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Is there a way to disable the mobile-data-saving features in iOS? I now have a mobile plan with unlimited LTE data, it's faster and more reliable than most Wi-Fi connections as well. So it would be great if I could tell my iPhone that it's ok to do things such as download 100+ MB apps from the App Store, or actually download videos from my iCloud photo library in full 4k/60fps resolution, or download an iOS update etc.

(The aforementioned restrictions are in place only in mobile data mode and not when the device is connected to Wi-Fi.)

But I don't see a user-settable option anywhere? Seems certain restrictions are in place such that iOS wants certain network things only to happen on Wi-Fi?

It should be smarter than that. It's good that iOS tries to save mobile data by default, but it's strange that there is no choice for the user here. The data saving options are kind of arbitrary and actually moot anyways. If you allow some app to use data (which is the default), that app can then download as much as it wants on mobile.

edit - I've been using a hacky workaround:

A macOS computer is needed. Connect your iPhone to your Mac via USB, make sure the Mac is network-tethered to your iPhone via USB connection (in Network Settings). Then, enable Internet Sharing in Sharing Settings on your Mac. Set it up to share the internet connection from iPhone-USB via Wifi. Your Mac will create a WiFi hotspot. Then, on your iPhone, connect to that WiFi hotspot.

Your iPhone will be pleased by the WiFi connection and lift its arbitrary restrictions.

The obvious downside is that you have to have a Mac up and running, and your iPhone must be hooked up to your Mac via USB cable.

(This WiFi setup will also allow you to use HomePods in stereo mode, which is not possible without a WiFi network. Get them to connect to the Mac WiFi and you're golden).

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iOS doesn't restrict data consumption in general sense. The data restrictions are present only for a few specific scenarios, such as downloading large apps and iOS updates and that too are in place only in mobile data mode and not when the device is connected to Wi-Fi network.

It should be understood that the that the restrictions are only in place while you are on mobile data. Though debatable, those are valid restrictions to keep the overall user experience for an average user smooth.


There is no way to work around the mobile data download restriction in iOS. The restrictions are in place not due to technical reasons but a policy to restrict a few users from hogging the mobile network thereby brining down the network for everyone. This is more about encouraging fair usage among the users in the network.

As far as app installation is involved, the cellular download limit is now increased to 150 MB from 100 MB (Source: Higher Limit for Over-the-Air Downloads). Updating iOS still require Wi-Fi connectivity.

The data saving options are kind of arbitrary and actually moot anyways. If you allow some app to use data (which is the default), that app can then download as much as it wants on mobile.

This observation is correct, but it still isn't as common a use-case as installing apps and updating iOS.

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Unfortunately there is currently no way to disable this. If you are wanting to add to the cause of having this restriction removed, you can submit feedback to Apple through this form: https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

  • It seems strange that Apple would make such decisions on behalf of the network operator. I'm currently trying to send five (!!) photos as iMessage and being on mobile is preventing those from getting through. As I understand it, many of us are exclusively on mobile networks so it would seem these restrictions are excluding them from using some features altogether. – savolai ᯓ Jul 8 at 9:55

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