Mobile phone isn't working properly?

This article is a general guide to troubleshooting some common mobile phone issues.

Mobile phones (and for that matter all mobile devices) have evolved rapidly. As much as they have changed and improved, they are essentially the same - compact portable electronic devices driven by software, Like your computer, the electronics and software will improve with each new one that comes out, but if either one of those elements stops working then there's trouble!

Network coverage issues? Please check our network status page to see if there is any working in your area, or you can also check on this Community page, where we post the latest network upgrades in detail and you can also ask questions about the network.

What is the phone doing? (Or not...)

  • Does the issue only affect your phone - have you tried the SIM card in another mobile?
  • Is the phone freezing up?
  • Has one of the functions stopped working?
  • Are some of the menu items missing /changed?
  • Does the phone turn itself off?
  • Does the phone start doing things by itself - like call / TXT one of your contacts?

Firstly, try a hard reset of your phone - remove the battery from your mobile while it's on. This forces the mobile to completely restart / reload in a way that turning it off then on again does not. If you have an iPhone hold down the home key and the standby key together, after about 5 seconds the phone will shut down and restart.

Once your mobile has started up, try using the affected function again - in the vast majority of cases minor phone gremlins will resolve themselves when this is done.

Depending on what the issue is, it pays to check with other people to see if they are having the same problem. For example, if it's the mobile turning itself off then it won't be a network issue.

If you are having problem with calls or TXT for example, see the separate troubleshooting guides for those: call issue guide / TXT issue guide. If its a network problem then you will normally find that other Vodafone users are experiencing the same issue.

Is it the SIM card or the mobile?

  • Your SIM card has the same problem in any phone, but other SIMs are fine in yours - call us on 777, we'll need to check some things on our side.
  • Your SIM worked fine in other phones - this means the issue is with your phone, pull the battery out for 5 seconds then turn the phone back on, if this doesn't help then call our Customer Services team for free on 0800 800 021 from another phone so we can troubleshoot the issue with you.

If your SIM has the same trouble no matter which phone its in, then this may mean a faulty SIM or a setting on our network - call us so we can check our end for you.

Software / Hardware issues

Done a hard reset and the issue has failed to resolve itself?

Have you tried our Interactive Device Guides? They're great for any software or settings issues - anything except physical damage basically!

We recommend keeping your phone software up to date so that you have the best software in use on your mobile.

Many phones come with a PC phone manager application that you install onto your computer to manage contacts and content, they also usually have a software update function on them. This connects to their website and checks if there is a new version of software available - they may have discovered others with the same issue as you and have released an update ! Smartphones like the iPhone automatically do this for you when you plug your phone into the computer so you may just get a pop up one day advising you there is an update available.

Still no joy? It may be time to take the phone into your local Vodafone store. If it's still under warranty please bring your Proof Of Purchase with you.

Find out more about our Mobile Repair process and Warranties >

Dropped, drowned and damaged phones

Like probably every other electronic device you own, manufacturers set a limit to what they consider to be fair wear and tear on their product. If your phone comes in with a smashed screen and seaweed stuck to it, its highly unlikely they will accept that the phone was supposed to work in such conditions!

There is consumer protection legislation (Consumer Guarantees Act) that outlines your rights in such cases,  but the best course of action is to look after your valuable goods so that you never need to have that conversation. The phone repair agents may still be able to repair your phone, there is an assessment fee payable but they will assess the damage and give you an idea of what it would cost to fix. The cost of the initial assessment is then deducted from the repair bill if you go ahead.

There are always the stories of phones that refuse to die, while there may be no warranty cover for a phone that went through the washing machine (even if it was on the delicate cycle!) it's worth seeing if it will live.
- Try removing any covers that will come off as well as the battery and SIM.
- Place the phone somewhere warm with air flow like a sunny window sill next to an open window, or put it in a bag of rice (the rice will absorb moisture).

There are no guarantees but it's worth a shot!

Find out more about our Mobile Repair process and Warranties >


I have tried those but my mobile still doesn't work - what shall I do?

  • Return your phone with proof of purchase
    If you bought it at a Vodafone store - take it back to store you bought it from and the Vodafone team will check your phone and work with you to fix the problem in line with our obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
    This may include:
    - Fixing your phone in store if possible
    - Helping to save your data before sending your phone back to the manufacturer to repair. This process could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on the problem.
    You may be entitled to a loan phone from the store if one is available. Please be aware that you may need to pay a bond.

New phone you bought online? Please call us on 0800 837 867 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.


Need more info? Here are the most common issues outside of software or physical fault:

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