How to Disable Wi-Fi Assist and Avoid Overages on Your iPad

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The Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9 could land you a surprise bill on your 4G iPad or iPhone, with data overage charges you weren't aware you were racking up. You should disable it just in case.

wi fi assist

Wi-Fi Assist is meant to give you a more consistent internet experience. If your connection drops out, Wi-Fi Assist tells your iPhone or iPad to use the cellular network as a backup. On the surface, this sounds helpful, but it also means that if your Wi-Fi connection weakens, you could go over your cellular data allotment. Sometimes it looks like you have a strong Wi-Fi connection, but don't really and your iPhone or iPad could be using cellular data. Here's how to turn this feature off.

1. Open the Settings app.
ios settings

2. Tap Cellular.

cellular3. Scroll down to the bottom and toggle Wi-Fi Assist off.

wi fi assist

Now iOS will no longer automatically switch to using your cellular connection when the Wi-Fi has connection problems. Don't worry, you can toggle it back on if and when you need it later.

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1 comment
  • Chris Says:

    Yeah, I have seen/heard this "work around" reported in lots of places. Actually, the overages people are experiencing have much more to do with the newer services Apple has provided - such as Beats Radio and Apple Music.

    When you have a strong Wifi signal, you will know it. The only time the fringe Wifi/WAN (WAN = Wide Area Network - 3G/4G, etc.) cases happen is when you're standing outside a Starbucks or Target and the Wifi signal is sourced from inside the building. Eventually, you walk out of range in any case, so Wifi Assist is meant to more cleanly transition the Wifi to WAN.

    Trust me, I spent 6 years of my career testing RF hardware, antennas, and (yes) Wifi to WAN handoff. Disabling Wifi Assist will make very little difference, but hiding iCloud music or not streaming videos will make a difference!

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