It's easy to disable wi-fi connections or cellular data, but how does one disable connections to cellular networks?

Three obvious solutions:

  • use Airplane mode.
  • remove SIM card.
  • explicitly set the network to a different carrier.

The first also turns off wi-fi, the second is awkward and inconvenient, and the third burns CPU as it continually tries to connect to the wrong network.

Is there an easy way to say that I want to use wi-fi without any cellular connection?

(In case it makes a difference, this is specifically for an iPhone-8.)

  • 1
    Have you tried enabling Airplane mode then manually turning on WiFi?
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


You can enable Airplane Mode without disabling Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

When you enable Airplane Mode, if it disables Wi-Fi just tap to re-enable Wi-Fi. It will remember your preferences for the next time you enable Airplane Mode.

  • Ah, I thought that Airplane mode overrode those other settings; it never occurred to me that one could still transmit while in Airplane mode. (And given its purpose it still sounds like Airplane mode should override the others.) Thanks. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 16:05
  • Disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is not required on most airlines. Only cell service disabling is required in the US.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 16:51
  • This seems such a pointless exercise, switch it all off then switch one back on again… vs, just switch off the one you don't want.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 7:32
  • @Tetsujin The cellular switch only disables cellular data, which the original question acknowledges. It doesn't disable phone calls. And, as I mentioned it remembers the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings so for most people tapping Airplane Mode only disables the cellular connection and no further interaction is required.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 15:18
  • 1
    Ah, OK. [Had to wait for my partner to get home to test that.] I didn't know they weren't equivalent.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:22

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