How to stop iOS Wi-Fi from turning on automatically

By | April 24, 2022

How to stop iOS Wi-Fi from turning on automatically? Apple has added Control Center to iOS as part of the new Quick Menu in iOS 7. On an Apple iPhone or iPad, you can swipe up from any screen and turn various services on or off. One such service is Wi-Fi. While Control Center lets you quickly and easily manage Wi-Fi and other connection settings on your iPhone, most people don’t fully understand how it works. This is one of the reasons why users wonder how their iOS Wi-Fi turns on automatically.

How to stop iOS Wi-Fi from turning on automatically

You may have disabled Wi-Fi to use cellular data or save battery power while you are away from a known network. Understanding that disabling Wi-Fi didn’t actually turn it off can be confusing how your battery gradually drained and how the Wi-Fi network turned on automatically.

Let’s look into this in more detail.

How Control Center works

The Control Center has been designed as an easy-to-access menu where you can turn on and off many services such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Flashlight from anywhere on the screen. Turning off Wi-Fi from the Control Center will disconnect your smartphone from the connected Wi-Fi network/router for about a day. The Wi-Fi service itself will not be disabled, and your iPhone or iPad will automatically connect to that Wi-Fi network after 24 hours.

Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 2
Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 1

Your iPhone will disconnect from your Wi-Fi router or hotspot and use mobile data temporarily instead. WiFi is still on. You can check it in settings. Turn off Wi-Fi and go to Settings > Wi-Fi to check.

You should notice the “Disable nearby Wi-Fi until tomorrow” message when you use the Control Center to turn it off. That’s why your iPhone reconnects to the saved Wi-Fi network even if you turned it off or better said turned it off.

In short, turning off Wi-Fi from the Control Center will turn it off temporarily, or only for 24 hours. If you want to turn it off completely, go to Settings > Wi-Fi to turn it off completely. If your cellular data connection is interrupted, your iPhone may switch back to using the Wi-Fi network instead.

Why Control Center doesn’t turn off Wi-Fi completely

Behind this reasoning, there seemed to be many thoughts. Wi-Fi is not only used to connect to the Internet and work in a wild network. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are required to use features such as AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Watch, Mobile Hotspot, and other similar connected services. Disabling Wi-Fi will disrupt one of these services. That’s why turning off the option to disable Wi-Fi for a short period of time doesn’t make any sense.

Properly turn off Wi-Fi

Use the settings if you want to disable Wi-Fi permanently. This will prevent iOS from automatically turning Wi-Fi on later. 

Go to Settings: Wi-Fi and disable this setting. 

As discussed above, other Wi-Fi-dependent features will also stop working.

Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 8

Note: Wi-Fi will turn on and automatically connect to the saved Wi-Fi network if you restart your iPhone. Regardless of which method you use, you should still turn off Wi-Fi.

Auto-join is disabled until

When you use Control Center to disable Wi-Fi, it will not automatically reconnect to the network until:

  • Where you live, 5 am (local time).
  • You restart your iPhone
  • You are moving to a new place
  • You connect to a Wi-Fi network from the settings
  • You enable Wi-Fi from the Control Center

Now you know why your iPhone automatically connects to Wi-Fi in the morning even if you turned it off at night. You should toggle it, not disable it.

What happens to Wi-Fi in airplane mode

I don’t recommend using airplane mode to disable Wi-Fi. This will also turn off all other network connection options such as cellular services, GPS, Bluetooth, and mobile data.

Forget Wi-Fi

One way to leave Wi-Fi on and still make sure your iPhone doesn’t automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network is to use the “forget network” option.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and select the name of the Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to. 

For Example: it could be your home or office router.

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Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 3

Step 2: Click “Forget this network” and confirm when prompted.

Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 5

Please note that you will need to enter your Wi-Fi password again in order to connect to the network. Make sure you have it. It’s even better if you disable Auto-Join and enable the Low Data Mode options in the same menu. This way you won’t have to forget the network and therefore re-enter the password. Just turn off Wi-Fi in the Control Center and turn off auto join. Your iPhone will no longer automatically connect to the selected Wi-Fi. When you manually connect by re-enabling Auto-Join, it will consume little data.

Using Wi-Fi Assistance

Wi-Fi Assist will force your phone to use cellular data if Wi-Fi is slow or not working at all. Instead, many users disable Wi-Fi from the Control Center and then wonder how their Wi-Fi reconnects automatically.

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Stop i OS Wifi from turning on automatically 6

Under Settings > Mobile Data, go to the Wi-Fi Assistance section. Turn it on to enjoy uninterrupted internet access even when Wi-Fi is acting weird. No need to open Control Center again and again and fiddle with Wi-Fi settings.

Connecting the world

The Control Center acts as a window for the most frequently used and important functions. You can turn services on and off from any screen on an iPhone. The Wi-Fi option is one of them. Given how ubiquitous Wi-Fi is today, turning it off only momentarily disables Wi-Fi, not disables it. Now you know why iOS is constantly connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

Next:

Not sure who else is using Wi-Fi in your home? Is this your neighbor? Click on the link below for three tools to find just that.

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