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How To Stop Unexpected Cellular Data Usage / Charges in iOS 9


Are you seeing any unexpected increase in your cellular (mobile) data?

Many users are already reporting this unusual cellular data usage – in massive amount – on their iPhones / iPads running iOS 9. Here’s the rephrased version of their thoughts:


  • My carrier has disconnected the cellular data for the entire month – thanks to iOS 9!
  • Why is the data usage so high after upgrading to iOS 9? I never downloaded anything!
  • How do I stop my iPhone from consuming GBs of cellular data on iOS 9?
  • Why I am getting this huge phone bill for the 3G/4G data that I am not even using. How is this even possible?
  • Where’s Tim Cook? I think he is out to meet those carrier networks to eat our goddamn bandwidth for lunch!

OK, we made that last one up, but the point is simple: Whenever you upgrade to iOS 9, you will notice this strange data usage even when you are connected to a WiFi network.

Unknown Data Charges: Why is this happening

It’s because of a new iOS 9 feature that automatically switches iOS 9 devices from WiFi connection (when it is weak) to cellular data.

So you will be using 2G/3G/4G LTE on your iPhone / iPad even without your permission.

This feature is called WiFi Assist. As we have mentioned before:

Goal of this feature is to detect any weak or slow WiFi connection and then switch to cellular data immediately. Your bandwidth is consumed without your permission.

WiFi Assist is useful for many with unlimited cellular data (with no data limit), but for the rest of us – it’s just another data-hungry monster, which is why we recommend you to:

Disable It To Save Your GBs of Cellular Data

To stop unexpected data usage on your iOS 9 device, simply turn OFF WiFi Assist by navigating to the following section:

Option 1: Settings -> Cellular -> Scroll to find Wi-Fi Assist
Option 2: Settings -> Mobile Data -> Scroll to find Wi-Fi Assist

Toggle the Wi-Fi Assist switch as shown here:

disable-wifi-assist-cellular

Once disabled, iOS 9 will never use cellular data to download updates, iOS apps, or stream YouTube videos, or Apple music when you are connected to a WiFi network.

WiFi Assist should be disabled by default – or at least it should be placed somewhere in the Settings page so it is clearly visible. Right now, you have to scroll to find this option.

Sure, it’s not that difficult, but many never saw it coming – which is why they will be receiving heavy data charges this month.

All thanks to iOS 9.

On the other hand, we have some amazing folks on Twitter telling everyone to disable WiFi assist to avoid massive data charges in the future – keep tweeting folks!

high-cellular-data-usage

Here’s one from us:

  • Nick

    OMG!

    Thank you for this! I wasn’t even aware. Why hide this option?? And why even enable it by default?

  • Dominic Kelly

    This issue was mentioned on a travel forum I am part of. People were getting hit with massive data roaming charges when traveling overseas due to the ‘WiFi Assist’ feature.

    I assumed this was probably a bug that would be fixed in 9.0.2 (at least the feature would be toggled off by default). it seems not. So is it still the case that WiFi Assist (if set to the default setting of ‘On’) will override the fact that ‘Data Roaming’ is set to ‘Off’, and access cellular data when WiFi service is weak or unavailable?