My mom has an iPad Air with a T-Mobile data plan. The iPad Air is configured to use the Wi-Fi in her home.

She recently noticed some pop-up messages on the iPad Air saying that there's no data left on the cellular plan. She gets 200 MB of data every month from T-Mobile, so I guess she used up all 200 MB this month. But she never takes the iPad outside the house, so she doesn't know how she ran out of cellular data. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the Wi-Fi was down and the iPad Air automatically switched to the T-Mobile cellular signal. She watches movies a lot, so that would certainly use up 200 MB of data pretty quickly.

So does the iPad Air automatically switch to the cellular plan if the Wi-Fi is down? What if the Wi-Fi router is up but the Comcast internet is down?

2 Answers 2


It works the other way around but the result is the same.

By default it uses the cellular network unless there is a Wifi network. If there is a Wifi network I will use it to send and receive data.


If you want the iPad to use cellular data only on specific occasions, not automatically, you can turn off cellular data in Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular data and switch it on only when needed. This way if the WiFi is down, the iPad will be cut off from the internet and you'll have to manually allow it to use the cellular plan.

(I'm not 100% certain about the settings screen, I don't have my iPad with me but that's where it is on my iPhone.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .