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Thread: BYOP iPhone Verizon APN cannot be removed for foreign SIM cellular data

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    BYOP iPhone Verizon APN cannot be removed for foreign SIM cellular data

    iPhone SE and 5s, iOS 11

    I had Tracfone over Verizon working fine in the US for cellular data. When I insert a French SIM card, I have voice and SMS. There is no cellular date because of now embedded and hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile.

    I have tried for months to find a way to remove that profile. Since iOS 10.x, it is hidden and cannot be seen or deleted via Settings. That is what I used to do when traveling. I cannot install a new profile from one of the profile sites because the installation process will say "there is already a profile" installed.

    Restore network settings doesn't help. The only solution I have found, and this is confirmed on other websites and by two different Apple stores in Paris, is a full reset to factory settings and then re-setting up the phone from scratch. Restore from an iTunes backup doesn't work because it restores the hidden APN profile as well.

    I have tried editing the iTunes backup file using iBackupBot to remove the Tracfone/Verizon APN as suggested on another site. This worked for some others with earlier versions iOS. For me on iOS 11, the edited backup will not restore. I get no more info than, after almost reaching conclusion, a message that says the restore failed. My phone stays at it was.

    Re-setting up my iPhone from scratch and losing all data every time I travel is not a good solution. My only workaround is to have two iPhones. One is only for Tracfone/Verizon, the other for every other carrier. Not a good solution.

    Anyone here figured out an actual solution for deleting the hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile?

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    This thread reported similar issues:
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1902891

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    This thread reported similar issues:
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1902891
    Thanks, rchang. I had already looked at that thread where you are the OP. Your problem there was exactly the opposite of mine.

    I need to remove the tracfone/verizon profile from my phone, not get it working. The solution of a full factory reset (or even a DFU reset) is what I want to avoid. Like you in that thread, I know that we cannot then do a restore from backup because the old network settings will just come back.

    I was amused in that thread by the suggestions to discuss this with Tracfone or to visit an Apple store. Good luck finding anyone at Tracfone with a clue about this problem. It took a few tries at two Apple stores, as noted in my OP, but I did find someone who understood exactly what was going on. His advice was the full reset to factory settings.

    The interesting other suggestion from the knowledgeable Apple tech was to do a restore from iCloud after the reset.I had never used iCloud for backup. I didn't know to ask him if there was a way to do a partial backup to iCloud so that a restore could avoid restoring the bad profile. I can't try this because I don't want to send all my data to Apple nor to pay Apple for iCloud storage.

    Have you (or anyone else following this thread) tried a full reset and then an iCloud restore to see if that clears the bad APN profile?

    Incidentally, here is a thread that discusses this problem in detail. It suggest free software to edit the iTunes backup and remove the problem profile. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. Perhaps it only worked with earlier iOS versions, which are the ones discussed in the thread.
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...#post-15828306

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    iPhone SE and 5s, iOS 11 I had Tracfone over Verizon working fine in the US for cellular data. When I insert a French SIM card, I have voice and SMS. There is no cellular date because of now embedded and hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile. I have tried for months to find a way to remove that profile. Since iOS 10.x, it is hidden and cannot be seen or deleted via Settings. That is what I used to do when traveling. I cannot install a new profile from one of the profile sites because the installation process will say "there is already a profile" installed. Restore network settings doesn't help. The only solution I have found, and this is confirmed on other websites and by two different Apple stores in Paris, is a full reset to factory settings and then re-setting up the phone from scratch. Restore from an iTunes backup doesn't work because it restores the hidden APN profile as well. I have tried editing the iTunes backup file using iBackupBot to remove the Tracfone/Verizon APN as suggested on another site. This worked for some others with earlier versions iOS. For me on iOS 11, the edited backup will not restore. I get no more info than, after almost reaching conclusion, a message that says the restore failed. My phone stays at it was. Re-setting up my iPhone from scratch and losing all data every time I travel is not a good solution. My only workaround is to have two iPhones. One is only for Tracfone/Verizon, the other for every other carrier. Not a good solution. Anyone here figured out an actual solution for deleting the hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile?
    with the french sim card in the phone, try updating the phone to the latest ios update, that should push the correct apn settings to the phone. also try this here - https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3021247
    Last edited by october262; 04-08-2018 at 11:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    with the french sim card in the phone, try updating the phone to the latest ios update, that should push the correct apn settings to the phone. also try this here - https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3021247
    Thank you for the suggestions. I'm afraid that link is way out of date. It is based on iOS4.x. Backups now do not look like the ones described there.

    As for the iOS update, I couldn't have done that at the time I was installing the French sim card because my phone always is up to date with the latest iOS.

    I would be interested to know why you think updating the iOS will change the carrier apn settings. My French carrier doesn't install any APN settings, so Apple would have nothing to push. In addition, I have actually been in France at least once when iOS updates appeared after I put in my French sim card but had not yet reset the phone to factory settings. Until I did that, the US APN stayed in place and blocked my data access.

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    Is this a Verizon issue? Perhaps you could try switching to U.S. GSM. Then it would be more like Europe.

    I am obviously not an expert, but have noticed that Verizon can be stubborn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Is this a Verizon issue? Perhaps you could try switching to U.S. GSM. Then it would be more like Europe.

    I am obviously not an expert, but have noticed that Verizon can be stubborn.
    Whether it is Verizon or Tracfone using Verizon service causing the problem, I have not been able to determine.

    You are almost certainly right that if I used ATT or another GSM carrier in the US, I would not have the APN problem when traveling. In any case, I am stuck with a Verizon based service. ATT does not work well in much of the rural area where I live. Verizon does.

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    Then I guess you are stuck with needing two phones. Unless you are willing to quit Apple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Then I guess you are stuck with needing two phones. Unless you are willing to quit Apple.
    Yup, two phones. But I'll keep checking posts here and there. Maybe someone more familiar with iPhone innards than I will find a solution. It would be even nicer if Apple would just make the APN profile visible again.
    Last edited by RandySea; 04-08-2018 at 01:59 PM. Reason: typo

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    If they force you to use a certain APN, then maybe they are data-mining it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    iPhone SE and 5s, iOS 11

    I had Tracfone over Verizon working fine in the US for cellular data. When I insert a French SIM card, I have voice and SMS. There is no cellular date because of now embedded and hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile.

    I have tried for months to find a way to remove that profile. Since iOS 10.x, it is hidden and cannot be seen or deleted via Settings. That is what I used to do when traveling. I cannot install a new profile from one of the profile sites because the installation process will say "there is already a profile" installed.

    Restore network settings doesn't help. The only solution I have found, and this is confirmed on other websites and by two different Apple stores in Paris, is a full reset to factory settings and then re-setting up the phone from scratch. Restore from an iTunes backup doesn't work because it restores the hidden APN profile as well.

    I have tried editing the iTunes backup file using iBackupBot to remove the Tracfone/Verizon APN as suggested on another site. This worked for some others with earlier versions iOS. For me on iOS 11, the edited backup will not restore. I get no more info than, after almost reaching conclusion, a message that says the restore failed. My phone stays at it was.

    Re-setting up my iPhone from scratch and losing all data every time I travel is not a good solution. My only workaround is to have two iPhones. One is only for Tracfone/Verizon, the other for every other carrier. Not a good solution.

    Anyone here figured out an actual solution for deleting the hidden Tracfone/Verizon APN profile?
    Is doing a factory reset a big deal on iPhones? On Android I reset and then log into my Google account and my contacts and apps are automatically restored. Doesn't iOS do the same thing?

    I can see where photos and music could be an issue because of the lack of SD card support. But can't the music restored from iTunes? Photos could be copied to a PC and copied back after the restore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeswap View Post
    Is doing a factory reset a big deal on iPhones? On Android I reset and then log into my Google account and my contacts and apps are automatically restored. Doesn't iOS do the same thing?

    I can see where photos and music could be an issue because of the lack of SD card support. But can't the music restored from iTunes? Photos could be copied to a PC and copied back after the restore.
    An iPhone reset is easy. And Phone restore is pretty much the same as you described for Android in effect. That is, photos not taken by the iPhone itself and music are not part of the backup at all. They stay on a PC (or a MAC, I assume). They come back reasonably quickly when you sync the phone over USB. They do not need to be stored in paid cloud storage nor take up the bandwidth to upload and download. Photos taken by the iPhone do need to be backed up and restored.

    Apps are not backed up, either. That is because Apple controls apps totally. The only way to get an app onto an iPhone is via the App Store. (Ignoring jailbreaking the phone.) So they are not part of the backup, either. Once you restore your phone, you go back to the App Store and see a list of your apps. You then choose which ones you want to reinstall on your phone.

    The problem with doing a restore is that is that it also brings back system settings, which will include the problematic APN profile. At least, this is true with iTune backups to your PC or Mac. I don't know about iCloud backups because I don't ever want to use them. iTunes backups to PC are fast, free, and have no risk of being hacked in the cloud or examined by Apple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    Thank you for the suggestions. I'm afraid that link is way out of date. It is based on iOS4.x. Backups now do not look like the ones described there. As for the iOS update, I couldn't have done that at the time I was installing the French sim card because my phone always is up to date with the latest iOS. I would be interested to know why you think updating the iOS will change the carrier apn settings. My French carrier doesn't install any APN settings, so Apple would have nothing to push. In addition, I have actually been in France at least once when iOS updates appeared after I put in my French sim card but had not yet reset the phone to factory settings. Until I did that, the US APN stayed in place and blocked my data access.
    that's the way it used to work with tracfone & iphone , once the sim was active you'd just put the sim into the phone and update the iphone to the latest ios update and the settings for data & mms get automatically pushed to the phone no need to enter the settings manually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    Thanks, rchang. I had already looked at that thread where you are the OP. Your problem there was exactly the opposite of mine.

    I need to remove the tracfone/verizon profile from my phone, not get it working... [/URL]
    It depends on what you mean by "opposite". In my case, I could not install or remove the TF profile. Would have been happy to do either. The profile did not install correctly and could nor be removed either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    that's the way it used to work with tracfone & iphone , once the sim was active you'd just put the sim into the phone and update the iphone to the latest ios update and the settings for data & mms get automatically pushed to the phone no need to enter the settings manually.
    That stopped being the case a while ago. My Verizon iPhone 5s just stopped getting data one day. Got the dreaded "cannot connect to the cellular network" message for no apparent reason. Up until then, I did not need a network profile. Had to go install the TF profile, the same one that is causing so much pain.

    That's the problem. If you get the no network message and Google for advice, you will find many postings that direct you to the TF/Verizon profile. But the posts don't say to do a full backup first. You can end up stuck with a bad profile that cannot be deleted.

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