Why Does My Straight Talk and Net10 iPhone Show TFW Instead of HOME


I have heard from a number of readers recently that they have seen the Carrier name in their iPhone’s status bar change from HOME to TFW.  This appears to be part of a new carrier update that has been released.  I installed the carrier update on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.2  and you can see that updating my Carrier changed from AT&T 15.0 to TFW 15.6.

Both my data and MMS continued working after I installed the update. There is also a iOS update 7.0.3 currently available. If you updated to iOS 7.0.3 you may have automatically received  this TFW 15.6 update.

So the change to from HOME to TFW is ok. By the way, TFW stands for Tracfone Wireless. Straight Talk, Net10 and Tracfone are all owned by the same parent company.


129 comments on “Why Does My Straight Talk and Net10 iPhone Show TFW Instead of HOME
  1. Yasmin says:

    What does tfw because it won’t let me use my dats

  2. Jd says:

    Justed bought a iPhone 5c and mine stil says home why is that

  3. Christian says:

    I got this iphone 4 from my friend and she said it was with straight talk but I bought a 45$ card and it said I needed to activate it and I don’t know how

  4. Danny says:

    TFW means TracFone Wireless

  5. Ray rice says:

    How do I change back to home from tfw I cant send pictures

  6. vicki richmond says:

    Why is my iPhone 4 showing its disable

  7. Pamela Stiff says:

    Question how do you know whether to buy tracfone card a straight talk card or a net 10 card for the iPhone if it says TFW ??

    • Bob Thompson says:

      You have to figure out which network the phone is on. The easiest way is to call tracfone and ask them. they will ask you for the phone number and possiblly a serial number from the phone.

  8. kb. says:

    my iphone 6 says HOME 3G, very bad data connection. how do i change it so it shows TFW LTE?

  9. Stephanie says:

    I have bought a straight talk iphone 5c back in Jan. or Feb. 2015. It says the network is TFW 20.0. I want to switch to walmart family mobiles, t-mobile network. Can I replace my nano sim with a walmart family mobile sim without doing anything extra, other than restoring to factory settings first and not getting the updates?

  10. Marla Jenkins says:

    What do the dots represent on my iPhone 6+ on the left upper corner mean?
    Thank you
    Marla jenkins

  11. Jacqueline Garland says:

    I am curious as to how I am supposed to refill my phone plan when I don’t know what service I have. Someone had started up the plan for me last month, which when I looked TFW up on Google, it came back as Straight Talk, so that’s what I bought. Now that I figured out the service card isn’t working, how am I supposed to know what plan I have?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Jacqueline,
      Good question. Most people I would guess know what wireless company thet signed up for, unless like you someone else set it up without telling them. Could you just ask that person? TFW stands for Tracefone Wireless. Tracfone owns the Tracefone, Straight Talk, and Net10 brands among others, but I’d guess its one of those three.
      You could also try dialing 611 for customer service and ask them.
      If that doesn’t work, we could probably figure it out by looking at your SIM serial number.
      Try calling 611

  12. Jennifer says:

    I just switched a Verizon iPhone to my straight talk and I cannot get the iMessage or FaceTime to activate. I have tried all of the fixes that I have found online. Any other advice?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I don’t know what fixes you have already tried. Is your cellular data working? Have you tried to activate using WiFi?
      Try Resetting Network Settings on Your iPhone

      • Jennifer says:

        The cellular data is working. I can search the internet with Safari. I have reset the network settings. I have erased and reset the phone back to new. I have checked the date and time. I downloaded the APN that straight talk advised me to do. Then I deleted that as I was instructed by the straight talk representative. I have tried activating with 3 different wifi connections.

  13. monte says:

    My iphone say tfw but it dnt show a # how do i get it to work

  14. Carly says:

    I have an iPhone 5S and about a week ago, it switched from TFW to HOME and now my internet and whatnot only works at my home. I’m even connected to our wifi at work and yet my internet says “No service”. Thankfully, I can still get texts and e-mail. My husband has a straight talk phone as well but his still says TFW and is working fine. I haven’t updated to the 8.0 or 8.1(whatever it is now) because I did that once and it completely crashed my phone to the point of me having to get a new one. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks in advance for any help!

  15. Connie Demers says:

    I didn’t do an ‘update’. I switched from AT&T to Straight Talk. So, I guess that’s why I see ‘TFW’. Thanks for the info.

  16. Haley says:

    I just did BYOP to straighttalk w/ an ATT Iphnon 4s. The Sim process was fairly simple. My txt/pics works. However, when I went to update the APN (or configure profile?) it says not verified. This is necessary for me to have 3G internet. Therefore, when I’m not in a WiFi area it says cannot activate cellular data network you are not subscribed to data. Help?

  17. Omeka Dotie says:

    My iphone is suppose to be a 4g not a 3G what’s going on with it…

  18. Kim fowler says:

    I got a new iPhone 5s today it shows TFW and not 4G and I wanted to no way , because I had I phone 5 and it showed my #icon on Verizon service is what I need for my area and my job is this a Verizon phone

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Kim,

      Most iPhones using iOS 7 on Straight Talk, display the network name ad TFW, which stands for Tracfone Wireless. Also, yoye network indicator will be either 3G or LTE, you will not see a 4G anymore.
      Read I Updated My iPhone to Net10 & Straight Talk Carrier Update TFW 15.7 and Now My 4G Is Only 3G!

      I am not sure I follow what you are saying. Tell me if I got it correct. You have a Verizon iPhone 5s. You have Straight Talk service. Correct? Did you buy this phone from Straight Talk or did you Bring Your Own Phone to Straight Talk? Did you put a SIM card in this phone? Do you know if you are using the Straight Talk’s ATT or Straight Talk’s TMobile SIM / network?

      Straight Talk also has a Verizon network, but as far as I know, only the you can only use it with a Bring Your Own iPhone 4 or 4s or an iPhone 5 you bought from Straight Talk.

  19. Tony says:

    This website has been a life send!! I have an iPhone 4 with ios 7.1.1 followed the set up steps and everything worked like a charm!! Thanks for all the help with out having to jailbreak!!

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Tony
      That is great news. Thanks for taking the time to comment. If you use social media, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. In addition to keeping up with latest updates at smartphonematters you would be helping us launch social media efforts. click here

  20. Danny says:

    My 4s with 6.1.3 would not do mms no matter how many ways I tried to get it to work.
    Updated and it was working without me having to do anything. Hate the look of the update, but things work better. Conspiricy???
    Ohh, well.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Danny,
      I think you’ll get used to iOS 7 after a short time. iOS 6 didn’t have great support for Straight Talk’s data and MMS. That was fixed after iOS 7 was released so most iPhones with iOS 7 just work.


  21. Bob says:

    After the tfw update the 4G don’t work any more

  22. Shekinah says:

    If I have a T-mobile iphone 5c using the T-Mobile nano sim card for Straight Talk will my carrier say T-Mobile at the top or TFW ?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Shekinah,
      It should say HOME (99% of the time). I don’t think it will ever show TFW. In rare cases, it could show t-mobile.

      • Shekinah says:

        Thanks for the reply, another question….. Say I was to jailbreak my T-mobile device while its on Straight Talk ONLY to change the font and or to add my name to where the carrier name would be. Would that throw anything off? As in APN address etc?

      • Shekinah says:

        If I purchase a phone off ebay and it is locked to a icloud, once I put my Straight Talk sim in it will erase that and I can use the device?

  23. Tara says:

    Why does my iphone 4 keep switching from tfw to home.. when it somehow switches my imessage and everything doesn’t work.. why does it keep doing this. ? How do I fix it?!

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Tara,
      I don’t know. Are you using Straight Talk’s ATT network? which version of iOS? Go into Settings General About. What is your Carrier when the phone displays TFW? What is the Carrier when the phone displays HOME?

  24. Josh says:

    I have an Iphone 5 that says the carrier is TFW 15.5. I bought this phone on craigslist and was wondering if I would be able to use at&t on it?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Josh,
      Yes. But you won’t get 4G LTE, only 4G data speeds.
      Check the model number on the back. My guess you phone is a model A1429, which is a GSM/CMDA model for the Verizon network. And, since the carrier shows as TFW 15.5, the phone was originally purchased from Straight Talk Wireless or Net10 Wireless.

      This phone should be SIM unlocked, meaning you can put any AT&T network or T-Mobile network SIM in it and the phone will work. But this model iPhone 5 is only compatible with AT&T’s 4G network, not the 4G LTE network. So, it will work, you just won’t be getting the fastest data that your paying for.

      It wasn’t clear to me from your comment, if you want to use it with AT&T, or a prepaid wireless company’s ATT compatible network such as Straight Talk Wireless or Net10 Wireless. If I was paying ATT between 90 to 100 dollars a month, I’d want the LTE I was paying for. If I was using Straight Talk and $45 a month, I might decide to live with just the 4G.

      Actually though if it were me, I’d try to sell the phone on eBay and recover what I payed for it, or make a profit. I’d find an unlocked A1428 for use on AT&T or Straight Talk’s ATT compatible network.

      Let me know if you if you have any more questions. Please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. In addition to keeping up with latest updates at smartphonematters you would be helping us launch social media efforts. click here


  25. Kaitlyn says:

    TFW is TracFoneWireless :)

  26. coel says:

    Straight talk new up date, Im not sending text to verizon numbers. Says it was sent but they are not getting them?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      what phone are you using? which Straight talk SIM? is this a new account? Did you port a number? How did you set up your APN?

      • coel says:

        i phone 4. This has happened since the new update. Some people get my text and some dont. Before the update I did’nt have any trouble. also when i text my daughter to her iphone5 it has my email address instead of dad in text inbox?

  27. Cole says:

    When my home goes from att to tfw will I be roaming when I leave trac phone coverage or can I still use att?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Cole,
      Your straight talk phone doesn’t roam. Depending on your sim, your phone is either using the straight talk att or straight talk tmobile network. You won’t be charged roaming fees. The only problem I have aever heard from readers is when people with the st tmobile sim have connected to the att network and data doesn’t work. This isn’t roaming though. It’s part of att’s and tmobiles reciprocal coverage agreement and it doesn’t see to work well for prepaid service regardless if you are using straight talk,att, or tmobile


  28. Jonathan Eckstein says:

    Hi there umm I have a net10 I phone and I can’t update it and get cydia to update it either so if I jailbreak my net10 I phone will I still be able to pay my bill and ect..

  29. Bob Thompson says:

    I have tried to help you.
    You keep telling me you don’t understand but you don’t seem to want to answer my questions.
    One more time.
    Did you download the file?
    Do you see the file on your PC?
    Does it have a .zip extension or a .ipcc extension?

  30. Kojo says:

    I had the same problem,good I know it’s no big deal

  31. Damien says:

    In order to get it back to 4G do the following.

    1. Backup iPhone first

    2. Restore iPhone as new phone

    3. Upon restore you will be asked to set up iPhone as new or from backup. This is when you will also see a popup in the screen saying your carrier has an update. DO NOT UPDATE CARRIER. SETTINGS.

    4. Then hit the option to setup from backup and you’ll be good to go. Don’t forget to update your apn settings. (Safari http://iapnupdatetfdata.straighttalk.com) Install profile and you’re done.


    I had the same issue, my iPhone 5 went from Home 4G to TFW 3G. I called 611 and they said do those steps, but they didn’t say don’t update the carrier settings. After doing it their way I realized as long as I don’t update the carrier settings I’m on 4G!

    Hope this helps.

  32. ulices says:

    Hi Bob i recently bought an iphone 4 AT&T 16BG and bought da straight talk sim card and works just fine and mms doesn’t work but i’m ok with that now my question is this update carrier pops up on my iphone 4 should i update it also if i do would i have to update to ios7.04 because i really dont want 2 also would it affect my apn settings that i downloaded for the to work?

  33. Alea says:

    Ever since I updated my carrier settings on my iPhone 4S, it went from showing 4G to 3G and it takes 10 minutes at least to send and receive text messages. What is going on? It worked just fine before I updated. Any fix?

  34. Mav says:

    As soon as it asked me to update me phone I did and instead of home it said TFW and now my phone is blocked from calls

  35. Josh says:

    When it updated from HOME to TFW, it went from 4G to 3G. Now my phone is very slow and barely works.

  36. Breeana says:

    How to change tfw to home ??

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Breena,
      Why do you want to do that?

      • Andy J. says:

        Hi Bob,
        I just accidentally updated to the new carrier settings and went from “home” to “TFW” as well. I have an iPhone 4 that was and now is working just fine on all fronts but I want to connect to my home network when possible in order to keep from using the data on my plan. From what I can tell, if the name of my home network is still checked in my settings, then that’s the one currently in use, correct? I just want to be sure. Thanks so much.

        • Bob Thompson says:

          Hi Andy,
          The update changes the name from HOME to TFW. I think you are saying you want to make sure you are still using your home Wi-Fi network. If that is the case, you should see the little upside down triangle of horizontal lines in the status bar.
          Let me know if you have more questions.

          • Andy J. says:

            That’s exactly it, and the upside down triangle IS there. Thanks so much for the clarification!

          • Donna says:

            I have all the updates on my iphone and I can send pic messages but nobody can send me one unless they reply with a pic on a string that I have already sent. If they erase recent texts and choose me from address book they can text but no pics it just never comes across

  37. Cliff says:

    Hi, I upgraded from my old iPhone 4 to a locked ATT iPhone 5 that I bought on Craigslist about a month ago using Straight Talk. When I got it I ordered a 4G SIM and stuck it in and everything worked right off with no changes to any setting without changing any settings including MMS. Then I had a carrier update and software update (iOS). I don’t know which update affected my phone but I lost all data and MMS.

    I have been messing around for the last few days trying to get data working again and hopefully MMS. Nothing was working and since this iPhone is still locked to ATT the SIM swap doesn’t work because T-Mobile sends you and error message before you can get the process under way.

    As a last ditch try I used your link to the 3 APN profiles from Straight Talk. The second one (tfdata) gave me my data back but still no MMS. Then amazingly a few minutes later I got another carrier update and now my MMS is working. So even a LOCKED ATT iphone 5 is working fully on Straight Talk. Thanks for the links and the collection of valuable information!

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hey cliff,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I myself saw my phone downgrade it’s carrier profile from TFW 15.6 to att 15.5 and the TFW changed back to HOME. I reset my phone, and it 15.6 came back.

      On a side note, I have had a few readers tell me they were able to sim swap on a locked iphone 5. If you are fast.

      Glad it is all working for you again.

      • Cliff says:


        Thank you for the heads up on the SIM swap. Knowing that a fast swap gives me the gives me hope if I find I need to SIM swap in the future that it is possible.

        Do you find it odd at all that the Locked ATT phone worked the first time by simply inserting the Straight Talk 4G SIM card, No tweaks or APN changes?

        Thanks again!


  38. Tracie Crawford says:

    none of the apn’s worked for my iphone 4, any other suggestions? If not I will be switching to Verizon, thanks

  39. Eddie Lumpkin says:

    Hi Bob,

    I’ve frequented your site often. In the past could only get my phone to work as intended with the “sim-swap” method.. But since this latest carrier update as your post describes; Everything is now working!! Voice, Text/MMS, iMessage & Web!! I am finally excited to have Straight Talk and hope this lasts.

    Just wanted to give my thoughts and that its finally working,

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am glad the new carrier update is working for you. Make sure you can receive mms, many readers are reporting issues this week.


  40. Rosie says:

    I couldn’t get my MMS and group text working even with the the t-mobile card but when the settings were updated to TFW they now work!

  41. Caitlyn says:

    Hello, Bob.
    My 4G is not working at all. I’ve tried everything. I have Net10 though and not StraightTalk, so what do I do if it’s changed from HOME to TFW? It was working yesterday and now it’s not. I’m confused, please help!

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Try this.
      1. Go into Settings->General->Reset
      2 Tap Reset Network Settings
      3. After your phone restarts, Try your data connection.
      4. If you data connection, does not work, remove any APN profiles installed on your iPhone
      5. If you don’t know how to check for and remove an APN profile, see my guide: How to Set up Net10 Web, Data, and MMS for Your iPhone Running iOS 7
      6. After you remove any APN profiles, restart your iPhone by holding the lock and home buttons down until the phone restarts
      7. Try your data connection. If you data connection works, you may want to try your MMS picture messages as well. (exchange pictures with a non-iPhone user)

      Please let me know know if this works for you or not and what step got it to work.

  42. Alicia says:

    My 4g isn’t working since the change to TFW?? How do I fix that?

  43. maricela says:

    hi my question is, my iphone 4 is jailbroken and this last time i put the card in, my data does not work! so i called straight talk about it and they said i have to download the latest version to the iphone. my worry is will it mess up the jailbreak or does it matter?

  44. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the info Bob. I updated my Iphone AT&T Straight Talk phone with the IOS 7.0.3 update & it now says TFW too, but the weird thing is my MMS messages is now working. I can send/receive picture messages. I wasn’t able to do it before. I tried the swap thing & it didn’t work. I am thrilled it is working now!!! :)

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Wendy,
      The TFW 15.6 carrier update with 7.0.3 does fix data and MMS for some Straight Talk customers. When you put the Straight Talk SIM in, the phone configure one set of Straight Talk APN values. If that set of values, matches the ones for your account, you dont need to do anything. My phone works without SIM swap now too!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  45. Bob Thompson says:

    Hi Hara,
    I have never heard of this happening to anyone. Can you tell me what you Version and Carrier are? Look in Settings->General->About
    If your mms is currently working, I wouldn’t be too worried. If it stops working, come back here and I can try to help.

    Let me know about those values.

    • Boxian Wu says:

      Hi Bob, i have a question, now i’m using the iphoen 5s and i have already update the carrier to 15.6, and it shows TFW instead of HOME after i plug in my ST sim card, but, i still cannot get access to the internet, do you have any solutions?

      • Bob Thompson says:

        Hi Boxian,
        Check and see if you have an APN profile installed. Try restarting your phone by pressing and holding the lock and home buttons. Test your data. if it doesn’t work remove the profile, restart the phone, and test data again. If it doesnt work. Go into settings and do a reset network settings, test data again. If it doesn’t work. Try following the guide.
        How to Setup Straight Talk Wireless Data and MMS for your iPhone running iOS 7.
        Let me know how it goes.

        • Boxian Wu says:

          Hi Bob, i followed your guides, but it’s still doesn’t work.. nowi’m following your website and try to set up! i got my ST sim card last year, it’s a micro one with AT&T network, can this sim card work on LTE? or i need to buy a new one from the website?

          Boxian Wu

        • Boxian Wu says:

          HI Bob, i use the website to diwnload a St-Apn settings, and only the att.mvno one fits my sim card, so is that means that i canno use the LTE on my iphone? how can i change it to the tfdata?

          • Bob Thompson says:

            Hi Boxian,
            for LTE, you will need an iPhone 5 and a 4G LTE compatible SIM card. To my knoweldge, they did not start shipping them until later September so if your SIM card is older than that you need to order a new one and transfer your service to it. See the article I wrote about this I Upgraded My iPhone 5′s Net10 Wireless and Straight Talk SIM and Now Get 4G LTE

          • Boxian Wu says:

            Hi Bob,
            Right now the network is working, and it’s on 4G on my IP5s, and i have order a new sim card, later i will transfer it to the new sim card to see whether it has LTE or not.

            How to check my account to see seather my APN setting is att.mvno or the tf-data?


          • Bob Thompson says:

            Hi Boxian,
            IF you have installed and APN profile on your phone, go look at the value in settings. If you data is working without a profile or SIM swap, your on tfdata. When you switch your service to the new SIM, they will update your apn and you will most likely use tfdata.

          • Boxian Wu says:

            Hi Bob,
            i check the value and it says that it’s att.mvno. now i’m just wating for the new sim arrived and try to see that weather i can use the tfdata.

  46. Sharon says:

    Thanks for this info Bob! I also updated and now have “TFW” instead of “HOME” and all appears well.

  47. Lana Miu says:

    I am having similar issues since it goes from home to TFW. I cannot seem to send pictures with text and it was working fine before, any suggestions?

  48. Angel says:

    My MMS worked with the SIM swap and I updated the IOS and I can send MMS but people don’t receive them. I can’t receive MSS either. I tried doing the SIM swap again to reconfigure the APN and didn’t work.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Angel
      Try Reseting your Network Settings
      test data and mms after the phone restarts
      they should not work at this point
      SIM swap again and test.

      Do you know what APN you are using?


      • Shab says:

        Hi bob,

        Ever since I restored and updated my phone I can’t access the data anymore. I can text/call but the data does not work. I reseted the Network settings but it still won’t work, any idea how I can fix this?


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