How to Turn Off 4G on an iPad

iPad Cellular Data Settings
Daniel Nations

Turning off 3G and 4G wireless internet access when you are not using it on your iPad can be a good idea. This helps prevent your iPad from using your cellular data inadvertently when you walk out of Wi-Fi range, which is important if your wireless data plan is limited and you'd like to conserve its allotment for streaming movies, music or TV shows. Turning off 3G and 4G is also a great way to conserve battery power on your iPad.

Luckily, turning the data connection off is easy:

  1. Open your iPad's settings by pressing the icon that looks like gears in motion.
  2. Locate Cellular Data on the left-side menu. The menu will tell you if this setting is on or off, but you will need to touch it and go into the Cellular Data settings to turn it off.
  3. Once in the Cellular Data settings, simply change the switch at the top from on to off. This will disable the 3G/4G connection and force all internet activity to go through Wi-Fi.

Note: This will not cancel your 4G/3G account. To cancel your account, go into the View Account settings and cancel it from there.

What are 3G and 4G, anyway?

3G and 4G refer to wireless data technologies. The "G" stands for "generation"; thus, you can tell how current the technology is by the number preceding it. 1G and 2G ran on analog and digital phones, respectively; 3G burst on the U.S. scene in 2003, with much faster speeds than its predecessors. Likewise, 4G (also known as 4G LTE)—which was introduced in the U.S. in 2009—is about 10 times faster than 3G. As of 2018, most areas in the U.S. have 4G access, and major U.S. carriers plan to roll out still-faster 5G access later in the year.