How to Turn Off Data Roaming on the iPhone 5: A Step-by-Step Guide

Turning off data roaming on your iPhone 5 is a simple process that could save you from unwanted charges while traveling. Head to ‘Settings’, tap ‘Cellular’, then toggle off ‘Data Roaming’. This action will prevent your iPhone from using cellular data when you’re outside your carrier’s network.

After you’ve completed these steps, your iPhone 5 won’t connect to the internet using cellular data when you’re overseas or out of network range. This means you can avoid hefty roaming fees, but you’ll also be unable to access apps or services that require data unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi.


Are you planning to travel abroad or move out of your network’s coverage area? If you own an iPhone 5, you might have heard horror stories about outrageous data roaming charges that can happen if you’re not careful. Data roaming is when your phone uses a different network for data services while you’re outside your carrier’s coverage zone – and it can get pricey. But don’t worry, there’s a way to avoid these fees: by turning off data roaming.

And this is something every iPhone 5 user should know how to do before jet-setting or venturing into areas with poor network coverage. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to turn off data roaming on your iPhone 5. We’ll also explore the benefits and drawbacks of disabling this feature, and provide you with additional tips to manage your data usage smartly.

Step by Step Tutorial: Turning Off Data Roaming on the iPhone 5

Before we dive in, let’s clarify what you’ll achieve by following these steps. Turning off data roaming will ensure that your iPhone 5 doesn’t use cellular data while you’re traveling abroad or when you’re in an area where your network carrier’s signal doesn’t reach, thus avoiding extra charges.

Step 1: Open Settings

Tap the ‘Settings’ app icon on your iPhone 5’s home screen to open the settings menu.

Opening the ‘Settings’ app is your gateway to customizing various features on your iPhone, including network preferences. It’s the control center for all your device’s functions.

Step 2: Tap Cellular

Scroll down and find the ‘Cellular’ option in the settings menu, then tap it.

The ‘Cellular’ settings allow you to manage all things related to your cellular network data, including turning data roaming on or off.

Step 3: Toggle Off Data Roaming

In the ‘Cellular’ menu, look for the ‘Data Roaming’ option and toggle the switch off.

When the switch turns from green to grey, it indicates that data roaming is off. Your iPhone 5 will no longer connect to cellular data services outside your network carrier’s range.


Avoids Extra ChargesTurning off data roaming will help prevent unexpected charges on your phone bill.
Promotes Wi-Fi UseEncourages you to connect to Wi-Fi, which is usually cheaper or free.
Controls Data UsageHelps you manage and keep track of your data usage more effectively.

Turning off data roaming means you have one less thing to worry about when it comes to your phone bill. It’s easy to rack up significant charges unknowingly when your phone switches to a roaming network, especially when traveling. Disabling the feature is a surefire way to avoid this.

By turning off data roaming, you’re more likely to seek out Wi-Fi hotspots, which can save you money. Wi-Fi is often free or cheaper than using cellular data, and it’s usually available in hotels, cafes, and airports.

When you’re not relying on data roaming, you become more conscious of your data usage. This mindfulness can lead to better data management practices, ensuring you only use what you need and potentially saving money in the process.


InconvenienceYou won’t have access to data services when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi.
Missed NotificationsYou could miss important notifications that require a data connection.
Dependency on Wi-FiYou may find yourself constantly searching for Wi-Fi networks.

Turning off data roaming means you can’t use your usual apps and services unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This can be inconvenient, especially when you need to access maps, ride-sharing services, or other travel essentials on the go.

Without a data connection, you won’t receive real-time notifications unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This could lead to missed messages, emails, or important updates.

When data roaming is off, you become dependent on finding Wi-Fi networks to stay connected, which can be a hassle, especially in areas with limited Wi-Fi access.

Additional Information

While turning off data roaming is a great way to avoid extra charges, there are other strategies you can use to manage your data usage on the iPhone 5. For instance, you can monitor which apps are using the most data by checking the ‘Cellular’ menu in ‘Settings’. Here, you’ll find a list of apps and the amount of data they’ve consumed. You can choose to turn off cellular data for specific apps that aren’t essential for your daily use.

Another handy tip is to download maps, movies, or music ahead of time while you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This way, you’ll have access to these resources without needing a data connection. Additionally, consider purchasing a local SIM card with a data plan if you’re traveling internationally. This can often be a more cost-effective way to stay connected without relying on Wi-Fi.

These strategies, combined with turning off data roaming, can help you enjoy your iPhone 5 without the fear of unexpected costs. Keep in mind, however, that once you leave your network area or travel abroad, it’s crucial to remember to toggle off the data roaming feature to avoid charges.


  1. Open ‘Settings’.
  2. Tap ‘Cellular’.
  3. Toggle off ‘Data Roaming’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will turning off data roaming affect my call or text abilities?

No, turning off data roaming only affects cellular data services. You can still make calls and send texts without data roaming enabled.

What happens if I leave data roaming on by accident?

If data roaming is left on, you might incur additional charges for using data services outside your carrier’s network. It’s essential to check and turn it off before you travel.

Can I still use GPS without data roaming?

Yes, the GPS function on your iPhone 5 will still work without data roaming, but you’ll need to have downloaded the maps beforehand or use it in conjunction with Wi-Fi.

Is it possible to set a limit on data roaming usage?

Unfortunately, the iPhone 5 does not have a built-in feature to set a limit on data roaming usage. You’ll need to turn it off manually to avoid charges.

What should I do if I need data while traveling?

Consider purchasing a local SIM card with a data plan, using Wi-Fi, or buying a travel data package from your carrier.


In conclusion, knowing how to turn off data roaming on your iPhone 5 is crucial for anyone looking to avoid those dreaded extra charges on their phone bill. It’s a simple process that takes just a few taps, but it could save you a significant amount of money, particularly when traveling abroad.

Remember to always disable data roaming before you start your trip and explore alternative ways to stay connected, like using Wi-Fi or purchasing a local SIM card. By taking these precautions and managing your data usage wisely, you can enjoy your travels without the worry of unexpected costs sneaking up on you. Safe travels, and happy data managing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy