In ideal situations, most iPhone users would prefer to use a Wi-Fi network over a cellular network. Many Wi-Fi networks are faster than cellular networks (and you can even use Wi-Fi instead of cellular to make calls if you’re on Verizon), plus data that is used on Wi-Fi does not count against the monthly data allotment of your cellular plan.
Unfortunately some Wi-Fi networks can be very slow, almost to the point where you wonder if they even have Internet access. But the iPhone will not prioritize a faster cellular network over a slower Wi-Fi network, which can leave you waiting for a Web page to load. In these situations it will typically be more efficient to disconnect from the Wi-Fi network and use your cellular connection instead.
If you aren’t in range of a Wi-Fi network but your iPad or laptop needs to get online, then our iPhone share Internet guide can show you an alternate option.
Turn Off Wi-Fi and Connect to a Cellular Network in iOS 8
The steps in this article were written using an iPhone 6 Plus, in iOS 8. These steps will assume that you are currently connected to a Wi-Fi network, but that you would like to use your cellular network instead. Note that using data while connected to a cellular network will use the cellular data from your monthly plan.
Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to bring up the Control Center.
Step 2: Tap the Wi-Fi button to turn it off. Wi-Fi is turned off when the button is gray, as in the image below.
Any data that you use now, such as using Facebook, browsing the Internet, or watching Netflix movies, will be using cellular data. If turning off Wi-Fi is a temporary measure, be sure to remember to turn it back on later. Cellular data usage can add up quickly, especially if you stream a lot of videos.
If you are not able to connect to the Internet while connected to a cellular network, then cellular data might be turned off. You can check this setting by opening the Settings menu –
Then selecting the Cellular option at the top of the screen.
Confirm that the button to the right of Cellular Data is turned on, as in the image below.
If this button is turned on, then cellular data might be turned off for a specific app. Scroll down to the Use Cellular Data For section, then confirm that cellular data is turned on for the app that you want to use on your cellular network.
In the image above, cellular data is turned off for Facebook, FaceTime and HBO Go.
Is your iPhone connecting to the wrong Wi-Fi network? This guide will show you how to forget a network to which your iPhone is connecting automatically.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.