How to Update Your Cell Phone to All Local Towers
By Ken Burnside
Updated August 23, 2017
Your cell phone locks on to the signals of the nearest cell phone towers, and stores them in memory as a way to reduce power consumption. Occasionally, the tower locations stored in your phone's memory are used instead of the actual nearest tower, causing your signal quality to degrade. Fortunately, it's possible to force your phone to clear the tower locations stored in memory and query the nearest towers for a signal update.
Power Cycling Your Phone
Press the "End" or "Power" button on your phone, and hold it down for three to five seconds, until the screen goes dark.
Wait ten seconds.
Power your phone on again. The power cycling will usually cause the location memory of your phone to reset, and powering on again will force it to query the nearest towers.
Verizon users can dial " *228 " and select "2" when prompted to update to local towers. A message will appear on the screen when the process is finished, which can take up to two minutes.
- Verizon users can dial "*22899" and press "Send." Music will play, and a recorded voice will say "Please continue to hold while your phone is being programmed." After a few seconds, you'll hear a few beeps, and the words "Programming Successful" will appear on the display.
Ken Burnside has been writing freelance since 1990, contributing to publications as diverse as "Pyramid" and "Training & Simulations Journal." A Microsoft MVP in Excel, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alaska. He won the Origins Award for Attack Vector: Tactical, a board game about space combat.