iPhone and iPad

How to See How Strong Your iPhone’s Signal Actually Is

Dave LeClair 04-05-2016

When you look at your iPhone iPhone and iOS Apps Keep Crashing? Try These Fixes There are many things that can go wrong and cause your iPhone to crash, but thankfully there are a few things you can do when things go wrong. Read More and want to know how strong your signal is 5 Productive Things You Can Do With Your Smartphone Without a Signal No signal? That doesn't mean you can't use your phone to get stuff done! Read More , you see bars. You’ll see somewhere between one and five bars — one being the weakest and five being the strongest. This is a pretty vague reading, and it doesn’t give you the strongest idea of how strong (or weak), the cellular signal actually is.


First, you’ll need to put your phone into field test mode. To do so, call the following phone number: *3001#12345#* and then — while in the field test menu — hold your phone until Slide to Power Off appears.

Don’t power off your device, though. Instead, hold down the Home button until your home screen pops back up. Now, the top-left corner of your screen will display numbers instead of bars. If you want to change back to bars, just tap the area where the numbers are.


The numbers will range somewhere between -40 and -130, with lower numbers (actually higher, because we’re talking about negative numbers — -40 is closer to 0). The numbers on the far end of that spectrum are nearly impossible to get, as -40 is perfect, and -130 is zeno signal.

Generally, -80 is considered a strong signal (5 bars), and-110 is weak (1 bar).


For me, I have signal booster 3 Ways You Can Improve Smartphone Reception Whenever I’m at my favourite pub (admittedly not often) or at my mother-in-law’s (sadly more often than I would like) I find that I have considerable trouble making a phone call. How can mobile phone... Read More through my carrier, which is why you see -64 in the screenshot above. When that’s off, I get about -110, hence the need for the enhancer.

What is the actual signal number of your iPhone in your home? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: sutham via ShutterStock

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  1. Cindy DeJarnette
    February 17, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I got my phone back to bars permanently by putting it into the field test mode as listed above, then while in that, I held the off button down and actually turned it off. Left it off about 30 seconds and turned it back on and my bars are back.

  2. Jay
    May 10, 2016 at 1:31 am

    I got rid of the numbers by dialing the field test number given and then tapping on a few of the options and then just backing out and my bars came back:)

  3. Manoj
    May 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    How to permanently get rid of it
    If i tap on numbers it changes to bars but after some momments back to numbers

  4. Kevin
    May 8, 2016 at 1:52 am

    I have a -102 for signal but when you tap on the area to go back to bars and only last for second and then back to numbers so how do you get your bars back without switching back-and-forth!!!

  5. ASJ
    May 7, 2016 at 3:19 am

    My Signal is -86...bmobile network

  6. Gr8guy
    May 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I need to get rid off it forever how can I do it

  7. Lian
    May 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    If you want to change back to bars, just tap the area where the numbers are. Where are the numbers?

  8. Lian
    May 6, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I have 101 minus n im inable to change back to normal needs 123 guide

  9. Karan Dhar
    May 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm


  10. Anonymous
    May 5, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Mine fluctuates between -109 and -103 at my house. Sprint iPhone 6.

  11. Chris
    May 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    -112 for my phone

  12. Prahalad
    May 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    How do I get it back to the previous display? I don't want the numbers.

  13. gavin
    May 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I assumed the author meant hold the power button, and that's what I did. field test menu came up, and then held home until back to phone.
    this worked, and I see numbers (-98) or bars (3/5).

    question is, do I need to "undo" this? am I in "field test mode" and things are different?

    thank you, I've been wondering for a while how to get better data for signal strength.

  14. Ngawang Gyaltsen
    May 4, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Hold the phone means Hold down your power button until you see you see Slide to power off.

  15. Ngawang Gyaltsen
    May 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Mine is -92 thanks for the cool info

  16. kash
    May 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Dude... check what you are saying... "First, you’ll need to put your phone into field test mode. To do so, call the following phone number: *3001#12345#* and then — while in the field test menu — hold your phone until Slide to Power Off appears."
    What is "Hold the phone"???? and when those numbers are dialed the phone displays a Field test Screen... Stop misleading if you dont know what you are doing....