Wi-Fi Assist is a feature that optimizes the handoff between a Wi-Fi network and your carrier's cellular data network. In the past, when your device left the effective range of a Wi-Fi network, it would try to maintain connection to that network as long as it could, even when the network's signal became too weak to be effective. Then, you'd have two choices: either turn Wi-Fi off or wait until your device was completely out of range and it would switch over to the cellular data network.
How does Wi-Fi Assist work?
Wi-Fi Assist regularly checks your device's Wi-Fi connection to determine signal strength. If the Wi-Fi signal performance drops, Wi-Fi Assist automatically switches to a cellular data connection until the Wi-Fi signal improves. By doing so, the handoff between your Wi-Fi and cellular data connections would be automatic and smooth.
How can Wi-Fi Assist impact me?
As this feature may increase the amount of time spent on the cellular data network, there is potential for higher data usage, and the Wi-Fi signal may disconnect more frequently if your device's Wi-Fi connection drops below a specific strength.
How to turn Wi-Fi Assist ON or OFF
Wi-Fi Assist is usually turned on by default. Once enabled, it operates in the background automatically. You can turn it on or off anytime by following these steps:
1. Tap Settings.
2. Tap Cellular.
3. Scroll down to find the Wi-Fi Assist toggle.
4. Tap to turn the feature ON or OFF.
1. Go to your Start screen and swipe up or down to open the menu.
2. Tap Settings.
3. Tap Connections.
4. Tap Wi-Fi.
5. Tap to enable Wi-Fi.
6. Choose the Options symbol and select Advanced.
7. Tap to disable Switch to mobile data.
Wi-Fi Assist does not activate for some third-party apps that might use large amounts of data. For example, apps with audio or video streaming functionality, or email apps with features such as attachment downloads.
If you are data roaming outside of Canada, Wi-Fi Assist will not automatically switch to a cellular data connection.
For device specific data management tips, you can also check out our articles for iOS and Android.