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How to switch off 5G to save iPhone battery life

Want to save your precious battery? Turning off 5G might help.

Iphone 13 in-hand
Image: Unsplash

Every Apple smartphone since the iPhone 12 has come with 5G cellular connectivity.

It promises faster data speeds, connectivity, and a better range than 4G LTE (on some bands). That comes at the expense of a higher battery drain, which might be an issue for some.

What’s more, Apple puts 5G connectivity on by default on compatible iPhones. That’s to show off the newest data connectivity, but it could also drain your data plan.

Changing a simple cellular setting in iOS can help your battery life and data plan. Let’s discuss how to switch off 5G on your iPhone.

How to turn off 5G on iPhone

If you want to make your battery last longer, here’s how to switch off 5G on an iPhone to save power.

This only works on the iPhone 12, 13, 14, and SE 3, as those are the only iPhone ranges with 5G connectivity.

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular.Cellular settings page on apple iphone settings app

  2. Then, tap Cellular Data Options.Cellular data options with roaming options on iphone

  3. Tap Voice & Data.Cellular data options on ios device showing voice and data

  4. Select LTE.Voice and data options including 5g on ios

You can set that switch to 5G On to prefer speed to battery life. That will use 5G all the time, disabling the auto-switching algorithm. When you enable 5G Auto, your iPhone automatically switches to 4G LTE when the connection isn’t performing.

READ MORE: How to quickly call emergency services on iPhone

Enabling this preference allows you to take advantage of faster speeds and conserve battery life when your iPhone’s 5G signal is weak, or you don’t need the faster speeds.

Should you use 5G on an iPhone?

5G networks have been around for a few years in the U.S., with the three major carriers offering the service. The confusing thing is that 5G has multiple bands, which all offer different things.

The coverage maps for the faster mmWave bands are limited, mainly in downtown areas, as the shorter wavelength is for low-range communications. Mid-band 5G at around 2.5GHz is longer-range but not much faster than 4G LTE. The lowest band, 600MHz, is only really used by T-Mobile nowadays.

Your 5G speeds depend on your carrier and where you live. You might find that 4G LTE is faster and more reliable for your needs. If so, you can turn off 5G completely on your iPhone.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matt is an Australian writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. He is also an editor and author coach at Dean Publishing.

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