Using Mobile Internet/Data while Connected to a WiFi Network (iOS/Android)

Are you trying to connect your mobile phone or other device with 4G/5G mobile data access to a WiFi network or WiFi-enabled device that does not have Internet access? Would you like to force the device to use your Mobile Internet connection even if your WiFi network has Internet access?

Situations might include connecting directly to a camera that broadcasts a WiFi network or controlling your smart home devices after cancelling your home internet service.

Great news! This CAN be done. See below for instructions for iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) and Android devices (Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, etc)

iOS devices

iOS 12 may automatically detect that your WiFi network does NOT have Internet and allow you to access other devices on the WiFi network while automatically using your mobile Internet. If not, you can follow these steps to FORCE iOS to use mobile Internet while connected to a WiFi network.

iOS 12 Instructions (use mobile data for specific WiFi network)

  1. Go to “Settings” then “WiFi”
  2. Connect to your WiFi network
  3. Click the Info (i) icon next to your current WiFi network to view network info
  4. Make note of your IP Address and Subnet Mask
  5. Change “Configure IP” from “Automatic” to “Manual” and enter the IP Address and Subnet Mask. DO NOT CONFIGURE ROUTER. The “Router” setting should be BLANK/EMPTY!
  6. Save your changes. iOS will show “No Internet Connection” next to your WiFi device. iOS should no longer attempt to connect to Internet through this WiFi network.

The change above will only affect the WiFi network you are currently connected to. If you connect to another WiFi network, your iOS device will try to use that network’s Internet connection unless you repeat these steps.

Android devices

You may be able to manually configure your WiFi network connection similar to the iOS method above. If not, you can force your phone to always use your mobile data connection.

Android 9 instructions (use mobile data for specific WiFi network)

  1. Go to Settings > Connections > WiFi
  2. Tap and hold your WiFi network name until a menu appears
  3. Click “Manage Network Settings”
  4. Make note of your IP Address and Subnet Mask
  5. Change “IP Settings” from “DHCP” to “Static”
  6. Remove the IP address from “Gateway” so that “Gateway” is blank.
  7. DO NOT CHANGE any other settings. Be sure to leave “IP Address” or “Network Prefix Length” alone. The “Router” setting should be BLANK/EMPTY!
  8. Save your changes. Android should no longer attempt to connect to Internet through this WiFi network.

Recent versions of Android OS also allow users to force the OS to always use Mobile Data. This is not as ideal as the iOS settings above, so only use as a last resort. You must toggle this setting whenever you DO want to use a WiFi Internet Connection.

Android 9 instructions (always use mobile data)

Enable Developer Mode

  1. Go to Settings > System > About Phone
  2. Tap “Build Number” until Developer Mode is enabled

Toggle Mobile Data Setting

  1. Go to Settings > System > Developer Options
  2. Toggle “Mobile Data Always Active”

Android 8 Instructions (always use mobile data)

Enable Developer Mode

  1. Go to Settings > About Phone > Software Information
  2. Tap “Build Number” (~7 times) until “Developer Mode has been turned on” is displayed

Toggle Mobile Data Setting

  1. Go to Settings > Developer Options > Network
  2. Toggle “Keep Mobile data turned on”

WARNING: Enabling this option will force your device to ALWAYS use mobile data. Your device will NEVER try to access the Internet through your WiFi connection, even if you switch to a WiFi network that DOES have Internet access.

If you suspect Developer Options are causing any problems, you can go back to Developer Options (Settings > Developer Options) and change the very first toggle from “On” to “Off”.

Have you found a better way to configure iOS or Android to connect to a WiFi network while using mobile data? If so, please share details in the comments below!

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