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How to Disable EDGE and 3G on iPhone

written by: Stephanie M. Lucas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 1/26/2011

Wondering why you might need to turn off EDGE or 3G on iPhone? Learn why you might want to disable these network connections and how to do it in this easy to follow guide.

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    Why Disable EDGE and 3G on iPhone?

    If you're looking for how to disable EDGE and 3G on iPhone, you've come to the right place. You'll find instructions to turn off EDGE and 3G below, but why would you want to turn off these networks in the first place? There are a few reasons that you may want or need to, but make sure you know the limitations you'll be placing on your phone when you disable EDGE and 3G on iPhone.

    Reasons to Turn Off EDGE on iPhone:

    • You do not want your phone to connect to your carrier's network.
    • You want to prevent your phone from using EDGE or 3G while using a Wi-Fi internet connection to avoid added charges from your wireless carrier.
    • You will be flying on an airplane and are required to disable all wireless services.

    When EDGE is Turned Off on iPhone:

    • No wireless services will be functional (phone, SMS, internet, voicemail, data, etc.).

    Reasons to Turn Off 3G on iPhone:

    • 3G signal is low - causing dropped calls, preventing you from calling and/or using data.
    • Save battery life.
    • 3G network not offered in the area.

    When 3G is Turned Off on iPhone:

    • iPhone will default to the EDGE network.
    • Less battery is used when using EDGE instead of 3G.
    • Data may load slower.

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    Turn Off EDGE on iPhone

    There is currently only one way to turn off EDGE on iPhone: enable iPhone's Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode was designed to be an easy way to disable all cellular network connections at once without having to turn the device off. This feature is most often needed when flying on an airplane so that you still have access to your phone without using any cellular connection. Airplane Mode can also be used when you want to turn off iPhone EDGE, but still use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet.

    Turning on Airplane Mode to Disable EDGE for iPhone:

    Enabling Airplane Mode is actually a very simple way to turn off EDGE. Open your phone's settings menu. At the very top of the list you'll see "Airplane Mode" with a plane icon next to it. The slider button will show that Airplane Mode is OFF. Press the slide button to turn Airplane Mode ON. This will disable EDGE on iPhone, as well as all wireless connections. If you want to connect to the internet with Wi-Fi, you'll just need to go enable Wi-Fi manually after turning Airplane Mode on.

    Airplane Mode OFF Airplane Mode ON 

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    Turn Off 3G on iPhone

    To turn 3G off on iPhone, open the Settings menu and select "General". In the second grouping of options, select "Network". At the top of Network options you'll see that "Enable 3G" is ON. Press the slide button to disable 3G. After a few moments, your iPhone's 3G is turned off. The phone will default to using the EDGE network whenever you turn off 3G on iPhone. To turn iPhone's 3G on, press the slide button again.

    Network Settings iPhone 3G On iPhone 3G Off 

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