Galaxy S9 has no service and keeps showing EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY [troubleshooting guide]

No service or EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY bug is one of the most common issues any smartphone user can encounter. This is because there are many scenarios that can lead to it, unfortunately. In majority of cases we encounter, this bug is easy to fix so you don’t have to worry if have it on your device. This troubleshooting article tackles this issue that’s happening on the #GalaxyS9 and #GalaxyS9Plus.

Fix #1: Force restart your S9

One of the basic things any user must do when faced with any Android problem is to restart their device. Some bugs are only temporary and can only last as long as the system is engaged. The moment the system is turned off, the bug also vanishes. To restart your S9, simply press the Power button and select Restart from the Power menu. If you’ve already tried this before, then try to simulate a “battery pull” to do an alternate way to restart your device. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Note: Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. Note: Utilize the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Also, allow up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

Fix #2: Verify if signal is good on your location

No Service or Emergency calls only bug sometimes happen if a device has failed to establish stable connection to a cellular tower. To verify if this is the case, find someone with a device connected to the network you’re using and see if there’s good signal where you’re located. If only your phone is affected, then it may be a SIM card issue, an account problem, or an unknown software bug. Continue with the rest of the troubleshooting below.

Fix #3: Reseat the SIM

Sometimes, network issues occur if the SIM card is not properly inserted in the tray, or if it’s not making good contact with the board. To fix the problem, turn off your device and remove the SIM card tray. Then after 5 seconds, reinsert the SIM card, making sure that the card fits snugly in the slot. Afterwards, turn your phone back on and see what happens.

Fix #4: Replace the SIM

Another way to check if you have SIM card issue is by inserting your SIM to another device (make sure this phone is works on the same network as your S9). If your SIM still won’t work on this second device, that’s a clear indication that you have a SIM issue. Otherwise, continue with the troubleshooting below to find what’s wrong with your phone.

Fix #5: Verify if you’re using Fixed dialling feature

Dialling features sometimes interfere with a device’s network configuration which can manifest in No Service or EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY bug. Be sure to check if this is the case by disabling Fixed Dialling, if you’re using it. If you’re not using it, just ignore this troubleshooting.

Fix #6: If on Prepaid subscription, check balance

Some users of older Galaxy devices reported that they experienced No Service or EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY bug after exhausting their prepaid balance. Ideally, this is not supposed to happen but just in case, make sure to check your balance and see if this the reason behind this trouble.

For those on Postpaid subscription, just skip it.

Fix #7: Toggle Airplane Mode

Toggling Airplane Mode on and off can sometimes fixed all types of network bugs. To turn Airplane Mode on and off:

  1. On the Home screen or any screen, pull down the notification bar.
  2. Look for the Airplane Mode button and tap it to activate.
  3. Wait for 30 seconds before turning Airplane Mode back off.

Fix #8: Force your Galaxy S9 to change network mode

While restarting the device and reseating the SIM card can refresh the network settings, there’s another way to achieve the same. In many cases, this method is even more effective than restarting or reseating the SIM card. This method is manually changing the network mode. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Tap Mobile networks.
  4. Tap Network operators.
  5. Tap Search networks.
  6. Wait for your S8 to search for networks.
  7. Once it’s done searching,, select another network to connect to. For example, if you’re on T-Mobile, pick AT&T or any other network.
  8. Your phone will be forced to return with an error because it won’t be able to register successfully.
  9. Afterwards, select your own network again and see if your S8 will now be able to re-register.

Fix #9: Clear cache partition

A corrupted system cache can lead to performance issues and other issues so most Android troubleshooting packages almost always include wiping the cache partition. If you are yet to do this, here are the steps to do it:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key to highlight wipe cache partition.
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Fix #10: Verify IMEI is not blocked

If you got your S9 as a pre-owned device, or if you suspect that it may be blocked, you can check its IMEI status. Carriers may block a device for a variety of reasons and if that occurs, its IMEI may also be blacklisted. To check the status of your device’s IMEI, you can go to this site: imei.info.

Alternatively, you can check if your S8’s IMEI has been blocked by doing these steps:

  1. Open the dialer (Phone) app.
  2. Enter the code:  (*#06#).
  3. If the IMEI says Null, that means that the EFS folder may be corrupted, or may had been blocked. In this case, you can try to reflash the firmware and see if that will restore the default EFS folder. If that won’t work, your S8 will never be able to connect to any network.

Some carriers may block users from accessing advanced menus thru the dialer app. If nothing happens after you enter (*#06#), that means your S8 can’t open advanced menus.

Fix #11: Reset network settings

Should the issue still remain up to this point, the next thing that you want to do is reset the network settings. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.

The steps above will reset wifi, mobile data, and bluetooth settings. This means that you’ll have to enter wifi passwords, re-pair Bluetooth devices, or re-enter VPN credentials again.

Fix #12: Factory reset

To eliminate possible software issue on your S9 that may be causing No Service or EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY bug, make sure to try a factory reset. As the name suggests, this procedure will return the phone’s software to its factory defaults. It will also delete personal data so be sure to back your files up before doing it.

To factory reset your S9:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Fix #13: Contact your carrier support

Finally, if nothing changes after a factory reset, that means that the problem may be account- or network-related. Be sure to contact your carrier so they can troubleshoot the problem on their end.

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