Why does WiFi assist keep turning on?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Wi-Fi Assist is a feature introduced in iOS 9 that allows your iPhone to automatically switch from a weak or unstable Wi-Fi connection to cellular data. It is designed to ensure a smooth internet experience by keeping your data flowing even when Wi-Fi is not performing well.

There are a few reasons why Wi-Fi Assist may keep turning on:

1. Unreliable Wi-Fi Network: If you frequently experience a weak or unreliable Wi-Fi signal, Wi-Fi Assist may activate to ensure a consistent internet connection. This can be helpful in situations where you are on the edge of a Wi-Fi network’s range or if you’re in an area with a lot of interference.

2. Network Congestion: In some cases, Wi-Fi networks can become congested, especially in crowded places like cafes, airports, or stadiums. When the Wi-Fi network is overloaded and struggling to provide a stable connection, Wi-Fi Assist may kick in to switch to cellular data.

3. Intermittent Wi-Fi Signal: If your Wi-Fi signal fluctuates frequently, with periods of weak or no connection, Wi-Fi Assist can step in to maintain a seamless online experience. This can happen if you’re moving around in a large space where the signal strength varies or if there are obstacles blocking the Wi-Fi signal.

4. Background App Refresh: Wi-Fi Assist may also activate when your iPhone is performing background tasks, such as app updates or syncing data. This ensures that these tasks are completed without interruption, even if the Wi-Fi signal is not strong enough.

It’s important to note that Wi-Fi Assist is enabled by default on iOS devices. While it can be useful in some situations, it may also consume cellular data if you have a limited data plan. If you don’t want Wi-Fi Assist to keep turning on, you can disable it by going to “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Wi-Fi Assist” and toggling it off.

In my personal experience, I’ve found Wi-Fi Assist to be helpful in situations where I had a weak Wi-Fi signal but needed to continue using the internet without interruption. For example, when I was in a coffee shop with a crowded Wi-Fi network, Wi-Fi Assist kicked in, and I was able to browse the web and stream videos seamlessly. However, there have been instances where Wi-Fi Assist switched to cellular data even though the Wi-Fi signal was still usable, leading to unnecessary data usage. So, it’s important to be aware of your data usage and adjust the settings accordingly.