as
SIM cards can be used from phone to
phone, then you might want to get a
replacement anyways. Replacing your SIM
card every couple of years is usually a
pretty good practice as it will keep your
SIM up to date with the latest
Best way to test a SIM card
If someone else in your family or social
network has the same service provider as
you do then you can also try your SIM card
in their phone and there SIM card in your
phone to try and pinpoint whether it’s a
software or hardware problem. If you
remove the SIM card from your phone and
insert it into their phone and their phone
works fine you can rule out the SIM card
as the problem. If you put your SIM card
into their phone and their phone loses
service and displays Emergency Calls Only
then you will know it’s a bad SIM, you can
get a replacement, and be good to go.
Does this happen everywhere and is it a
constant issue? If not and it only happen
in specific locations then chances are this
issue is due to a poor signal from your
wireless network in that area and will be
outside of your control.
If its constant and other people in the area
are not having any problems with their
service then continue reading.
Search for networks
Try going to your phones “Settings”, then
tap “Wireless and Networks” (note: you
might have to tap “More networks”
depending on the cell phones version of
Android), tap “Mobile networks”, then tap
“Network operators” and then if available
tap on “Search networks”.
Power the phone off and then on and see
if your service has returned.
If your Android phone has its “Network
operators” choice grayed out and does not
allow you to open it to search for networks
then this setting on your phone is likely
setup properly and you can skip this step
in troubleshooting.
Lost or stolen
If your phone was reported lost or stolen
then your service provider is likely to block
that phones IP address and prevent it from
having service much less allow it to make
and receive calls. Wireless service
providers do not want stolen phones to
function properly as it encourages fraud
and theft, so if a phone is marked lost or
stolen its likely to allow one type of call
from that point forward and that is
emergency calls only.
Unless you or someone that has access to
your account reported the phone as lost or
stolen then chances are that it wasn’t
listed as such. If you feel that this might
be the case then you can find out if your
phone was reported stolen by contacting
your wireless provider and asking them
about the status of your device.
Physical design
Cell phones don’t tend to have visible
antennas any more but that doesn’t mean
that antennas are any less important today
as they have always been as far as signal
strength. Some phones have their antennas
built into the back plate of the phone and
if the back plate is removed or damaged
then no more antenna and no more
So if the battery cover no longer fits snug
or properly on your phone then you might
need to contact the manufacture and see
if you can purchase a replacement back
Physical or liquid damage
If your phone was dropped recently or
exposed to liquid around the time that this
problem started then the phone might be
damaged and if this is the case
replacement might be necessary. Most
phones have an LDI (Liquid Damage
Indicator) that changes colors if the phone
is ever exposed to enough moisture to
cause damage.
If you are not sure if your phone was
exposed to moisture you can locate your
cell phones LDI and if it’s any color other
that white or white with Xs on it then it
indicates moisture and has a high chance
of liquid damage. Usually if an LDI is
exposed to moisture or gets wet it will
change from a white to a red or pink color,
so if your LDI is red or pink then your LDI
has been activated, your phone is out of
warranty, and you might have located the
cause of the problem.
If you get a replacement phone because
your original phone has no service and
your replacement phone is having the
same issue then it is highly likely that the
issue is NOT the result of a faulty device
but a problem with the network or location
that you are in.
Time place and environment
Congestion can cause issues with service
as well. If you are in rush hour traffic or in
a highly populated area or at an event with
a lot of people and there is no service or
extremely poor service then there is a
good chance that there are just too many
people using the tower(s) in the area and
wireless service can be difficult to hold
onto. This doesn’t usually cause
emergency calls only but it can certainly
affect your phones service.
Weather and natural disasters
This is one of the more unlikely causes but
I thought that I would mention that snow,
rain, hail, wind, and nature in general can
certainly effect whether a cell phone has
service or not. Natural disasters are some
of the worst causes of service related
problems and are often outside of
anyone’s control.
Hopefully this isn’t the cause of your issue
or the service problems in your area but I
thought I would just point out that Mother
Nature can cause some extreme damage
and doesn’t care for one second about
whether your phone has service or not.
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 it
knocked out hundreds of cell towers and
local residents were without dependable
service for months. If you have no wireless
service during or after a natural disaster
then waiting might be the only option
Try to contact your wireless provider if you
are left without service while towers are
being repaired. You’re paying for a service
and although it is not the wireless carriers
fault that their towers were damaged or
require maintenance it is not your fault
either and there is no point in paying for a
service that you are unable to use.
Software issues
Now for the fun part; something you can
actually troubleshoot yourself to try and
Software issues on Android phones are
often related to a bad third party
application that was downloaded and
installed on the phone by the phones
owner/user. If you recently downloaded an
application around the time that this
started happening on your cell phone then
I highly recommend you uninstall the app
from your phone as that is most likely the
cause of the problem. The same goes for
an application that might have recently
updated as well.
Firmware and software updates
If there is an update available for your cell
phone then make sure to upgrade your
phone to the latest version of Android or
the most current software available. This
goes the same for any applications on your
device that might need to be updated as
Check your cell phones IMEI
This is such an extremely rare cause that I
almost hesitate to add it to the list but
check your Android phones IMEI number to
make sure that it is correct.
To access your phones IMEI number you
can open your dial pad as though you were
going to dial a telephone number and
instead of typing in a telephone number
type in *#06#. The IMEI number should
automatically pop up.
You can compare the IMEI number that
displays on the screen to the IMIE that’s
printed on a sticker on the phone which is
usually located under the phones battery
or in the cell phones SIM compartment.
The IMEI number on the display might
have a couple of extra digits compared to
the printed IMEI but if the IMEIs don’t
match up then there is a problem with your
phones identity and it’s likely that your
wireless providers towers are not
communicating with your phone properly
and the phone will likely need to be
If you get an UNKNOWN error or the
screen pops up but there is no number
displayed then reboot the phone and try it
again. If it displays UNKNOWN or the IMEI
field is blank a second time then try to
check your IMEI with *#06# and then
through the phones settings. You can
review How to find the IMEI number on the
Samsung Galaxy S 4 for a visual
demonstration on how to locate your
phones IMIE. If this UNKNOWN pops up in
place of your IMEI then look into your
warranty or replacement options as your
cell phone is defective. This is so
extremely rare though, like I said before
it’s almost not worth bringing up.
Glitch bug or virus
Sometimes things happen that are outside
of our control or sometimes might end up
on our phones by accident. If a bad
application or a file was downloaded online
that put something bad on the phone it
can be hard to track that file down and
properly remove it from the device. Even
removing a bad app does not guarantee
that it didn’t leave something behind
designed to cause trouble on the phone.
Viruses are not overly common on the
Android OS (Operating System) yet but our
Android phones are mini computers and as
such they sometimes require a little
Cleaning up the phone
An almost surefire way to resolve software
related issues on an Android cell phone is
to perform a factory data reset also known
as a hard reset. A hard reset erases
everything from the phone and puts it back
to its factory default settings.
So a hard reset will wipe out any software
bugs, glitches, viruses, bad apps etc. but it
will also erase all user data as well. So
make sure to backup all the information on
your phone first before doing the hard
reset that way you will not lose any of the
important information that’s saved on your
Android cell phone. If you would like help
with the backup process you can read How
to backup and reset an Android phone for
detailed instructions about the backup
Additional tips and tricks that
MIGHT help
Here are a few more things that a person
can attempt to try to get the Emergency
calls only error message to go away.
These tricks are not usually permanent
solutions and are often, if anything, just a
band aid to get the phone working
properly, even if just temporarily, but I
thought I would just mention them for
good measure.
Airplane mode trick
Activate the “Airplane mode” feature on
your cell phone and then turn it off. Make
a call and see if the phone was able to
reach out, connect to the network, and
make a call.
Remove the SD card
Unlike SIM cards memory cards rarely
cause issues on cell phones and when they
do cause problems its even less likely to
be network related; but for good measure
and to rule out another possible cause you
can power the phone off, remove its
memory card (if it has one), and then
power the phone back on. Try the phone
to see if removing the SD card fixed the
Emergency calls only issue.
If it did resolve the issue then reboot the
phone with its memory card inserted again
to see if the “Emergency calls only” error
pops up again. If it does then you found
the culprit and you should try a different
SD card or try the SD card in a different
cell phone to see if the memory card is
faulty or if it’s a problem with the phone
Prepaid - Out of time
If your cell phone is prepaid then check to
make sure that you have minutes or days
left on your service. Cell phones that no
longer have any service can still make
emergency calls and can make a good
emergency phone for your vehicle but you
won’t be able to make normal calls without
paying for the wireless service.
Contact your wireless service
If you have tried the suggestions in the
guide above, including a factory data reset,
and still have no service and are seeing an
Emergency calls only message then this
issue is probably not because of your
phone but is likely the result of a problem
with your wireless service itself.
That doesn’t just mean a possible problem
with a nearby tower either, service related
issues can mean a problem with your
account or even a feature on one of the
lines on your wireless account.
So call the customer support for your
wireless provider and let them know that
this is happening on your phone. Have
your phone with you just in case they ask
for information to be read from the phone,
like your phones IMEI number.
Be patient but firm
This is one of the most frustrating issues
to have on a cell phone because it could
be a feature on the account that needs
updating or changing, which might be one
department, or it could be the network
such as a problem with a tower and you
might get transferred to a tech
department, who might say it’s a phone
issue and transfer you to a warranty
department, who might want to transfer
you to the manufacture, who points out
that no service needs to be handled by
your Service Provider so the manufacture
transfers you back to your wireless carrier
where you get to start all over again.
Don’t get me wrong your main goal is to
fix your issue NOT to simply get a
replacement device. If you have a problem
that’s related to an issue with your
account or the network then a replacement
phone is going to have the exact same
problem as your current phone is having,
so you might have to speak to a few
departments while your service provider
tries to locate the cause of your problem.
If you feel like you are getting tossed
around, which can happen, especially with
this issue, then consider going into an
actual store and speaking to a
representative in person.
A store representative may not be the best
person to go to when it comes to
troubleshooting but they can often replace
a SIM card right then and there and if that
doesn’t solve the problem (if the phone
uses a SIM) then they can get the right
department on the line when it comes to
solving these types of issues. Store reps
don’t put up with getting the run around
very often either. Just mention that you
have been having communication problems
when you speak to someone from
customer service and have the store
representative do most of the talking.
Try not to leave the store until the
problem is resolved or a solution is in
progress. Just be nice, polite and
reasonable and you shouldn’t have any
problems getting your device fixed or
replaced. Remember that if you get a
replacement and the replacement has the
same issue right out of the box (no added
apps etc) then it’s going to be a SIM or
service issue and you should contact your
service provider as soon as you find out
that the replacement has the same issue.
Review – How to fix a phone
with No service and
Emergency calls only
So a quick recap of what you can do when
your phone has no service and displays
Emergency Calls Only.
Surroundings – consider your
current environment and location
trying to bear in mind any possible
Power cycle – power the phone off
for 30+ seconds and then power it
back on.
Battery pull – if possible remove
the battery from the phone while
the phone is powered on. After 30+
seconds reinsert the battery and
power the phone back on.
Airplane mode – switch Airplane
Mode on and then after a few
seconds switch it back off.
Check the SIM – if your cell phone
has a SIM card then make sure that
it’s inserted correctly, that it’s clean
and functioning properly.
Check your Apps – the most
common cause of problems on
Android phones are app related.
Make sure that none of your
recently added, updated or out of
date apps are causing issues.
Reset – often the best solution
available for software related issues
on an Android cell phone is a hard
Contact your Wireless Carrier –
Sometimes you won’t be able to
solve this issue yourself as it can
be a problem on the network or a
problem with your wireless account.
So contact your wireless service
provider and let them know about
your problem. After all if you cannot
make and receive calls then what is
the purpose of owning a cell phone?
Emergency calls only and no service can
be one of the most frustrating problems to
have on a cell phone but if you follow this
guide then you will be one step ahead
when trying to locate the actual cause and
of course get your phone working properly
If you found this article helpful or would
simply like to let me know you liked it then
don’t hesitate to hit the Facebook Like
button or Google + buttons below. Thanks
for reading and have a fantastic day.
Add new comment
Emergency Calls Only
Submitted by Elizabeth Quiles (not
verified) on Sun, 04/20/2014 - 1:24pm
I followed the first step by turning off my
phone and then turning it back on. It's
working. Thank you 007!!
Worked by the second step.
Submitted by Beyoncé Knowles (not
verified) on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:51pm
Worked by the second step. Thank you!
worked first step. Thank you
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sat, 04/26/2014 - 7:27pm
worked first step. Thank you so much!!!!!
It worked
Submitted by Ed (not verified) on Tue,
04/29/2014 - 5:18am
It worked
Submitted by NEERAJ LALWANI (not
verified) on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 1:09pm
Submitted by Jody (not verified) on Tue,
05/13/2014 - 8:00am
Worked after the second step. Thanks for
the info!!
Tried 1,2,and 3...
Submitted by Ronnie (not verified) on Sat,
05/17/2014 - 4:06am
Tried 1, 2, and 3. Still not working.
Trying to fix Emergency Calls
Submitted by James Bond on Sun,
05/18/2014 - 1:26am
Hi Ronnie,
Sorry to hear that you are still having
issues with your cell phone showing
an “Emergency Calls Only” message.
What type of smartphone do you own?
When did this start happening? Who is
your wireless carrier?
This issue can be extremely frustrating
and can sometimes be difficult to
resolve so make sure to follow all of
the suggestions listed above and if
worse comes to worst make sure to
contact your wireless service provider
so that they can check their end and
make sure that there isn’t any
problems with the service itself.
Thanks for visiting the site Ronnie. If
you experience any more trouble or if
you have any questions then don’t
hesitate to ask.
thank you
Submitted by Ronnie (not verified)
on Sun, 05/18/2014 - 2:18am
I ended up going with the factory
reset. I lost some stuff. But it
worked. Now I can't send or
receive picture messages. But I
have had this problem before. Im
going to call customer service.
They will walk me through it. But
thank you.
You are most certainly
Submitted by James Bond on
Sun, 05/18/2014 - 2:29am
Your welcome Ronnie,
Thank you for coming back to
the site to show your
appreciation as well as to let
others know how you ended
up getting your smartphone
back up and running again.
I find it funny that your MMS
(Multimedia Messaging
Service) is giving you issues
right after a hard reset but if
that customer service
representative was able to
help resolve the issue last
time then its possibly a
configuration issue on their
end and they shouldn’t have
too much troubling helping
you to fix it again.
In any case, thanks for taking
the time to come back and
comment. Enjoy your working
Android smartphone and have
a fantastic day.
Thank you
Submitted by m chopra (not verified) on
Sun, 05/25/2014 - 7:34am
Thank you I followed the airplane method
and it worked
Boss the rubber technique
Submitted by Kiran (not verified) on Mon,
06/02/2014 - 9:18am
Boss the rubber technique worked for me.
Thanks a lot for solving this annoying
problem .... :D _/\_
SIM registration problem (Really
Submitted by Golfdelta (not verified) on
Tue, 06/03/2014 - 1:51am
I recently bought an unlocked Xperia Z1
D5503 in Singapore and had been using it
with a prepaid SIM for a couple weeks
after which I moved to another country
(South Korea). I got a local SIM there, but
it could not register on any network. (I
have already used this SIM on another
phone here in Korea, so I know it works).
The error I got when I manually tried to
register was: Could not register on
selected network. Please make sure SIM is
inserted and selected networks are
available." Sometimes I get this error:
"Network with limited service found. Do
you want to initiate a Network Search?"
I contacted the service provider and after
an hour of struggling with my phone, they
offered to provide me with a new SIM at a
discounted price. So, this new SIM worked
on my Xperia D5503 for three days until
Yesterday, I inserted my Singpaore M1 SIM
into the phone for a couple minutes, took
it out and inserted my new SIM that I had
been using for the last 3 days and all of a
sudden it wouldn't register on the network.
It should automatically register on the
network but it doesn't.
The SIM card has worked before on this
unlocked phone so I'm really confused as
to why it stopped working after I briefly
inserted my Singapore SIM card.
Signal strength bars flashing on
and off
Submitted by Doug (not verified) on Mon,
06/23/2014 - 8:12am
I tried power off, battery reset and factory
reset. Still the same problem The signal
strength bars keep flashing on and off. So
its obviously connecting to the network
and disconnecting.
Thanks for the very thorough instructions.
Learnt a lot about the phone.Its a Medion
and have had it for about a year. The
manual is pretty useless.
You are welcome -- Network
vs. Hardware
Submitted by James Bond on Sat,
06/28/2014 - 10:41pm
Hey Doug,
Your welcome, I am glad that you
found this article helpful. Good
description of your issue by the way.
The more information I have about a
problem the better I can try and
diagnose a phone and try to discover
the cause of that problem and your
right cell phone user manuals are
typically not that great, consider
yourself lucky though, more and more
cell phones don’t even come with a
user manual at all.
From your description it’s hard to say
whether it’s a hardware or network
issue. It’s not likely a software issue
as a hard reset should have resolved it
if it was. It could be hardware like a
loose antennae thus it loses a network
connection when the antenna
becomes dislodged or becomes lose
or detached from the phone. A SIM
card that’s loose or that doesn’t have
proper contact with the phone can
also cause such problems.
At this point there is not much more
that you can do and I would certainly
contact your wireless service provider
if you have not already done so. If
they cannot seem to solve this
connection issue and if you have not
had the phone for more than a year
then I would ask them about any
replacement options they can offer
and then if necessary try to file a
warranty claim.
Manufactures usually offer a one year
warranty with their phones and this
issue should certainly be covered. If
your phone doesn’t have a warranty
any more than you can try taking it
into a local repair shop to see if they
can take the phone apart, pinpoint the
problem, and rectify it. It might be as
simple as plugging the antenna back
into its proper place in which case
they might not even charge you for it.
Sorry to hear that your phone is
having problems Doug, I hope that this
advice helps. Good luck my friend if
there is anything else I can do to try
and help just let me know.
It was a dual sim problem
Submitted by Doug (not verified)
on Sun, 06/29/2014 - 2:28am
I followed most of the more
obvious steps you suggested
culminating in a factory reset and
contacting my service provider.
They checked the network and
tower access and thought finally
asked me to go into a store and
get a replacement Sim card. That
seemed to fix the problem for a
while, but a few hours later the
hunting for network began again.
It was then that I noticed a
message about no Sim card in
Slot No. 1. It was only after
acknowleding and dismissing that
stability returned.
It also appears that the constant
searching for a network was also
running down the battery which I
suspected as being faulty. The
charge now lasts a day.
Anyway, with all the hassles, I
thought it a good time to upgrade
and have ordered one of the
latest octa core Chinese Androids,
with the latest Mediatek 6592
Glad to hear it
Submitted by James Bond on
Sun, 06/29/2014 - 8:48pm
Glad to hear that everything
seems to working properly. I
know that a SIM card can
often be the cause of these
types of issues which is one
of the reasons why I have
such a large portion of article
above devoted to talking
about SIM cards, but I didn’t
even think about a possible
duel SIM card conflict. I am
glad that you brought that up.
I would assume that an error
would have popped up right
away for that type of
problem. Which you
mentioned it did but still,
where was that message
before the replacement SIM
Thanks for coming back to
the site to post a follow up
Doug, I appreciate it. I hope
you enjoy your new upgraded
smartphone, and as always if
you ever need more help with
your Android cell phone don’t
hesitate to stop by and ask.
Submitted by Rajib Adhikari (not verified)
on Sat, 06/28/2014 - 8:43am
Thank You Very much.. My Problem is
Had to reset and manually
search for network
Submitted by koop (not verified) on Mon,
06/30/2014 - 12:25pm
thanks a lot man. really helped. was
thinking of going to spend more money on
hardware repairs having just fixed my
battery terminal.
fix emergency mode only
Submitted by avengekitty (not verified) on
Mon, 06/30/2014 - 1:26pm
You are so awesome totally informative by
far the best site I've ever gone to that
tries to explain something to you. Thank
New BLU Life One - pre sim
Submitted by Mike (not verified) on Wed,
07/02/2014 - 4:17pm
Have a brand new "Unlocked" BLU Life
One 4G GSM Android - no sim card or
service yet (waiting for card to arrive).
Opening screen shows a padlock in locked
position, Emergency Calls Only. Quick
press on lock shows another padlock
above in unlocked position, however
pressing on it does nothing. Long press on/
off button brings up small menu where I
can turn on/off airplane mode and/or
wireless, also has another couple greyed
out icons I don't recognize - I left them
untouched. Menu also asks if I want to
turn the phone off. Oh yes - I have no idea
how it happened (wasn't trying) but it took
my picture - duh. Fiddling with phone a bit
more brought up the green android bot
(can't remember what I did to get to it
either). Couldn't do anything further with
it, like search for wifi signal? And it hasn't
done that itself since the time display
remains incorrect. I have a home computer
network & was hoping to make wifi calls or
access net, google apps, etc. Is bluetooth
out of the question? Menu/Home/Back in
bottom border of phone are inactive. Am I
expecting to do too much with this phone?
Does unlocked really mean unlocked? I can
usually figure out how to do computer
things, but the phone is new territory for
me. The micro-size manual sent with the
phone is pretty useless even when read
with a magnifying glass, though perhaps
I'm just dub, since p6 Introduction 1st
sentence reads "Please install the sim
card before using your phone." Nothing
that looks like "settings" shows up, then
again maybe it's waiting for a sim. Should
I be fiddling with the phone at all pre-sim?
Might I hard-lock it?
Any Insight will be appreciated.
Congrats on the new BLU
Submitted by James Bond on Wed,
07/09/2014 - 11:39pm
Hey Mike,
Congrats on the new smartphone; an
unlocked cell phone as well, even
better. I have myself have not had the
opportunity to handle, much less
setup, a new BLU smartphone but
most Androids will allow you to boot
up the phone and log into Wi-Fi for an
internet connection. I don’t see why a
BLU would be any different. This of
course will allow you to login or setup
a Gmail account and then download
applications from the Android Play
Store if you choose. Short of making
and receiving calls your new Blue
should be up and running including Wi-
Fi, Bluetooth, Camera, Apps, Airplane
mode (which doesn’t matter without a
SIM), security features (including
passwords, PIN codes, Pattern locks,
etc.), Internet browsing (through Wi-Fi
data), etc. Your phone will display
“Emergency Calls Only” until you insert
a working and active SIM card for
I highly doubt that you would cause
any problems in using it without an
active SIM card and if you did
somehow manage to stumble onto an
issue on accident (doubtful) then a
quick factory reset should let you start
fresh again.
Enjoy your new BLU Mike.
May be pin number to unlock
Submitted by John (not verified) on Thu,
07/10/2014 - 8:59pm
I think one of the kids might have
accidentally set our phone to emergency
only mode. When I realized that what
looked like a phone keypad on the one and
only screen available was actually waiting
for a pin number, then the OK button, my
wife remembered the pin right away. This
was after a few hours of trying everything
else but wiping it.
Followed directions, phone is
working again.
Submitted by Rachel Riley (not verified) on
Sun, 07/13/2014 - 4:04pm
Followed directions, phone is working
again. Thanks!!!
"No Service" in my android
Submitted by ShAQUIB (not verified) on
Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:14pm
I tried everything mentioned above but still
not able to get the network back
I restarted the phone, checked SIM in
other phone, Tried different SIMs, did
Airplane mode but nothing happened.
Yesterday I did the Hard reset (Factory
Reset) after that I got connected to
network for few seconds but after that it
again showed "No Service". I am
frustrated, please help.
That is very odd… what did
your service provider say?
Submitted by James Bond on Fri,
08/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Sorry to hear that your cell phone is
having problems connecting to your
wireless provider. A cell phone that
doesn’t have service is not much of a
cell phone and not having service can
be really frustrating especially on a
The odd thing about your problem is
that you mentioned that a hard reset
corrected the issue for a few
seconds… Usually if it’s a device
issue then a reset would either fix it or
it wouldn’t. If it was a service related
issue then the reset shouldn’t fix it at
all because the problem would reside
on your carriers end and not on the
phone itself. So it is very strange that
a reset fixed it for a few seconds.
This also could point to a possible
hardware issue. Perhaps the antenna
on the phone was in the proper place
after the reset and then became
dislodge moments after words (just an
extremely strange coincidence)… does
the service on your phone seem to
come and go? Or is it pretty much
constantly without service except for
that brief few seconds after the reset?
At this point it sounds like you have
done everything that you can do to try
and fix the issue yourself. What did
your wireless service provider say
when you called them and let them
know that your cell phone did not have
service? After all, it sounds like
everything else on your phone is
working except for the service and the
service is what you are paying them
for every month. I would call your
service provider and if they cannot
seem to get your service back up and
functioning properly then I would ask
them about possible replacement
options that they could offer or even
try looking into possible warranty
options with the manufacture of your
cell phone.
Nothing works...
Submitted by max (not verified) on Wed,
08/13/2014 - 12:25pm
Hey, I have a HTC one m7 and I have
noticed that no matter what network sim
card I put in I never have service, I do
however have mobile data, any advice
would be appreciated as my network
provider merely tells me to try a new sim
despite me saying that it does not work.
My phone number and carrier also comes
up as 'unknown'.
Your HTC has mobile data
but no service…
Submitted by James Bond on Sun,
08/17/2014 - 10:15pm
Hi Max,
That’s a strange issue… are you sure
that you are able to get mobile data
through the SIM card and not by using
a Wi-Fi network? If so then that is a
very odd issue indeed to have mobile
data but no service.
Is your phone running on stock
software or has custom software been
installed? If your phone is not
operating on a version of Android
released by the manufacture than I
highly suggest looking into the
software as being a likely culprit.
To be perfectly honest though I am
not sure what is causing this to
happen… This is the first time I have
encountered that specific issue and
due to its nature it sounds like it could
be both a software or hardware
My first impression was that you had a
damaged or malfunctioning SIM card
port, especially since you mentioned
that you had tried multiple SIM cards
with no success, but if your HTC is
able to get mobile data then that
might just throw a monkey wrench into
that theory.
Out of curiosity have you done any
other troubleshooting, short of trying
to replace the SIM cards yet? Did this
issue occur out of the blue or did it
happen after making a change to your
i am not sure...
Submitted by max (not verified)
on Tue, 08/19/2014 - 3:38pm
i am not sure if custom software
has been installed, it was
purchased second hand. I have
tried a full factory reset and i
have also tried using the
'*#*#4636#*#*' and other codes
but the error 'connection problem
or invalid MMI code' keeps
popping up so that idea is now
moot. I tried an O2 sim card and it
actually displayed the phone
number which was a change as
with previous sim cards it was
listed as unknown.
Nothing worked for me.
Submitted by ACertainCreature (not
verified) on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:46am
So yeah, I have tried everything there,
except the factory reset, which always
fixed it, but I am trying to find a way to fix
it without having to delete everything so
often, It happened like 2-3 times so far.
And it all started after I rooted my phone.
And yes, this time I installed some apps
which I got from the internet paid apps, I
got the apks, so that could be it, but even
after I tried deleting them it still didn't
work. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy s4
mini Duos I9192, and when you slide down,
you usually have the SIM 1 and SIM 2,
where you can select one of them. But
when this happens, that bar is gone. Oh
and on the top right of my screen, instead
of 1 and 2 (Sim 1 and 2, and their signals),
I only see 1, and it has 3 to 4 cols filled.
And if I try *#06#, first IMEI is fine.
Second one is null/null. And yes, I did
check the sticker under my battery, it
perfectly matches, excluding some
slashes. I tried deleting Junk Files with
Clean Master, just in case it catches
something, but no luck there. Any clue?
Trying to fix your Samsung
Galaxy S4 mini Duos
Submitted by James Bond on Fri,
08/15/2014 - 11:10pm
Did you install custom software after
you rooted your Samsung Galaxy S4
mini Duos? Your problem, as you
described it, does sound like a
software problem. Especially since this
started happing after you rooted your
cell phone.
The part where you mentioned that
one of your phones IMEI numbers was
reading null/null worries me. When you
factory reset your cell phone does the
reset resolve that issue as well? If you
type *#06# right after performing the
reset does it show both IMEIs
Why did you root your phone, if you
don’t mind me asking?
I tried them all but it doesn't
Submitted by Sherihan Parveen (not
verified) on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 6:28am
I found this site very informative but it
didn't help me much. When I put my SIM
card in my Samsung Xtouch, it says "No
SIM card" it's dual BTW. I tried switching it
off and switching it on again, the airplane
mode, etc. But it still doesn't work. But
the SIM card works on other phones, just
not in the Xtouch. Do you think there's
anything else I should do rather than
waiting to buy a new phone?
BTW I tried cleaning the SIM slot which
worked a bit since my phone now says "No
Service". I have an option called SIM
management but it's faded and not
available to click (I think it's because my
phone can't detect the SIM). Anything I
can do to fix this?
Thank you in advance!
It sounds like an issue with
the SIM card slot
Submitted by James Bond on Wed,
09/17/2014 - 10:13pm
Hi Sherihan Parveen,
I am sorry to hear that you are having
problems with your Samsung. From
your description it sounds like the SIM
card port on the device is defective or
is malfunctioning. Since your Samsung
Xtouch is not reading the SIM card
properly your Samsung cannot
communicate with your wireless
provider which results in no service.
This is why your SIM card works in
another phone just fine (not a bad SIM
card) and why the airplane mode or
power cycling etc. didn’t help (which
it might of if the issue was software
related but its likely hardware
instead). It’s also most likely the SIM
card port on the Samsung as you said
that “cleaning the SIM slot worked a
bit” (good job cleaning the SIM card
port by the way as it’s easy to
As far as what you can do to try and
fix it… hard to say. You can give it
another good cleaning trying to get
those connector leads as shiny as you
can for a better chance at a good
connection. You could also try to hunt
down and replace that part on your
phone. That SIM card slot might not
be the easiest piece to find a
replacement for though and then
actually replacing it might be a bit of a
chore as well. But I thought I would
bring it up as something to consider.
I hope that helps Sherihan. I wish you
the best of luck and I hope you have a
great day.
No Service
Submitted by roxanne (not verified) on
Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:07pm
I have a phone I bought in the Philippines
(it's a Philippine made brand) and it was
working fine for almost 2 years, but it
recently stopped getting service. I have an
inkling that it has to do with my carrier,
but thought it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway.
I tried all that you said except calling my
carrier. I have yet to do that. Even after
doing it all, I still can't get service. It's
been bothering me that when I search for
networks, it can only detect a carrier that
isn't mine. Also the IMEI is fine and my
sim works fine on other phones as well.
Other than the problem possibly
concerning my carrier, do you have any
idea what could possibly be wrong?
Trying to resolve service
related issues can be tough
Submitted by James Bond on Sat,
10/25/2014 - 12:38am
Hi Roxanne,
If you have tried all of the steps listed
in the article above then the next step
would be to contact your wireless
carrier and ask them if they could see
anything wrong on their side that
might be causing problems.
As you said in your comment you have
ruled out the SIM card as being the
cause (as it works fine in another cell
phone) and if you have tried a hard
reset then it’s most likely not a
software issue with the phone itself
so yeah I would contact your wireless
provider and have them take a look at
your account to make sure that
everything is configured and working
properly on their end.
This issue can be a really hard
problem to resolve (which is why the
article above is so long) but if you can
get a hold of a good representative
from your cellular service provider
(DON’T call them with the phone or
phone number that you are having
problems with of course) then
hopefully they will be able to help you
resolve the problem with your service.
I wish you the best of luck my friend.
Let me know if there is anything else
that I can try and help you with.
Thanks so much for the
Submitted by roxanne (not
verified) on Sun, 10/26/2014 -
Thanks so much for the reply and
the article! The help was much
appreciated. I'll be contacting my
carrier as it is the only thing that
I can do now.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sat, 11/08/2014 - 8:03am
Thanks the second step worked for me :)
Thank you!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:39pm
Worked in the "Search for Networks"
stage. Thank you!
Very Good Article
Submitted by martin beeton (not verified)
on Fri, 11/14/2014 - 9:41am
The first step was all it needed. Had never
seen this before. Thanks.
Hello to everybody
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sun, 11/16/2014 - 9:25am
Hello to everybody
I have a samsung galaxy s4 duos with the
following issue:
When security of the phone is set to high
none of my sim cards can connect to the
network. The problem can be solved by
setting security to normal but unfortunately
I have no option since security settings are
pushed by company group policy when
installing mail. Has anyone heard about
this or come across this issue before?
Thank you in advance.
Samsung Galaxy S 4 Security
Submitted by James Bond on Sun,
11/16/2014 - 6:37pm
That is an odd issue that you have
there… short of speaking with your
employer/company to see if you can
have a more lax security policy on
your S4 I am not sure what else you
would be able to do to overcome this
obstacle. It doesn’t sound like an
issue with the phone or the SIM cards
to me.
Tried everything
Submitted by happie (not verified) on Mon,
11/17/2014 - 8:15am
I've got a Huawei p7 i literally tried every
suggestion that is on here but nothing
seems to work. I've got all the bars
showing that the network is there but i
can't make any calls or receive any calls
and my phone just keeps saying
emergency calls only. help.
You might be in the hands of
your Wireless Carrier at this
Submitted by James Bond on Fri,
11/21/2014 - 5:39pm
Hello Happie,
Sorry to hear that you are having
problems with your Huawei cell phone;
especially this particular issue.
What good is a cell phone that cannot
make or receive calls? As you know
this issue can be very hard to resolve
and may even be outside of your
control. What did your wireless service
provider say when you contacted
them? After all you are paying for a
service that you are not being able to
use and at this point it sounds like
your wireless carrier is going to be
your best bet at trying to find a
solution to your current problem.
I have my fingers crossed for you
Happie and wish you the best of luck.
If there is anything else that I can do
to try and help you just let me know.
So far, not looking good
Submitted by Grace (not verified) on Fri,
01/02/2015 - 8:01pm
Hi there -- Thanks for the very thorough
troubleshooter. I got my daughter a
Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo for
Christmas, and it worked fine until today
(Jan. 2), when the phone became stuck on
the emergency call screen. I tried
powering down, removing the battery,
checking the SIM card (looks slightly
scratched--is this normal? not able to
switch SIM cards with another phone
though), and turning airplane mode on and
off, but no luck. I'll have to call customer
support tomorrow but I want to try the
reset. Is it possible to do this if I can't get
to the main menu? I'm just stuck on one
screen (emergency call).
Yes, that is very possible
Submitted by James Bond on Sat,
01/03/2015 - 7:50pm
Hello Grace,
Thank you for the kind comment and
the answer to your question is YES.
You can reset an Android even if you
are unable to access the phones
settings. Check out How to hard reset
an Android cell phone it should provide
you with exactly what you are going to
need in order to accomplish this task
as it lists many common methods
used to perform the reset command
on most Android devices.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you
have any more questions.
Thank you kindly for
getting back to me
Submitted by Grace (not verified)
on Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:28pm
Hi, James -- thank you kindly for
getting back to me. I ended up
taking the phone to T-Mobile and
they did the reset for me. It is so
nice of you to give such detailed
advice to people.
Best regards,
Grace :-)))
Tried all the steps did not
Submitted by Jakelin Bermudes (not
verified) on Sat, 01/10/2015 - 7:05pm
Just today my dad bought me an LG phone
but when I turned it on it said Emergency
Calls Only when I tried to call metro so I
can activate it. I took the cover off of my
phone only to find that my phone didn't
have a sim card. Is that why my phone still
says Emergency Calls Only???
Most likely…
Submitted by James Bond on Mon,
02/09/2015 - 1:35am
A SIM card is what allows a cell phone
to communicate with a wireless
carrier. If your cell phone requires a
SIM card to function (as most do) and
it doesn’t have one then you’re
certainly going to be getting that
Emergency Calls Only message until
you insert a working SIM card into the
So to answer your question… YES, not
having a SIM card is most likely the
reason why your new LG cell phone is
displaying Emergency Calls Only.
Samsung Galaxy Core Plus sm-
Submitted by Kyo (not verified) on Thu,
01/22/2015 - 10:39am
I got this phone as a present from my wife
on Christmas so, it's brand new.
After a week or so, I began noticing that
sometimes, I find my phone on
"Emergency calls only".
After a soft reset (the one in the menu)
it's all good but still goes to emergency at
random times (that's how I call it because
I didn't notice the circumstances in which
this happens). I went to the shop and they
sent it to service. They gave me a
replacement (a tiny Samsung smartphone)
and after 2 weeks they called me to get it
back. I was so happy to have my wide
screen to play with again. They said they
had to do some software updates and
some sync and that it's all good. I drove
home full of happiness (i live 30km away
from the store) but when I got there and
tried to call my wife... boom Emergency
calls only.
That drove me crazy. The next day I went
back and asked for the device to be
replaced and they said I have to send it to
service one more time and if after that it
doesn't work then I can ask for a
I didn't agree with the second service
period (at first) and today I began
searching the internet.
Today I also had to do a physical soft
reset by pulling the battery out and
everything because i shut down using the
settings and it didn't help on top of that
my signal bar is full and I still get
Emergency Calls Only.
I have to mention that my wife has a
Samsung duos and has no such problems
and neither did I when I was using an LG
or the tiny Samsung they gave me for
Any advice? (sorry for the long story)
It might not be the phone…
Submitted by James Bond on Mon,
02/09/2015 - 1:24am
Hello Kyo,
That’s OK. I love long explanations.
They help take a lot of the guess work
out of things and help me narrow
down the exact cause and hopefully
the best solutions to try and fix it.
OK… so from your very well written
explanation/story I have a strong
feeling that the issue might NOT be
with your cell phone but with your
service provider. You mentioned that
your wives phone and your
replacement phone work fine so that
helps rule out a location issue such as
a degraded tower or spotty service.
This is good as you wouldn’t be able
to fix that issue it would be entirely in
the hands of your service provider.
The service center most likely re-
flashed the software to your phone to
help rule out software issues but let
me ask you if your cell phone was
wiped clean when you got it back from
the factory or was your information
still on it. They most likely took a look
at the antenna as well.
The problem with service centers is
that if the issue is intermittent or
sporadic the “testing” that they do on
a repaired or serviced cell phone
might not be extensive enough to
know if the issue was actually
resolved or not. But I have a feeling
that this might not be the case here,
so I digress.
You mentioned that rebooting or
performing a soft reset sometimes
helps and that you also noticed that
you have full service bars and are still
getting the emergency calls only error
message. This might help to show that
there is not a hardware issue with
your Samsungs antenna or SIM card
as its connected to your service
provider (you probably wouldn’t have
any bars if it was a hardware problem)
you just can’t make calls. I have a
strong feeling that there is a
configuration problem with your
wireless carrier and your Samsung
Galaxy Core Plus.
Check your Samsungs IMEI number (I
don’t need to know it) just make sure
that it pops up and doesn’t error out. I
talk about this briefly in the guide
above but there might be a
configuration issue with your cell
phone and your specific wireless
account and you will likely need to
contact your wireless carrier.
Have them check to make absolutely
certain that your Samsungs IMEI
number is the one showing under your
specific phone number and that it is
NOT your replacement cell phones
IMEI or even the IMEI number of the
phone you had before getting your
Samsung. Their system should update
all of this automatically as soon as
you insert your SIM card into your
Samsung but if there is a feature on
the account or something else is
preventing this from happening then
this small little detail can be easy for
a representative to overlook and can
be the root of all your trouble.
If the IMEI number associated with
your telephone number is not the
same (or is incorrect) then their
computer system which provides your
cell phone service might not be
communicating with your cell phone
properly and you will need to have
them update it manually and re-
register and/or resend an OTA (Over
The Air) activation for your Samsung
in order for it to reestablish a proper
connect to the network.
I have a feeling that this is the cause
of your problem and that you are
correct in assuming that sending in
your cell phone for servicing again
isn’t going to solve this problem. A
new cell phone might help (if your
wireless providers system configures
everything like it should) but the
phone isn’t often the issue it’s the
configuration between the phone and
the service.
I hope that helps Kyo. As you can see
the more information you know about
a problem the better chances you
have at fixing it. Thanks for visiting
the site and I wish you the best of
luck my friend.

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