Apple added Control Center on iOS as part of a new quick menu on iOS 7. On your Apple iPhone or iPad, you can swipe the screen from anywhere and enable / disable various services. One such service is Wi-Fi. While the Control Center makes it fast and easy to manage Wi-Fi and other connectivity options on your iPhone, most people don’t fully understand how it works. That is one reason why users wonder how their iOS Wi-Fi turns on automatically.
You might have turned off Wi-Fi to use cellular data or save battery juice when you are away from known networks. Realizing that turning off Wi-Fi doesn’t actually turn it off can confuse how your battery is drained gradually and how Wi-Fi networks are turned on automatically.
Let’s understand it in more detail.
How the Control Center Works
Control Center is designed as an easy access menu where you can activate many services such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and torch on and off from anywhere on the screen. Turning off Wi-Fi from the Control Center will only disconnect your smartphone from the connected Wi-Fi network / router for about one day. It will not turn off the Wi-Fi service itself, and after 24 hours, your iPhone or iPad will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network.
Your iPhone will be disconnected from the Wi-Fi router or hotspot and instead use temporary cellular data. Wi-Fi is still on. You can check it from Settings. Turn off Wi-Fi and go to Settings> Wi-Fi to check.
You should see the message ‘Disconnect Wi-Fi Around Until Tomorrow’ when you use the Control Center to turn it off. That’s why your iPhone is reconnected to a saved Wi-Fi network even though you turned it off, or should I say disconnected.
In short, turning off Wi-Fi from the Control Center will disconnect temporarily or only 24 hours. If you want to turn it off completely, go to Settings> Wi-Fi to turn it off completely. Otherwise, if your cellular data connection gets intermittent, then the iPhone might return to the Wi-Fi network.
Why the Control Center Does Not Turn Off Wi-Fi completely
Many thoughts seem to be behind this reason. Wi-Fi is used for more activities than just connecting to the internet and exploring the wild web. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are required to use options such as AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Watch, Mobile Hotspot, and other connected services. Turning off Wi-Fi will interfere with one of these services. That is why turning off the option from the Control Center to disconnect the Wi-Fi connection is temporary and does not fully make sense.
Turn off Wi-Fi properly
Use Settings if you want to turn off Wi-Fi forever. That will stop iOS from turning on Wi-Fi automatically later. Go to Settings> Wi-Fi and turn off options. As discussed in the points above, other features that depend on Wi-Fi will stop working too.
Merge Automatically Disabled Until
When you use the Control Center to disconnect Wi-Fi connection, it will not automatically join the network again until:
- It is now 5 am where you live (local time)
- You reboot the iPhone
- You moved to a new location
- You are connected to a Wi-Fi network from Settings
- You turn on Wi-Fi from the Control Center
Now you know why your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network automatically in the morning even when you turn it off at night. You must activate it, not revoke it.
What Happens with Wi-Fi in Airplane Mode
I do not recommend using Airplane mode to turn off Wi-Fi. It will also turn off all other network connectivity options such as Cellular, GPS, Bluetooth and cellular data services.
Forgotten Wi-Fi network
One way to activate Wi-Fi and still make sure your iPhone isn’t reconnected automatically with a Wi-Fi network is by using the ‘forget network’ option.
Step 1: Go to Settings> Wi-Fi and choose the name of the Wi-Fi network that you are currently connected to. This can be your home or office router, for example.
Step 2: Tap on the Forget This Network option and confirm when asked.
Note that you must enter the Wi-Fi password again to join the network. Make sure you have it. What’s better is when you disable Auto-Join and enable the Low Data Mode option in the same menu. That way, you don’t need to forget the network and therefore re-enter the password. Simply disable Wi-Fi from the Control Center and turn off Auto-Join. Your iPhone will no longer be connected to the selected Wi-Fi automatically. When you connect manually by re-enabling Auto-Join, it will consume low data.
Use Wi-Fi Assistance
Wi-Fi assistance will force the phone to use cellular data if Wi-Fi works slowly or doesn’t work at all. Many users turn off Wi-Fi from the Control Center and then wonder how their Wi-Fi is automatically connected again.
Open Cellular Data under Settings and scroll down the screen to find the Wi-Fi Help option. Activate to enjoy the internet without interruption even when Wi-Fi is acting strangely. No need to launch the Control Center and mess up Wi-Fi settings repeatedly.
Connecting the World
The Control Center acts as a window to the most commonly used and important features. It is suitable for turning on and off services from the screen on the iPhone. The Wi-Fi option is one of them. Considering how extensive Wi-Fi is currently used, turning it off only briefly disconnects the Wi-Fi connection rather than disabling it. Now, you know why iOS keeps connecting to Wi-Fi networks repeatedly.