How to Update Carrier Settings on iPhone & Why You Should

We’re all familiar with updating our iPhone’s iOS; but every now and again, a little box will pop-up telling us that our carrier settings need to be updated. Regardless of what cellular provider you use (Verizon, TFW, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc), every carrier has settings that need to be updated at times. A carrier settings update won’t take long to install. But it’s important to update your carrier settings on iPhone because the updates allow your cellular provider to update your network, enhance performance, and add new features such a Wi-Fi calling. We’ll cover a bit more on what a carrier settings update is below, as well as how to update your iPhone’s carrier settings.

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What is Carrier Settings Update on iPhone

It’s good to note that your carrier settings are not the same as an iOS update. Apple releases new iOS updates that change a huge part of your experience on iPhone by adding new features and settings. Your carrier settings update, on the other hand, provides smaller tweaks and come directly from your cellular provider; these tweaks are necessary for making sure your cellular network both works to the best of its ability and keeps up with new features the iPhone can do.

According to Apple, “carrier settings updates let your carrier provider update carrier network and related settings to improve cellular network connectivity and performance or add support for features like VoLTE or Wi-Fi Calling.” If you’re unsure about what your carrier settings updatr entails and want to be clear on it before updating, you can contact your cellular provider for more details.

For the most part, however, there’s nothing to worry about when this pop-up appears. You’ll simply want to update your carrier settings either when you see the popup or at a more convenient time. Unlike iOS updates, carrier settings update aren’t known for having buggy issues or problems that have to fixed with more and more updates. 

How to Update Carrier Settings on iPhone

If you see the following pop-up appear on your iPhone, simply tap Update Now to go directly to the carrier settings and begin installing the update.

If you select Not Now, the popup will eventually return if you don’t manually update your carrier settings. In some cases, carrier settings are automatically updated when the changes are an absolute requirement; in those cases your phone will automatically update carrier settings and simply let you know. Otherwise, if you dismiseed the pop-up and want to make sure your carrier settings are up to date, here’s how to update them from Home screen:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Select About.

  • If there’s a carrier settings update waiting to be installed, the option will show up.
  • If not, you’re already up to date.

Overall, updating your carrier settings is harmless to your device and necessary to its performance. If you ever get a new SIM card, you’ll likely see the option to update your carrier settings at that moment as well. But no worries, it’s a painless update and you likely won’t notice a change at all.

Top image credit: blackzheep /

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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.