iPhone 6 Wi-Fi settings

iOS 9 includes a new feature designed to optimize network performance by automatically switching to a mobile data network if a poor Wi-Fi signal is detected or Wi-Fi responds painfully too slow. It’s called Wi-Fi Assist and comes enabled by default on iPhones and cellular iPads running iOS 9 or iOS 9.0.1.

As first noted by Quartz, some iPhone owners with poor Wi-Fi reception are seeing dramatic increases in their mobile data usage after updating to iOS 9.

For example, some folks are reporting a jump from one to as much as seven gigabytes since updating to iOS 9. To avoid unwanted overage fees on your wireless bill, disable Wi-Fi Assist with just a few taps, here’s how.

People who don’t have unlimited cellular data are especially advised to turn off this new iOS 9 setting. At any rate, anyone who has upgraded their iPhone from an earlier iOS version to iOS 9 should know that iOS 9 automatically turns on Wi-Fi Assist.

To check out your current cellular data tally, head to Settings > Cellular.

How to disable Wi-Fi Assist in iOS 9

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad.

Step 2: Navigate to the Cellular section. If you’re outside the United States, the Cellular label might read Mobile Data instead.

Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom and flip the Wi-Fi Assist switch to the OFF position.

iOS 9 Wi-Fi Assist disabled

Full tutorial: How to set up and use Wi-Fi Assist on iOS 9

When Wi-Fi Assist is enabled, your cellular-capable iOS devices will “automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor,” says Apple.

To further minimize mobile data usage, disable data hog apps and services in Settings > Cellular by turning cellular data on or off for any app that can use cellular data.

If a setting is off, iPhone uses only Wi-Fi for that service. In addition, Settings → App and iTunes Stores let you disable mobile data for both iTunes Match and automatic downloads from the iTunes Store and the App Store.

You can tell that Wi-Fi Assist has kicked into action when the Wi-Fi signal icon turns gray before the cellular data dots appear in the iOS status bar.

Source: Quartz

  • thunderqus

    How come iOS the greatest OS on earth doesn’t have data limits? I miss that so much from Android where we can set the warning and max limit monthly after which mobile data will turn off completely.

    • Ds

      because there are apps that can do that? I use Dataman Next.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Never even heard of that… Does it work perfectly?

      • Ds

        I like it. it has a nice clean interface and is very simple to use. it even has a few notification widget. ever since going from unlimited data to 6gigs of data I’ve been super cautious about how much data I use. so I have a bunch of things turned off. Dataman Next you can set warning in stages. say 50%/75%/95% data used and it will notify you when you hit those marks based on what data limit you have entered.

      • That_Fruitarian

        That’s awesome!! Will give it a shot

      • That tracks data usage, can it toggle the system data setting or do you have to ensure you keep an eye on all your notifications?

      • Ds

        it tracks wifi and cell data usage.. I just turn data usage off for the apps I don’t want to use it on under cellular in settings.

      • In other words, no it can’t automatically stop data once it reaches the monthly limit…won’t work for preventing data overages, still gotta jailbreak for that.

    • That_Fruitarian

      My data shows up on my notification screen. But to be able to turn it off completely seems like a nice handy feature for some. I don’t think I’ll ever want mine off completely.

      • thunderqus

        I use that feature from Android a lot (I just have 2GB), because sometimes when I turn hotspot on other devices at times chew the data like there is no tomorrow , and data limit features helps me preventing over going or completely running out of data before next cycle.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Oh wow, with 2gb that makes perfect sense. I have 15 gb so I don’t worry as much.

    • Baseballguy2001

      I use an app called simply, Data Usage – You can set a limit and the software will tell you when you get close to it. Easy as pie.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Thanks for that tip!!

      • thunderqus

        oh thanks man, I am really looking for such apps to bridge my gap between Android and iOS, I will check that out.

    • Rodney Coleman

      Cheap lol.

  • Alex-V

    Great tip ..it should be under wifi ..so i say thanks

  • Jeff Connell

    I always use WiFi on my iPhone, but the latest update turned on WiFi assist, needless to say my data was being used at an astronomical rate. Whatever imbecile with Apple decided to have the latest update turn this on should be fired immediately and Apple should cover the charges incurred on anyone’s data plan that went over. Totally unacceptable oversight for a company of this size.

  • djgap

    I just upgraded to iOS 9.0.1 on my iphone 4s, and I don’t see any sign of Wifi Assist anywhere.. where did they hide it?

  • Eldaria

    I have an iPad with 3G and iOS 9.0.1, but do not see the option with Wifi Assist.

  • iByron

    I’ve been on iOS 9 for a bit with the public beta and I haven’t noticed any uptick in data usage that I couldn’t account for with my own behavior (I started listening to more music “on the go” when Apple Music started, and a couple of times I forgot to turn wifi on before updating a bunch of apps [all below the 100MB limit, but a lot of them]). I’ve averaged 4GB/month since February and that hasn’t changed.

    It’s been in official release for all of two weeks. I’m skeptical that we’re getting the full story from all of these reports. Even the examples in the original Quartz article use phrases like “I’m pretty sure,” and other indefinites.

  • @dongiuj

    iOS 9…. The worst experience I’ve ever had. Clean it up and simplify it like it was originally mentioned to be.

  • @dongiuj

    Since updating to iOS 9 my wifi connectivity has been complete b0♪♪0cks. So I either deal with amazingly slow wifi connection or sometimes “fails to update information” when I’ve opened an app because of poor wifi connection or eat up data? Sounds rubbish to me. So much for “it just works”.

  • Eric Basile

    I have a first generation iPad Mini. Upgraded to IOS 9.0.1 and it consumed 6GB of data in 5 days! I had to disable cellular and upgrade my plan but here is my problem, there is no WiFi assist button under the Cellular Settings. Every forum says to disable it by simply flipping the switch to off. Anyone have any ideas why the button is missing? I have already done a complete restore and can’t find anyone else posting a similar story. I have upgraded to 9.0.2, button is still not there but I am not going to risk the overages by turning on cellular until I know for sure WiFi assist is off. Any ideas?