Forget Bars: Find Out How Strong Your iPhone's Reception Really Is

Published On 08/14/2015 Published On 08/14/2015
Business Insider/Supercompressor

Look at your iPhone. See those little balls up in the left-hand corner we all still refer to as bars? Do you really know how good your reception is just from how many are in the black?

If you want to pinpoint exactly the level of reception issues you're dealing with next time you're out in the sticks or on an unfamiliar street corner, you're going to want to follow these 6 easy steps, courtesy of Tech Insider

Tech Insider

1. Dial *3001#12345#* and press the call button

Tech Insider

2. Make sure that your phone has entered Field Test Mode

You can tell from "Field Test" options on the screen and because your signal strength has now changed to a number. 

Tech Insider

3. Hold down the power button until the display shows up

Once it shows up, release the button before moving to the next step. If you hold the power and home buttons simultaneously, your phone will restart.

4. Press and hold the home button until the home screen returns

You can now cycle between the number and bar signal displays by tapping the top left corner of your phone. 

Tech Insider

5. Check your phone signal

Remember, since the numbers are negative, you'll have to invert your typical way of thinking. The "high" numbers are the ones closest to zero, while the "low" ones move further away from it. If you're at -40 to -77, you're good to go. It's kind of like golf, I guess.

Tech Insider

6. Turn off the Field Test

To turn off the field test, just repeat the first step.

Check out the whole process in action on this helpful video from Tech Insider.

H/T: Tech Insider

Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor. He carries a world atlas at all times so he won't get lost when his phone goes down.

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