What Does Server Unreachable Mean and 7 Ways to Fix It

These days we are blessed to have such incredible technology that can keep us in touch with each other almost anywhere in the world. Network coverage is as widespread as ever, and WiFi is becoming more accessible every year.

However, sometimes just as you need to make that all-important phone call, you get the message “server unreachable,” and the call won’t connect. It always happens at the most inappropriate of times and can be a frustrating experience.

If this is happening to you now, don’t worry! You’re in the right place, and we’ll explain why this happens and how to resolve the problem as quickly as possible so you can make the phone calls you need.

server unreachable

What does the server unreachable message mean?

This fairly broad message means something is blocking your device’s ability to connect to the server, which is required for the phone call to commence.

The exact cause of this issue can be several things, so we need to look at all of them to ascertain the problem and how to fix it.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the primary reasons why you might be receiving this message:

The device is not connected to the internet

More than ever, it’s become popular for people to use their WiFi data to make calls. However, if your phone is unable to connect to the network data service for any reason, then the call will not be able to commence, and you will receive this message.

The best solution here is to swap your phone over to the regular cellular network and use that signal until the WiFi problem can be resolved.

Weak or no signal

Even if you can connect to the cellular network, if the signal is too weak due to something like being out of your provider’s primary area of coverage, then it will simply give you this error message as if it couldn’t connect at all.

Your provider’s network is down

This is quite a common cause of the “server unreachable” message. If your service provider’s network is down, whether to technical difficulties, maintenance, or an unexpected power outage, you will not be able to connect.

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done on the user’s side here other than to wait for your provider to fix the service at their end so you can connect.

Use of a VPN

Nowadays, VPNs are becoming increasingly common as people like to protect their data as they use their phones. However, certain service providers do not want you to use a VPN, as they want to collect the data to sell it to a third-party advertising agency.

This means they will purposely prevent you from using their service while the VPN is active, and it will need to be disabled.

A direct phone error

If your phone is experiencing some issue that is hampering its ability to make a call, for example, having too many apps running so there is not enough free RAM, or if the phone has become too hot. You will receive this message if the CPU doesn’t have enough resources.

You will need to take some steps to free up some of your device’s resources so it can adequately function.

High call volume

During specific periods when your provider is experiencing an unexpectedly high volume of traffic, their servers might not have enough bandwidth to accommodate your call. You will need to wait until the volume of users has dropped a little. 

Or you can keep trying until you get lucky and catch the server at a moment when it’s able to accommodate your call.

The recipient has blocked the call

If the person you are trying to call has blocked either your number directly or is blocking all incoming calls at that time, you won’t be told directly. You will simply receive the server unreachable message.

If you think this might be the case, the easiest solution is to try calling someone else to see if it connects. If it works OK, then you can be confident that the issue is related to that number specifically and not your service provider or the phone itself.

The SIM card is not correctly installed

Suppose your SIM card is experiencing an error message or is not correctly seated on the phone. In that case, it won’t be able to establish a connection to your service provider and will return the server unreachable error.

How to fix the Server Unreachable message on a mobile phone

There are quite a few different problems that can trigger this message, some being the fault of your service providers while others may be problems to do with your phone.

We’ve gathered a convenient list of fixes you can perform efficiently to get this issue fixed so you can make calls again as soon as possible.

Follow the steps in sequence to ensure you’ve resolved all the common issues that can cause the Server Unreachable message to appear.

Restart your phone

Before we try anything more substantial, sometimes this issue is caused by the simple fact that your phone needs to be restarted. Perhaps your operating system has experienced a glitch, or an app may have updated and won’t function until the phone has been restarted.

Make sure to do a complete power cycle by holding the power button down for a few seconds and completely shutting it off. Then restart it from fresh.

Ensure mobile data is turned on

If you are outside of your standard WiFI range, your phone will need to rely on mobile data to establish a connection to the server.

However, we will commonly disable cellular data at home to ensure it’s not using our limited data by accident.

So it’s worth double checking this is enabled. You can do this by heading into your phone’s menu, navigating network settings, and turning on the mobile data function.

Turn off advanced calling

Advanced calling is a feature designed to allow mobile data to be used while making calls, by using cellular data to support the network connection, it can make the call strength stronger.

However, many users have found that by turning this feature off, their phone can reestablish a connection to the server. Some network providers have acknowledged this as an issue already and claim to be working on a fix. However, from user reports, we can see this is still a prevalent issue for many people.

Disabling this feature may also remove the ability to make HD video calls, as the bandwidth requirement is usually too high, and it needs the additional data transfer offered by your mobile data. Provided this is not essential for you, this is an excellent solution to get things working until the provider can issue a fix for this network problem.

VPN interference

In many cases, using a VPN may impede your phone’s ability to connect to the server due to compatibility problems.

If you are running a VPN, you can disable it temporarily and see if your phone can connect. If it does, you can be sure something in the VPN is preventing the network connection, and you should consider stopping using it or finding an alternate VPN provider that is more compatible with your phone’s network.

A phone-related resource issue

You will receive this error if your phone doesn’t have the required resources to make a call. This could be due to factors such as having too many apps open, which doesn’t leave enough RAM or CPU processing power to connect the call.

In this case, you should look at closing any unnecessary apps to ensure your phone has some free room to run the service you are trying to use.

The SIM card is not correctly installed

While SIM card mounting systems are generally designed so that it’s impossible to orient a SIM card incorrectly, you may find that other issues such as dust, debris, scratches, or a software-based error mean your phone is unable to detect your SIM card.

Without a SIM card, your device cannot connect to the network.

Try removing the SIM card and cleaning out the insert tray by lightly blowing on it to remove any residual dust and then reseating it. Your phone should notify you if it has detected the card.

Contact customer support

Suppose you are sure your phone is in good working order and you are within your network provider’s service area. In that case, it’s best to contact their customer support as they may be experiencing a technical difficulty at their side preventing you from connecting to the server.

They will be able to inform you of any known service outages as well as an estimated time until they can get it fixed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the issue, but at the very least, it may give you an idea of how long you will have to wait before you can connect to the server again.

Frequently Asked Questions About Unreachable Server Message

Q: What does the “server unreachable” message mean on my Verizon phone?

A: The “server unreachable” message on your Verizon phone means that your phone’s connectivity to the server has failed. This could be due to a problem with your phone’s network configuration, firewall settings, or DNS.

Q: What are some common causes of server unreachable on mobile devices?

A: Some common causes of server unreachable include network connectivity issues, DNS settings that are not configured correctly, firewall settings that are blocking the connection, and problems with the server itself.

Q: Why does my phone say “server unreachable” when I try to make a call?

A: Your phone may display the “server unreachable” error message when you try to make a call if there is a problem with the cellular data connection or the phone’s connection to the network. It could also be due to a problem with the secondary DNS server if your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Q: What should I do if a type of error message appears other than “server unreachable”?

A: If you see an error message other than “server unreachable,” it could indicate a problem with the server or your phone’s connection to the network. Try to identify the specific error message and contact technical support for assistance.

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