How to Restrict Cellular Usage While on Wi-Fi in iPhone and iPad

Despite all the efforts to stay on Wi-Fi, there is still the risk of using cellular data in case your iPhone or iPad loses its connection to a hotspot. And of course, going over your cellular data plan and incurring additional data charges for operators isn't the most fun of the experiences.

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This is why you should seriously consider restricting the use of cellular data on your iPhone or iPad. This is true if you regularly hand over your device to other people. Children, for example.

So without further ado, let's see how you can do it on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 12, iOS 13 or iPadOS.

Block cellular data from the control center

When cell data is turned off, screen time restrictions on your iPhone or iPad make it easy to turn off the cell icon on the Control Center. This can prevent you or others from accidentally or intentionally activating cellular data.

So if your device loses access to Wi-Fi, there is no risk of consuming cellular data. The following steps should help you.

Step 1: Open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, then tap the Cellular icon to turn off cellular data.

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2nd step: Open the Settings app and then tap Screen time. Follow by tapping the option titled Content and Privacy Restrictions.

If this is the first time using Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad, you will need to follow a few explicit steps to configure the functionality.

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Note: Consider adding a screen time access code (if you have not already done so) using the Configure time access code option. screen at the bottom of the screen. This will prevent others from lifting your restrictions without permission.

Step 3: Scroll down to the Allow Changes section, then tap the option labeled Cellular Data Changes.

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Step 4: Select the option titled Do not allow.

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Exit the Settings app. Open the Control Center – the Cellular icon should be grayed out. Tapping on it will have no effect unless you go back and lift the screen time restriction you just imposed.

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However, you or anyone else can still enable or disable cellular data through the Settings app. Tap the Cellular option in the Settings app, then use the toggle next to Cellular data to turn cell data on or off.

If that's a problem, let's take a look at what you can do to completely restrict cellular data on your iPhone or iPad.

Completely restrict cellular data

Cellular data can still be activated or deactivated via the Settings application despite the deactivation of the Cellular icon on the Control Center. If you also prefer to restrict this, you must manually deactivate the use of cellular data for all applications before imposing the screen time restriction.

This will prevent apps from consuming cellular data even if they are activated on your iPhone or iPad. In addition, you also prevent others from using cellular data without your permission.

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Step 1: Open the Settings app, then tap Cellular (or Cellular data if you're using an iPad). Then scroll down to the section called Cellular Data.

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2nd step: Turn off the switches next to all the apps on the list.

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This will prevent them from using cellular data. However, you must now use Screen Time to lock your changes in place.

Step 3: Open the Settings app and then tap Screen time. Follow by tapping Content and Privacy Restrictions.

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Note: Set up a Screen Time password if you have not already done so. This will help prevent others from lifting your restrictions.

Step 4: Scroll down and tap the option called Cellular Data Changes.

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Step 5: Select the option titled Do not allow. Your changes to cellular data settings are now locked.

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To check if this is the case, go back to the Cellular screen in the iPhone / iPad Settings app, then scroll down to the Cellular Data section. Cellular data switches next to each application should be grayed out.

Even if someone were to activate cellular data by diving into the Settings app, they would not be able to activate cellular data for any of the installed apps.

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However, any new application that you – or others – install afterwards can still use cellular data.

To avoid this, remove the screen time restriction, deactivate the cellular data for the application (or applications) in question via the Cellular screen of the Settings application, then reimpose the screen time restriction. You have to do this every time you install new apps.

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Take it easy on the wallet

If your cellular data plan doesn't represent a lot, the above two methods should help you massively when it comes to avoiding accidental – or intentional – use of cellular data.

Disabling the Cellular icon on the Control Center should work fine in most cases. But if you're dealing with power users, it's recommended that you turn off cellular data for apps and lock your changes. Remember to use an access code on the screen.

Then: Low Data mode is a nifty feature that can help you mitigate the use of cellular and Wi-Fi data for your iPhone or iPad. Find out how it works.

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