I'm planning on travelling out of the country and will bring my iPhone along. There will be WiFi access at my destination and I only intend on planning on using my iPhone for that. Is there anyway to sever all communications (data and voice) with the cell tower and keep WiFi connectivity?


Put your iPhone in airplane mode then switch wifi on.

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Three methods will work:

  • AirPlane mode and then enable Wi-Fi
  • Pull the SIM chip
  • Disable cellular data in the settings app.

These are listed in the most true to your initial intent of not having the antenna operating. I like the middle one as a good tradeoff between not talking with cell towers but maintaining GPS capabilities to tag pictures and use the map with tiles present from WiFi. The battery drain on the second two are more than the first, but still pretty usable in general on the later iOS versions.

Clearly, you can't pull a SIM if you have a phone without one, but the other options work with all iPhone models.

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  • If it's a Verizon phone no SIM. :-( – afragen Apr 13 '12 at 23:46
  • Third method will not work. The question was to "sever all communications (data and voice) with the cell tower." – WGroleau Jun 14 '16 at 12:18

The best way to do so is to turn on Airplane mode. This will turn off all cellular and data sercices, but you can then turn Wi-Fi back on.

You will have Wi-Fi and your phone will not connect to the cellular network until you turn off Airplane mode again

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