Turn off this iPhone setting to stop the mobile data drain

According to Apple, iOS 9 has the biggest adoption rates compares to all other iOS version before. At September 19th, 50% of iOS devices already made the switch to the latest version of iOS. With this many devices upgrading, there was no doubt that there will be some sort of problems with the first version of the latest iOS. This time, it’s all about your mobile data.

A big number of users reported spikes in their mobile data usage, direct after upgrading to iOS 9. This problem is connected to the newest iOS feature Wi-Fi Assist. This setting, which is switched on by default on iOS 9,  is supposed to support you “stay connected to the Internet even if  have a poor Wi-Fi connection“, by switching over to mobile data, if you have a bad Wi-Fi reception or if the connection is slow in general. However, Wi-Fi Assist might cause more problems than actually help you.

Apple was already sued for the data draining iOS 9 settings

Indeed, Apple was slapped with a $5 Million USD class-action lawsuit for not notifing users of increased data usage and enabling this draining setting by default on all devices running iOS 9.

The lawsuit demands that Apple “downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur” from Wi-Fi Assist. – AppleInsider

After the initial complaint Apple changed its website saying that Wi-Fi-Assist “may use more cellular data”.

To clarify the problem, there are some things Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t do:

  • It doesn’t drain data for apps running in the background
  • Wi-Fi Assist will not connect to mobile data if you’re data roaming
  • Apparently, it doesn’t turn on when streaming audio, video or downloading attachments in third-party apps

How to switch off Wi-Fi Assist on the iPhone / iPad

Turn off Wi-Fi Assist is totally easy. Simply open your Settings, go to Mobile Data (Cellular), go down to the very bottom and toggle the On/Off switch next to Wi-Fi Assist.


If you’ve done that you’ll likely see an overall decrease in your mobile data usage in the future.

Turn off background data on iOS 9

However, there are some additional features you should change to save a good amount of your precious mobile data, if you’re not on an unlimited data plan.

The nastiest data drainage actually happens in the background, simply for the reason that you’re not aware of it most of the time. To switch off mobile data for apps running in the background to this:

  • Open Settings > General
  • Tap on Background App Refresh
  • Toggle the On/Off switch next to the apps that you don’t want to use mobile data in the background


Disable mobile data usage for selected apps

You also might want to completely turn off mobile data access for some apps that you won’t need all the time. In this case, we have App Store, Game Center and Music disabled at all times.

Again open Settings > Mobile Data (Cellular) > scroll through the list of apps and switch off mobile data for those you don’t need, or only use when you have a Wi-Fi connection available.

If you have more thoughts on how to save mobile data on iOS devices like the iPhone, please leave a comment. We always appreciates a helpful tip and will expand this article,if it’s really useful!

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