What are Carrier Settings and how do I Update Them?

Aug 22, 2017
How To

Us iPhone owners are used to regularly being hounded after a new update is released. Sometimes it can feel as though there’s a new iOS update every day, and tapping the ‘Not Now’ becomes a bit of a chore. One window that’s been plaguing iPhone users more recently asks whether or not you’d like to update your Carrier Settings. Just what are these Carrier Settings, though? Why would you want to update them? And if, like me, you tap ‘Not Now’ without even thinking, how do you go about updating them manually? We answer everything you need to know about Carrier Settings here in this article.

What are Carrier Settings on my iPhone?

According to Apple, “Carrier settings updates are small files that can include updates from Apple and your carrier to carrier-related settings, such as network, calling, cellular data, messaging, personal hotspot, and voicemail settings.” So essentially, Carrier Settings deal with how your iPhone connects to the relevant networks. This can include how your phone connects to 4G, makes calls, or receives voicemails through your phone carrier, or even how it connects to different Wi-Fi networks.

Do I have to update Carrier Settings on my iPhone?

If you decide not to update your iPhone’s Carrier Settings you won’t notice any difference. Occasionally an update can fix specific bugs, but most of the time it will just improve performance. If you don’t have the most recent update, though, things will remain the same. If anything, the worse thing about ignoring the update is that the window will continually pop up asking you to if you want to go ahead with it, which can get frustrating.

However, updating your iPhone’s Carrier Settings can have its benefits, including increased functionality, better call quality, and faster data speeds. In particular, if you haven’t updated the Carrier Settings in a long time you might really notice a big difference. If you have the time to do so, it’s recommended that you update whenever you can in order to reap the potential benefits.

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How do I update Carrier Settings on my iPhone?

We’ve all been there before: a window pops up asking you to update something, anything, but you tap ‘Not Now’ without even thinking. A year later and you realise you’re on iOS 9 when everyone else is on 10. If you’re one of those people who always updates no matter what, then when the window appears asking you whether or not you want to update your iPhone’s Carrier Settings, simply tap Update. If you’re a ‘Not Now’ tapper, though, luckily there’s an easy way to check to see if there’s an available update.

  1. From the home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. If there’s a Carrier Settings update is available, a window will appear notifying you. Tap Update.

Unlike an iOS update, you’ll be able to use your iPhone as soon as you tap update. It won’t take up any of your time, but hopefully it will improve your iPhone’s Carrier performance.

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