How to switch to 2G, 3G or LTE for Cellular data on your iPhone


Apple released iOS 8.1 on Monday, October 20 with a number of bug fixes, improvements and new features.  iOS 8.1 also addressed one of the major annoyances for users in some countries where there is still poor 3G or 4G LTE coverage by giving users an option to switch to 2G, 3G or LTE.

Since there are still quite a few areas in some countries that have poor 3G coverage, iPhone users who lived in such areas used to disable 3G to extend their iPhone’s battery life, and relied on the slower 2G (EDGE) connection, which was possible in iOS 7 or earlier. So they were annoyed when the option to disable 3G was not present after upgrading to iOS 8.

As mentioned in the release notes, Apple has added an option to select between 2G, 3G or LTE for cellular data. It’s quite simple, here’s how to switch to 2G, 3G or LTE for cellular data:

Note: This option is available only in iOS 8.1 or higher.

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Tap on Cellular/Mobile.
  • Then tap on Voice & Data.
iOS 8.1 Cellular Settings - Voice & Data
  • Tap on either LTE, 3G or 2G from the list of options.
iOS 8.1 Cellular Settings

That’s it. Your iPhone should now use the appropriate mobile speed for cellular data.

We’ve received quite a few complaints from our readers that they’re not seeing the Voice & Data option. I’m not sure why exactly everyone is not seeing this option. This could be related to your carrier. You may want to check if there are any new Carrier Settings that you need to download to address the issue.

Update Carrier Settings

To manually check if a new Carrier Settings is available for download, connection your iPhone running iOS 8.1 to the computer, launch iTunes and click on the “Check of Updates”. If there is a new Carrier Settings, then you should get the following popup informing you that “An update to the carrier settings for your iPhone is available”. Click on Download and Update button to install the new carrier settings.

You should get an option to update carrier settings automatically, but you can check it manually like this. If you’ve the latest carrier settings, then you’ll get a message telling you that “This version of the iPhone software is the current version.”

Carrier Update

If that doesn’t help then you may want to contact your carrier to find out how to fix the issue. You can find the version number of the carrier settings in the Settings app (Settings > About > Version).

Let me know how it goes in the comments.

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  • Sam Exel

    Yeah, I don’t have those options. I’m on ATT

    • Rafa

      Me neither

      • Ḿidǿ Éłghânâm

        me too

  • Kraazy

    i don’t have that option either, it’s just same as how the previous version of the iOS 8.0.2

  • Apple Mania

    O2, EE, T-Mobile, Orange, 3UK and Vodafone all only show enable 4G toggle on iOS 8.1 on iPhone 5, 5C, 5S and 6+ Dont think the networks want us to step down to a slower speed even if its to save battery life and have an improved signal or they cant offer this function anymore as its tied into the carrier settings already so it automatically flips over to 2G/Edge or GPRS in poor 4/3G signal areas.

  • Daniel Čada

    I don’t have options 2G/3G/4G in menu – O2 Czech Republic

    • John

      Vodafone has not switch too. only LTE on/off

  • Mudasar

    No option to switch at all

  • Steve

    I don’t have that option on the 6 or on the 6+ for Sprint.

  • Erick121

    I’ve noticed you get the update carrier settings pop up when you go to the about screen. It’s less work than having to connect to iTunes

  • jonas_man

    no option here too.
    If i go to settings -> about and tap on carrier version. there is a PRT = 1. What is that?

  • Jagadesh

    I am using iPhone 5s with ios 8.1.!!
    Using Airtel simcard.! I didn’t get the option.! Still this enable LTE is only their.! I also tried with Connecting to iTunes and check for updates still didnt work out.! No new carrier updates.! My carrier shows Airtel 18.0.! I wonder how admin got that option with airtel sim.! Because if i use other simcards like idea Vodafone wtc with my hand set.! I am able to get that option.! I need it with my airtel sim.!
    Help plz

    • Asif Khan

      You can contact airtel for this issue
      In India airtel, relaince and Aircel are authorised with apple in India
      So there are automatic setting and carrier updates in network option

      And other carriers like Vodafone bsnl etc don’t have any own settings and also manual setting options will be there for gprs settings,

      • Jagadesh

        I contacted them.! But they helped nothing.! Just taking complaint.! Any other way.?

        • Asif Khan

          No other way

          Only network provider can solve this issue

          Otherwise let them update Their network setting just wait and watch

      • Asif Khan

        did you got the solution with 3g/2g toggle switch

    • Sambit

      The 2G option will only appear if you use a SIM with no 3G activation. I have tested it with my iPhone. I also use Airtel.

      • Jagadesh

        Can we call airtel customer center and deactivate 3g.!! Will that option appears after that.?
        Will 3g works after that.??

    • Himanshu yadav

      same problem no solution yet , if anyone gets the toggle switch please comment below . 🙁

    • Called the Customer Care, visited the Airtel Office, talked with the expert/technical division yet no way out! USELESS!

    • vicks

      I think i have got what everybody is looking at it. Me myself is not having a toggle in the settings, but looking at author’s screen, I sense what is happening. I ave got a nano sim from airtel in the month of october. most probably it is 4g compatible sim, that is the reason of no toggle for me. Author can comment if he has cut his old sim to be nano or bought a nano sim from airtel, if yes at what time of year he got that nano sim. In my opinion, this is happening because of 4g compatible sim in the phone and nobody including airtel customer care or relation ship center is able to find out why. Guys please comment.

  • Apple Mania

    Clearly Apple need to enforce this as they do everything else. iOS 8.1.1 Bug fixes, Toggle 2G/3G/4G/LTE feature added for all users 🙂

  • These Hoes Ain’t Loyal

    why would anyone wanna be on 2G when the LTE option is available? makes no sense…

    • Gautam

      There are areas where the LTE coverage may not be good, so if you live or work in those areas then it would make sense to switch to 3G or 2G to save battery life.

    • Dhruv

      To save battery. Why would you want 3G to send a simple iMessage without any pictures or audio? Makes no sense…

  • tnt0

    On polish network Plus, switch worka fine. Doesn’t work on T-Mobile PL and Orange PL.

  • Tra Noah

    Does iphone 4s can turn on LTE too?

  • Gurvinder 02

    It is not working with airtel 18.0 carrier version . I went to airtel center and tried to reset my phone . Still it is not working but it is working with other operators like reliance,Vodafone,idea but not with airtel.
    So admin please tell the way by which you got this toggle button .

  • Jasper Fang

    My flipswitch control center missed a toggle, the 3G.. So now i only have the option to switch from 2G to LTE vice versa.. which crashes my phone…

  • A Boy Named Dheeraj

    change the value of
    Enable4GByDefault
    to

    to the file “overrides_N48_N49_N51_N53.plist”
    located in //var/mobile/Library/Carrier Bundle.bundle/

    you need to be jailbroken with iOS version >=8.1

  • Vicks

    I think i have got what everybody is looking at it. Me myself is not having a toggle in the settings, but looking at author’s screen, I sense what is happening. I ave got a nano sim from airtel in the month of october. most probably it is 4g compatible sim, that is the reason of no toggle for me. Author can comment if he has cut his old sim to be nano or bought a nano sim from airtel, if yes at what time of year he got that nano sim. In my opinion, this is happening because of 4g compatible sim in the phone and nobody including airtel customer care or relation ship center is able to find out why. Guys please comment below so that we can test my theory. Guys who bought nano sim in last 6-12 months are having this option or not. Most probable who have cut their normal sim into this would be having 3g 2g toggle. as idea vodafone don’t have any 4 g services and hence no 4g compatible nano sims can see the toggle