Wi-Fi Assist Feature Causing High Cellular Data Usage: iPhone and cellular model iPad

Featured Image: 
screenshot of iPhone Wi-Fi Assist option in Settings.

Wi-Fi Assist is designed to help when you have a poor Wi-Fi connection.  When the Wi-Fi Assist feature is turned on, it will automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.   However, you are increasing the use of your cellular data, often without realizing it; this means you might be at risk for additional cellular data charges.

Wi-Fi Assist Facts

  • When Wi-Fi Assist is activated, you will see the cellular data icon in the status bar on your device.
  • Wi-Fi Assist will not automatically switch to cellular if you are data roaming.
  • Wi-Fi Assist only works when you have apps running in the foreground and does not activate with background downloading of content.
  • Wi-Fi Assist does not activate with some third-party apps that stream audio or video, or download attachments, like an email app, as they might use large amounts of data.

To turn off Wi-Fi Assist

Go to Settings > Cellular.  Scroll down to the very bottom of the screen and tap Wi-Fi Assist.

To view and adjust Data Usage

Go to Settings > Cellular.  You can turn cellular data on or off for each app.

To turn off Push Notifications

Push Notifications alert you of new data.  Apps that use push notifications, such as instant messaging and social media apps) will use cellular data.  

Go to Settings > Notifications.

To learn more about cellular data settings and usage on your iPhone and iPad (cellular iPad models), go to Apple's Cellular Data Settings page.