What Is Data Roaming on the iPhone and How to Disable It

what is data roaming on the iphone

If you are in a location where your mobile service provider’s signals are not available, you will still be able to send messages and make calls. How? Smartphones are designed to remain connected to mobile networks at all times. If your dedicated network is not available where you are traveling, it will automatically pick up an available network from the associate provider. This is known as data roaming, and it keeps you connected even when you travel abroad. But this convenience comes at a cost. Let’s discuss what is data roaming on the iPhone and how to disable it.

What Is Data Roaming?

Many people are not sure what is data roaming on the iPhone or what are the roaming charges on an Android phone. The term data roaming refers to the connection of your phone to the Internet on an outside network. Data roaming is one of the leading causes of bill shock. Most phones are designed to allow roaming by default. That’s why many users don’t realize they are accumulating roaming charges. Realization hits with a shock when they receive a staggering bill after an overseas trip.

We all use many functions available on our smartphones even when we travel overseas because there are lots of good reasons to do so. You must browse to find a decent place to eat, make hotel bookings, and find your way around. Smartphones are commonly used for sharing photos and videos with your friends and family and on your social media channels.

So How Does It Work?

Smartphones are automatically connected to the internet. It means that when you are traveling away from your location, you might be using data without even knowing it. Depending on where you are using mobile data, the cost can be pretty high.

Data roaming charges on the iPhone can get expensive when you are using your phone outside the coverage area of your cellular plan. But don’t worry. The problem can be easily handled.  All you have to do is change the roaming settings on your device by making the necessary changes to the mobile data settings of your phone.

Turning off data roaming will stop the apps from running in the background. It will not interfere with the process of making calls and sending out text messages.

How to Disable Data Roaming

On the iPhone (Latest Version)

Go to the Settings symbol and click on the cellular button at the screen top. This will reveal the roaming tab. Click on it.

The slider of the Voice Roaming tab should be moved from right to left. This action will switch off the call roaming feature.

Now come to the bottom of this screen. You must move the slider of the Data Roaming tab from right to left. This action will disable other vital functions such as web browsing, email, MMS, and data.

For older versions of iOS

Go to settings, click on the general tab, and then the network tab. It will reveal the data roaming switch. Please turn it off. This will disable web browsing, email, and all data.

In the same tab, look for the Cellular Data switch. Turn off that too. This will disable the push notifications and also disable the personal hotspot. However, you will be able to use Wi-Fi.

For Android Phones

Go to settings, then the wireless tab and network. Select mobile networks. You will find two checkboxes – Use Packet Data and Data Roaming. When you un-check both these boxes, your phone will not connect to any roaming mobile data services. However, Wi-Fi will still work, as usual, allowing you to share images and videos and browse the net without having to worry about exorbitant bills.

Disabling MMS Messages

You must also deselect MMS text and video messages to prevent your provider from billing you for downloading videos or reading texts while roaming. While you are on a different cellular network, sending data through that network can result in an additional surcharge billed by the partner networks. Depending on your location, these surcharges can be pretty high. If you send data frequently, you may end up with quite a hefty bill at the end of your billing cycle.

The Process

To disable MMS messages, open the text message app of your mobile phone and be on the main screen of the messenger app. You must be able to view the text conversations you are engaged in. Go to the settings or message settings option and select the three dots appearing on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Deselect the auto retrieve option or roaming auto retrieve from the options provided in the drop-down list. This action will ensure that MMS text and video messages do not open automatically when you receive them. You will have to give permission to download. It will provide an additional degree of protection for your phone, not only from unwanted messages but also from malware and viruses.

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