Galaxy Note 5 keeps getting “not registered to network” error after unlocking, other issues

This day’s #GalaxyNote5 troubleshooting article answers some text, call, and network unlocking issues. We only cover three problems in this post but we plan on posting more of the same in the coming weeks. If you can’t find the help you need, try to browse our previous posts or keep watching for more articles.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem 1: Galaxy Note 5 voice calls and texts keeps going in and out

I got a new Note 5 for Christmas from my boyfriend. I believe it’s refurbished. I have straight talk and have contacted them a couple times about this but they say everything looks good on their end. I am starting to question if it could be a phone issue. My problem is that my service for both calls and texting keeps going in and out without my really knowing it. It’s doing it quite a bit. I do sometimes get a notice for texts not going through that will signal me that its not working right again but often I have no clue. I have been dealing with it quite a bit and have several steps I take to try to get it working again which includes shutting my phone off and on and turning my data on and off. I have very recently learned that I can push it to work by simply making a call and all my texts will start going through, both coming and going. I do run a business and use my personal phone as my business phone and I am getting reports from some clients and some personal contacts that calls are not going through at times. I really need to try to get this resolved. Have you heard of any similar issues with this? It’s not just texting, it’s calls as well. — Ourbucketbrigade

Solution: Hi Ourbucketbrigade. It’s a rather difficult task, if not impossible, for support teams like us to know the real reason why your situation is happening.

Firstly, there is a long list of possible reasons for it. Generally, it can be due to an app, an operating system glitch , network issue, or a hardware malfunction. Each of them can have their own subsets of causes and you’ll need to use the method of elimination to narrow down the possibilities.

Secondly, an issue like this is better addressed by your carrier. They’re in a better position to know more about the problem as it involves their service and their infrastructure. Everything may be all set on their end but they are obligated to help you troubleshoot and eventually identify the problem.

There’s a chance that your issue may be operating system related. Remember you have a refurbished device and it’s possible that it’s software may not be fully compatible with that of your current network. We often see issues similar to what you’re experiencing with devices that are not originally built for networks they’re using. For example, some AT&T devices may not work properly when used in AT&T network, even if both networks are using GSM technology. This is because each of them has its own version of firmware designed for their devices. Carrier-branded devices can only run the firmware their network provides as such firmware are optimized to work with the idiosyncrasies of said network. If you use a device running a different firmware, it may encounter problems and not all features in that device may not work.

If you think your device keeps on losing network connection, you can try some basic things to address common reasons for it.

Observe the phone in safe mode

This troubleshooting step is meant to address the possibility that one of your third party apps may be to blame. To check, restart the phone to safe mode and let it run for a few days. While in this mode, third party apps and services will be blocked so only the basic system apps will work.

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. Once ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. The phone will restart but keep the Vol Down button pressed.
  5. Once the phone has finished restarting, ‘Safe mode’ will be display in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  6. You may now release the Volume Down button.
  7. Use the phone as you normally would (minus the ability to use other downloaded apps of course) and observe it for a few days.

The result of this troubleshooting depends on the cause but if you notice that your phone works normally, that’s a clear sign that one of your downloaded apps is causing the trouble.

Update apps and Android

If you have a refurbished phone, chances are you’ll not be able to update its operating system at all. This doesn’t mean you checking for updates and installing them when available is not recommended. If you can’t update Android version at this time, make sure that your apps are all up-to-date. Remember, updates can sometimes fix unexplained bugs.

Get a new SIM card

This is actually a basic thing to do when you encounter a network problem similar to your experience. If you haven’t done it yet, consider getting a different SIM card from your carrier and see if it will help.

Wipe the phone

Should the basic steps above won’t help, you can then try a more drastic solution by doing a factory reset. You should be careful in doing this though as you have a refurbished device. Factory reset may revert all settings including your network settings back to their original, stock setup. This may cause the phone to be unable to connect back to your network. To know if you can perform a factory reset safely in this device, talk to the original owner of the device or the store where you bought it from so they can advise you accordingly.

If you want to go ahead, here’s how to factory reset your Note 5:

  1. Create a backup of your important files and data.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  3. Find and tap the Settings icon.
  4. Under the ‘Personal’ section, find and tap Backup and reset.
  5. Tap Factory data reset.
  6. Touch Reset device to proceed with the reset.
  7. Depending on the security lock you used, enter the PIN or password.
  8. Tap Continue.
  9. Touch Delete all to confirm your action.

Problem 2: Galaxy Note 5 cannot send and receive SMS in office, can’t receive calls

We have a real mystery here! My husband has a Samsung galaxy Note 5. For the last couple weeks, he cannot send or receive text messages and when you call his phone it goes right to voice mail. The weird thing is, it only happens at his job. Nothing has changed there. Sprint has checked on the towers and they are all fine. Other employees there use SPRINT and have Samsung phones. Once he gets homes everything starts coming to him…text messages…voice mail. It worked before so not sure why all of a sudden it does not work. HELP!!!!! What do we do? We changed out the SMS CARD….went to Sprint and we updated his PRL. Please let us know if you can figure this out. No one else can!  Thank you. — Janet Early

Solution: Hi Janet. Is there a chance that his employer may be blocking network services at his workplace? We understand this issue is not true for your husband’s co-workers but we don’t have enough details about the situation to be able to tell you where the issue may lie. If this was not the situation before, something must have changed to cause the issue.

One possibility that may affect his device’s network function is location. Did he moved his office to a different location in the building? If he did, the spot where he normally stay may be isolated and does not good signal coverage. Ask him to move around in the open where the network signal is good.

If he didn’t relocate his office at all and he previously had no network issues in this place before, tell him to talk to their corporate IT guy so they can figure out the cause of the problem.

Problem 3: Galaxy Note 5 keeps getting “not registered to network” error after unlocking

I bought this phone on Craigslist for $75.00 and the intent was to unlock it from T-Mobile to MetroPCS. The problem is that I factory reset the phone and went through the unlock process with a third party vendor. However, the phone still states “not registered on network.” I swapped the SIM cards between the Samsung On5 (metro PCS) and the Samsung. I have tried a number of the YouTube fixes but none of them worked. I have tried several variations of swapping SIM cards all to no avail. — Owen

Solution: Hi Owen. These are some of the common reasons why an unlocked phone may not work in a network:

Phone has been blocked or blacklisted. No unlocking method will allow your device to work in any network if it’s been tagged as stolen, blacklisted or blocked. This is often the cause why a lot of people who buys a refurbished phone may not be able to make it work in a network. A blacklisted device is usually those that’s been reported as stolen or lost. We don’t know the circumstances of your phone but you should ask the vendor about this if possible.

The device may also be blocked by the network after the previous failed to pay his dues.

Phone hardware is not compatible. This is often one of the least known reasons why a phone may fail to register to a network. Keep in mind that not all phones can work universally with all carriers. For example, a Verizon Note 5 may not support AT&T’s data frequency in your area so even if you’ve unlocked the phone properly, it’ll still be impossible to make data to work since your phone’s radio does not support AT&T’s data band. Check the frequency your carrier uses and compare it with the frequency your phone supports. To know the frequency in your phone, do a Google search for it using the exact model number.

Phone network settings may not be set up properly. Of course, you also want to make sure that your phone’s software and network settings are correct. While most GSM devices automatically configures network settings once you insert the SIM card, this may not be so for CDMA devices. Again, know more about your device and use Google to find the right settings your current network requires.


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