How to enable or disable 3G/4G on your iPhone

The 3G/4G Internet service is normally provided by your phone network provider (such as O2, Vodafone, Orange, etc.). Enabling and disabling your iPhones 3G/4G Internet connection can be done through the iPhones settings. Within the settings menu it is reffered to as 'Mobile Data' (or if your still on iOS 5 'Cellular Data').

By enabling or disabling the Mobile Data service on your phone you can control if the phone will connect and use the 3G/4G Internet connection when it is available. By disabling Mobile Data you can stop you phone using the 3G/4G Internet service but can still connect and use the Internet through a Wireless Network/Hotspot.

Disabling the 3G/4G connection can be useful in extending the battery life of your phone, or limiting the amount of data your phone uses especially if you have a monthly data limit set by your phone network provider.

The way to disable and enable 3G/4G differs slightly between the last 2 major versions of Apple's Mobile Operating System iOS 6 and iOS 5. Due to this we have provided 2 versions of the guide below just follow the relevant guide. If you are unsure which version your phone is currently running this guide will show you how to find your iOS version.

For iOS 6...

Step 1

Locate and open the 'Settings' app.

Then from the main list of options select 'General'.

Open settings then select general

Step 2

From the list of General settings select 'Mobile Data'.

The first two options 'Mobile Data' and 'Enable 3G/4G' control you phones connection to this service.

To use 3G/4G Internet simply turn both items ON, by setting these two option to OFF you can stop your phone using the 3G/4G Internet service.

TIP: Very occasionally an app will require that the third option on this screen 'Data Roaming' is enabled. While there is no problem having this switched ON while in your own country, leaving this on when you take your phone travelling abroad can be a very expensive exercise.

open mobile data settings

For iOS 5...

Step 1

Locate and open the 'Settings' app.

Then from the main list of options select 'General'.

Open settings then select general

Step 2

From the list of General options select 'Network'.

You should see options for both 'Cellular Data' and 'Enable 3G', however depending on the model of your iPhone you may just have the 'Cellular Data' option (see below note).

NOTE: If you have an iPhone 4S running iOS 5 the 'Enable 3G/4G' option will not be available, for reasons best known to Apple. When you upgrade the iOS software on your iPhone 4S to iOS 6 using iTunes this option will then be available.

To stop your phone using 3G/4G services set both 'Cellular Data' and 'Enable 3G/4G' options to OFF. To allow you phone to use 3G/4G services simply set both back to ON.

TIP: While iPhone 4S users running iOS 5 are unable to stop the phone connecting to 3G/4G, setting the 'Cellular Data' option to OFF will still stop the phone sending and receiving any data over 3G/4G. While this won't stop the battery drain from having 3G/4G enabled, it will stop you using any more of your data allowance.

open network settings


-4 #4 Pure Logic Solutions 2014-04-17 20:06
Appreciation! That was amazing :)
+1 #3 Mukesh 2014-04-03 06:08
0 #2 Kadir 2014-03-18 18:50
Superb explanation to stop my 3G mobile data transfer. Thanks for sharing the info!!!
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