How to use the Wi-Fi button in the iOS Control Center to deal with weak networks

You can use this “soft” off button to help manage network connection issues.

ios12 iphone dual sim control center

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The Control Center’s networking pane can help you deal with a weak Wi-Fi network connection by taking advantage of its temporary and “soft” nature. You may have a place inside your house or outside where your iPhone or iPad claims it can still connect to your Wi-Fi network, but in practice throughput is low or the connection stalls entirely. This might also happen if you join an overloaded public network, or simply want to use a 20 to 50 Mbps 4G LTE connection that’s available, when the local Wi-Fi is much slower.

In Settings > Wi-Fi, you have the option to turn Wi-Fi off, which effectively disables the Wi-Fi radio. But swipe to reveal Control Center and then tap Wi-Fi, and the button’s blue background color in the Wi-Fi button’s circle switches to white: it’s not off, but in a temporary disconnection mode that affects only its settings for the network it was just using. (The button is white on dark gray when the Wi-Fi switch in Settings is set to off, and this won’t work in that mode, since Wi-Fi isn’t available at all.)

When you tap the Control Center’s Wi-Fi button with any active Wi-Fi network connection, iOS or iPadOS does the following:

  • Disconnects from the network you’re currently connected to. That’s managed by network name, so the disconnection applies to any access point on the same network, as they’re all named the same.

  • Keeps track so that it doesn’t reconnect if you go out of range from the network and then return close enough to connect.

  • Removes this network at 5 a.m. local time from its reconnection blacklist.

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The Control Center lets you knock your iPhone or iPad off a network without changing Wi-Fi settings permanently.

The message that appears briefly above the Control Center reads “Disconnecting Nearby Wi-Fi Until Tomorrow,” which isn’t perfectly descriptive, but isn’t inaccurate either.

You can tell if the current network is excluded by using Control Center. When you reveal it, the Wi-Fi symbol will be black on a white circular background if that's the case. Press hold on the panel, and the label Not Connected appears below the Wi-Fi button and name. To resume using that network, tap the Wi-Fi button, and your device will now reconnect. It removes the network from its temporary blacklist, too.

Of course, if you’re really having trouble with a network and never want to connect to it again, you have to start by…connecting to it. Then you can tap the “i” info button to the right of its name in Settings > Wi-Fi, and tap Forget This Network and confirm.

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