How to fix Galaxy S8 “Network not available, but please try again later” bug [troubleshooting guide]

Many Android users have contacted us on how to deal with “Network not available, but please try again later” error on their #GalaxyS8 devices so this article is for them. This bug is basically just like any other network issues that we’ve come across in the past and their solutions are often similar. These solutions may also be applied across many different Android devices so even if you don’t have an S8, this post might still be useful.

Fix #1: Restart the device

One of the first things that must be done in this case is to restart your phone. Many network problems and messaging bugs are fixed after a restart. It’s a simple yet effective solution sometimes so there’s no reason not to do it first. Because your S8 has a non-removable battery pack, we suggest that you do a soft restart instead to simulate a “battery pull.” Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the volume down button and don’t release it.
  2. Then, press and hold the power key while holding down the volume button.
  3. Keep both keys held down for 10 seconds or more.

Should restarting your S8 this way won’t fix the bug, proceed to the next set of troubleshooting steps.

Fix #2: Check the signal

The second step that you must do is to verify if your S8 has good enough signal to communicate with your operator’s network. Ideally, you must have 4 signal bars to optimize network services but three is also fine. If you currently have 2 or less, that means you are in a poorly covered area and signal reception is unreliable. To see if the bug is caused by poor signal situation, try moving to an open area where your S8 will have 4 or at least 3 signal bars.

Should the bug go away after doing that, there’s really nothing much that you can do next except to stay in a well-covered area if you want to send or receive messages, or if want to place or receive a call.

Fix #3: Reseat the SIM card

Removing and reinserting the SIM card for GSM devices is considered one of the good solutions that you can try simply because it does an important change in the system. By design, your device should reconfigure its network settings everytime you insert a SIM card so that means that if there’s a network bug behind the trouble, reseating the SIM card may fix it. Just be sure that before you remove the card, the phone is turned off.

If you have a CDMA device, this troubleshooting step may not work unless you have an issue with LTE or 4G only. CDMA devices don’t need SIM cards in order to talk to their operators except when using LTE service.

Fix #4: Verify there’s no outage in the area

Some users may mistakenly think that “Network not available, but please try again later” bug is purely a device issue. The fact is, some other times, it can also be caused by a network outage or issue. If you have another phone on the same network, try to check if network services are working as expected. No network is up 100% of the time so if you did nothing different on your phone prior to noticing the “Network not available, but please try again later” bug, there must be some operator-side aspect to it.

Fix #5: Clear cache partition

If “Network not available, but please try again later” error remains at this point, it’s probably a good idea to switch your efforts on fixing possible phone issues. To do that, you want to start by making sure the cache partition is wiped. Sometimes, updates and app installation may corrupt the system cache in cache partition. This can cause all sorts of troubles depending on the unique disposition of a device.

To wipe the cache partition on your S8:

  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.
  9. Check for the problem.

Fix #5: Reset network settings

Resetting your device’s network settings can sometimes fix SMS and MMS issues. That’s because some bugs may be triggered by some configurations. By returning your device’s network settings to their factory state, you might actually be fixing the issue without resorting to unnecessary drastic solutions like factory reset.

To reset the network settings on your S8:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset network settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.
  6. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Fix #6: Safe mode

Restarting your S8 to safe mode and observing it for some is another good troubleshooting step that you can do too. No app is perfect so there’s always a chance that one third party app might cause a bug or annoyance from time to time. To see if one of your downloaded apps is to blame, you want to restart your S8 to another software environment called safe mode and see how it works. Safe mode, unlike normal mode, blocks third party apps. This means that only apps that came with the operating system will be allowed to run. In order to know if there’s a difference, you must try to replicate the issue while your S8 is on safe mode by doing the usual stuff. If the “Network not available, but please try again later” bug won’t show up while your phone is running on safe mode, you can bet one of the apps is to blame.

To restart your device to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  8. Let your phone run for several hours in this mode and check for the problem.

Don’t forget: safe mode is not a solution but a tool. If the problem is absent on safe mode but returns on normal mode, you must uninstall third party apps. Start by removing apps that you recently installed. Be sure to always restart your phone back to normal mode after deleting an app to check for the problem. Keep doing this cycle until you identify the problem.

Fix #7: Reset all settings

Ideally, the problem should already be fixed by now but if you continue to experience it, resetting your S8 settings to their defaults may help. This type of reset is more similar in terms of effect to factory reset so hopefully, any software bug causing the issue will be eliminated. All software settings except security, language, and account settings will be returned to their default state.

To reset all settings on your S8:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.
  6. Restart your S9 and check for the problem

Fix #8: Factory reset

A drastic option no doubt but we think you need to do this before sending the device to Samsung. We know for a fact that your issue won’t occur if the software is reset to its defaults. If the problem is due to a software bug, factory reset should help. Otherwise, it’s definitely a hardware issue and you must tap Samsung’s expertise to deal with it.

In the meantime, here are the steps to factory reset your S8:

  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. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  3. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap Backup and restore.
  5. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  7. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  8. Tap Reset device.
  9. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  10. Tap Continue.
  11. Tap Delete all.

Fix #9: Contact your carrier

All the solution options above covers almost every aspect of this problem but if it still continues up to this point, it’s time that you let your carrier know about it. They should help you narrow some other factors that are no longer within your ability to check.

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