How To Disable mobile data on iPhone and iPad

Disable mobile dataDo you want to disable mobile data on your iPhone or iPad? Or do you just not want to use 4G? This tip explains how you can disable mobile data and determine whether you use the fast 4G or the slower 3G. Handy when you are almost out of your data bundle.

  • Switch off
  • Switch off quickly
  • Switch off 4G

Disable mobile data on your iPhone

There can be all kinds of reasons why you want to disable mobile data on your iPhone (or iPad with mobile data function). For example, you are almost out of your data bundle and want to do something more economical. Or maybe you are dealing with a limited foreign bundle in countries outside the EU. It can also happen that your Wi-Fi network at home is very poor, which means that you use much more 4G data than you would like.

By switching off mobile data, you determine yourself when your mobile data bundle will be used. Another way to limit your data usage is to switch off 4G so that you can use the slower 3G on the internet. Due to the lower data rate, you force yourself to use videos and other data-wasting applications less often.

We explain both options in this tip.

Switch off mobile data: that’s how you do it

Nowadays, almost all of us use 4G, the fast connection via your mobile network. It sometimes seems that everyone has almost unlimited data, but there are of course people who have to deal with a limited data bundle. If you are almost out of your data bundle and you need to be economical, you can switch off mobile data completely.

You control it through the settings of your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Mobile network option.
  3. With the Mobile data switch, you can switch off mobile data completely.

Switch off mobile dataSee the left image below. This can be useful in situations where you are afraid of using too much data, for example, while roaming abroad or when your bundle goes up too quickly.

Switch off mobile data quickly

If you often have to switch off your mobile data, you can do that much faster via the Control Panel. Slide the Control Panel into view and tap the green GSM mast at the top of the screen. The mobile data is then immediately switched off so that from that moment on you can only use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You could also switch to airplane mode, but that means you no longer have an internet connection.

Disable 4G on your iPhone

Do you want to use data, but are you worried that you will use a lot of data unnoticed due to the speed of 4G and therefore use your data bundle faster? Then you can switch off 4G so that you fall back to a lower speed. You do this as follows:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Mobile network> Mobile data options.
  3. Tap Enable 4G and choose the Off option.

If you switch off 4G, the iPhone will only select the slower 2G and 3G networks. Of course, in areas with poor coverage, your iPhone can always fall back on 2G or 3G, even when you have 4G enabled.

Previously, you could manually choose 2G, 3G or 4G, but Apple only gives you the option to turn 4G on or off in more recent versions of iOS.

If you have 4G enabled, that is not a guarantee that you will always get a 4G speed. For example, you may be confronted with slower 3G networks in places where there is poor mobile coverage. And in the Netherlands, with some data bundles, the speed is reduced if you have used up your data limit. You can then only use the internet at a lower speed. Often you can manually request some extra MBs, whether or not for a fee.

Whether you can use the internet at 4G speed depends on your provider. If your provider does not offer 4G, you can set the switch to 4G, but you will get the maximum available speed and that can also be 3G. Nowadays almost all Dutch providers offer 4G, although the speed of the mobile networks can still vary.

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