Mobile data is such a convenient thing that it can be easy to forget about it sometimes, and just assume your phone always has an internet connection. When you’re travelling abroad, an internet connection can be even more useful, helping you translate things and find your way around entirely new areas. A lot of mobile networks charge fees for data usages in other countries. These fees can vary from place to place and can become very expensive if you’re not careful.
One way to protect yourself from these fees is to disable data roaming. Data roaming allows your phone to use mobile data from foreign mobile networks. If you disable the setting your phone will be limited to only connecting to the mobile data service within your own country. This guide will cover how to enable and disable data roaming on iPhone.
Tip: Disabling data roaming will stop your phone from connecting to the data service abroad, but you’ll still be able to send and receive normal texts and calls while in a foreign country. You should be aware that there may still be fees for these too. Contact your mobile network if you’re not sure of their charges while abroad.
The data roaming setting is in the “Mobile Data” section of the Settings app.
In Mobile Data, tap “Mobile Data options” to configure data roaming.
You can enable or disable data roaming by setting the “Data Roaming” slider to on or off respectively.
You can enable a low data mode by toggling the “Low Data Mode” slider to on. This will reduce some background data usage and stop automatic updates.
If you tap “Voice & Data” you can configure what type of data network you can connect to, such as 4G or 3G.
Tip: Disabling data roaming can also be useful if you happen to be near a border. It’s possible for a phone mast in a foreign country to have a stronger signal than the nearest one in your country. This could lead to you being charged data roaming costs even though you never left the country. Disabling data roaming will prevent that possibility as your phone will be instructed not to use foreign data networks.