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Neighbourhood Alum
Neighbourhood Alum

What is Wi-Fi Assist


Wi-Fi Assis optimizes the hand-off between Wi-Fi and cellular data network.


In the past, when a device leaves the effective range of a Wi-Fi network, it would try to cling onto the Wi-Fi network for as long as it can, even when the Wi-Fi signal became too weak to be effective. The user would have two choices, either turn Wi-Fi off or wait until the device is completely out of range and switches to the cellular data network.


How does Wi-Fi Assist work


Wi-Fi Assist regularly checks your 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 hand-off between your Wi-Fi and cellular data would be automatic and smooth.


How to turn it ON/OFF


Wi-Fi Assist is turned on by default. Once enabled, it operates in the background automatically.


You can turn it on/off anytime by following these steps.


  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Cellular
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
  4. Turn Wi-Fi Assist ON/OFF


Wi-Fi Assist & cellular data usage


If you are frequently in an area with poor Wi-Fi coverage, the Wi-Fi Assist feature could switch your device from Wi-Fi to cellular data more often to provide the best data network experience.  And with increased exposure to the cellular data network, your device could utilize more cellular data usages than before.


For tips on managing data usage on iOS, click here


Eligible devices



  • iPhone 5 and newer



  • iPad Air (1st and 2nd generation)
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad mini with Retina display (2nd generation)
  • iPad mini (3rd generation)


Know more


  • 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 attachments download feature.
  • If you are data roaming outside of Canada, Wi-Fi Assist would not automatically switch to cellular for data connection. 
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CPU Alum
CPU Alum

Hmm.... switching to cellular if the wifi is weak...

Sound kinda dangerous when watching video.  You think you are wifi... you check you are on wifi.  But in the background it switches to cellular if the wifi is weak.

I was watching a video one day in the laundry room. I was on wifi, but my phone switched to cellular for the last hour.  Ooops... that quickly drained my monthly allotment.

There was another situation where a traveler was in a hotel with wifi.... the phone switched to cellular when they walked into a deadzone.  She had a huge roaming charge bill in the thousands when she got home!

Not sure I want this wifi assist.

CPU Alum
CPU Alum

Hi @xl ! It's true, it may be best to disable WiFi assist if cellular data usage is a concern. It's mainly there for as "seamless" an experience as possible. But given how devices can sometimes switch from WiFi to Cellular if the connection is weak or there is no response from the servers, it can be a roll of the dice when it comes to how much cellular data it will use! Robot surprised

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