My internet connection died whilst my router still continued to work (so I could still pick up wifi but had no internet connection). I wanted to tether my laptop to my phone so I could use 4G instead, but my phone was still connected to the shody WIFI.

I couldnt just turn off the WIFI on my phone as then my laptop would not be able to tether. I didnt want to 'forget' my WIFI connection as I do not know the password.

Is there anyway to simply disconnect from a WIFI signal?

5 Answers 5


Turn off auto-join. I’ve searched for this several times and always thought it was a stupid design by apple but I finally worked it out. In your iPhone settings, turn WiFi off then back on again. If it connects to your home WiFi automatically, click on the i (information) symbol next to the connection. Turn off the ‘auto-join’ option. Then you can turn WiFi off then on again to drop the connection without forgetting it. As the original post I’m replying to is five years old now maybe I’m the only one dumb enough to still be having this problem. But maybe not. :)

  • No, it's still dumb that there isn't just a Disconnect option on the WiFi settings page!
    – Andy Hames
    Jan 11, 2019 at 11:05

So I'm assuming you're tethering your laptop to your phone via wifi from some app? Can you just turn wifi off, then go to the tethering app and enable tethering? If wifi is off I imagine it should turn it on and switch to it's tethering mode.

Also, a note: The phone should stay connected to the cellular network while wifi is on.


You could use Bluetooth or USB to tether your connection to the laptop. That would allow to deactivate wifi and let the iPhone connect to cellular.


You don't actually have to turn off Wifi. Here's what I do when my cable modem drops:

  1. Settings > Personal Hotspop -> turn to on
  2. on my laptop, click the WIFI icon in the tray to open the "Currently Connected to" Dialog.
  3. Sometimes at this point I have to use the refresh Icon in the top right of that dialog a few times to get my iPhone's SSID to show up, sometimes turning the personal hotspot on/off on the phone is what works. This is the tricky step but if you play with it, the phones SSID will show up in the laptop.
  4. Connect to the SSID for the phone when it appears. The phone will drop it's connection to the router and start tethering the laptop.

When your ready to return, just turn off the personal hotspot on the phone and the phone will re-join the routers network.


Turn off "Handoff" in "General" and turn off "Calls on other devices" and try, it worked for me.

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