How to use WiFi instead of cellular for iPhones with weak coverage

In this article, you will know how to use WiFi instead of cellular for iPhones with weak coverage.

Wi-Fi Assist is a tool that can assist you with poor Wi-Fi coverage on your iPhone or iPad equipped with cellular data. It switches to cellular data if the current Wi-Fi network isn’t performing consistently. 

What about the reverse? Can you increase your internet speed if you live in an area without cellular coverage? It depends on the model of your iPhone or iPad.

An iPhone running iOS 14 and earlier or an iPad running iPadOS 14 and earlier will prefer Wi-Fi to cellular for your internet connection. While you are using cell data, your iPhone or iPad constantly scans Wi-Fi networks. iOS and iPadOS depend on your Settings > Wi-Fi choices to determine what next.

How to use WiFi instead of cellular for iPhones with weak coverage

You’ll be asked when a network near you is discovered by setting Ask to Join Networks to Ask. If your device has been connected previously, it automatically joins. Otherwise, the Ask option will prompt you.

Apple’s Auto-Join Hotspot can identify nearby personal hotspots you are eligible to join. These hotspots could be yours on an iPhone, an iPhone you haven’t yet purchased, an iPhone you own, an iPhone belonging to someone in your Family Sharing group, or an iPhone you have set to Allow Others to Join. However, you will need the password.

iOS 15/iPadOS 15 is an exception. It introduces a new option for iPhone 12 models, as well as several iPad models: the 5th generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch and 3rd-generation iPad Pro 11.-inch, the 5th generation iPad Air and the 6th-generation iPad mini. iOS 15/iPadOS 15, or any other version, allows you to use 5G data in most cases instead of Wi-Fi.

You can find this option in Settings Mobile/Cellular Data Options Data Mode. If Data Mode is set for Allow More Data on5G, your iPhone/iPad may tap the 5G network if it offers a better or more consistent performance than the Wi-Fi connection for certain tasks like streaming video or performing iCloud backups. 

You can set this to Standard which uses the 5G network only for updates and some background tasks. Or you can set Low Data Mode which does not use the cellular network at all for automatic updates. However, Wi-Fi Assist still controls other network behavior.

If your iPhone or iPad loses Wi-Fi, you can force it to join a cellular network. Most people consider some internet services to be better than none.

However, if your cell data is so inconsistent in your current location that you find it frustrating to use, you may prefer to have your connection cut. 

To turn Cellular data off, visit Settings. You can also open the Control Center and tap on the Cellular icon. This will also block incoming calls to the cellular network.

Tip: To ensure you can place voice calls over Wi-Fi rather than cellular, check that Wi-Fi Calling is enabled or that your provider provides it.

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