“Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming”: How to Enable it on Your iPhone

Enabling the “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” option on your iPhone is a breeze. It lets your phone use Wi-Fi networks instead of cellular data when you’re abroad, saving you from hefty roaming charges. Just head to Settings, tap Cellular, then Wi-Fi Calling, and toggle on “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming”. And voila! Your phone will now prioritize Wi-Fi connections while you’re globe-trotting.

After completing this action, your iPhone will automatically connect to available Wi-Fi networks when you’re traveling outside your home country. This means you can use the internet, make calls, and send texts without worrying about racking up a huge phone bill.


Did you know that enabling the “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” option on your iPhone could save you a small fortune? We’ve all heard the horror stories of travelers returning home to a phone bill that costs more than the trip itself. Roaming charges can be astronomical, but thankfully, iPhones come with an option to use Wi-Fi networks rather than your cellular data when you’re abroad.

But why is this so important? Well, when you travel to a different country, your phone doesn’t just magically know where it is. Instead, it has to use the local cell towers to make calls, send texts, and use data. This service, known as roaming, can be incredibly expensive. However, with the rise of global Wi-Fi availability, you can easily sidestep these costs by simply connecting to a Wi-Fi network. It’s especially relevant for frequent travelers, business people on international trips, or anyone vacationing abroad who wants to stay connected without breaking the bank. Let’s dive into how you can enable this cost-saving feature on your iPhone.

Step by Step Tutorial to Enable “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” on an iPhone

Before we get to the steps, let’s clarify what we’re about to do. By following these instructions, you’ll set your iPhone to automatically switch to Wi-Fi networks for calls and internet use when you’re roaming internationally. This can significantly lower your phone bill.

Step 1: Open Settings

Start by tapping the Settings icon on your home screen.

Opening Settings is the gateway to adjusting all your iPhone’s functionalities, including network preferences. Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned on before proceeding.

Step 2: Tap Cellular

Scroll down and select the Cellular option.

The Cellular settings allow you to manage all data-related functions, from your data plan to network selection.

Step 3: Select Wi-Fi Calling

Under the Cellular menu, tap on Wi-Fi Calling.

Wi-Fi Calling is a feature that lets you make and receive calls over Wi-Fi, which is essential for avoiding roaming charges.

Step 4: Toggle on “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming”

You’ll see a switch next to “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming.” Flip that switch to the on position.

Once this setting is enabled, your iPhone will prioritize Wi-Fi networks over cellular ones for calls and data, provided Wi-Fi is available.


Saves MoneyBy using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data, you avoid costly roaming charges.
Better Call QualityWi-Fi calls often have clearer quality than cellular calls, especially in areas with poor cell reception.
Maintains ConnectivityYou can stay connected even if the local cellular network is unreliable or nonexistent.


Requires Wi-Fi AccessThis feature is only useful if you have access to Wi-Fi networks when roaming.
May Not Work EverywhereNot all countries support Wi-Fi Calling, so it’s important to check beforehand.
Potentially Less SecurePublic Wi-Fi networks may not be as secure as your cellular network, posing a risk to your data.

Additional Information

In the age of connectivity, being able to use your phone anywhere in the world without fear of outrageous charges is a game-changer. The “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” option is a testament to how our mobile devices have adapted to our globetrotting lifestyles. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, ensure that the Wi-Fi network you’re connecting to is secure—using a VPN is a good practice.

Also, remember that Wi-Fi calling needs to be supported both by your phone carrier and the carrier in the country you’re visiting. It’s always a good idea to check in with your carrier before you travel to understand the specifics of your plan. Lastly, while Wi-Fi is abundant in many places, it’s not universal—so always have a backup plan for communication when you’re off the beaten path.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Cellular
  3. Select Wi-Fi Calling
  4. Toggle on “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming”

Frequently Asked Questions

Will enabling this feature cost me anything?

No, enabling “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” is free and can save you money by avoiding roaming charges.

Do I need to enable this feature every time I travel?

Once you enable this feature, it remains on until you decide to turn it off.

Can I still use cellular data when Wi-Fi isn’t available?

Yes, your phone will switch back to cellular data if a Wi-Fi network isn’t available.

Will this feature work on a cruise ship or airplane Wi-Fi?

This depends on the cruise line or airline, as not all may support Wi-Fi Calling.

How can I tell if my iPhone is using Wi-Fi or cellular data?

Look for the Wi-Fi Calling icon on your iPhone’s status bar, which indicates a Wi-Fi connection is being used for calls and data.


Enabling the “Prefer Wi-Fi When Roaming” option on your iPhone is a simple yet effective way to stay connected without incurring the dreaded roaming charges. With just a few taps in the Settings menu, you can save money, enjoy better call quality, and maintain connectivity in most parts of the world.

It’s especially beneficial for those who travel frequently or for extended periods. Always remember to connect to secure Wi-Fi networks, check with your carrier for compatibility, and be prepared with alternative communication methods. Happy travels and stay connected, the smart way!

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