About mobile data roaming options for your iPhone and iPad

Turn data roaming on or off, prepare for international trips, and more.

Turn off Data Roaming or prepare for a trip

Need to avoid roaming charges because you arrived at your destination without an international data plan? Turn off Mobile Data and Data Roaming.1,2 Open Settings and tap Mobile, or Mobile Data, or Cellular Data. Turn off Mobile Data, then tap Mobile Data Options and turn off Data Roaming.

Still planning your trip? Here are three ways to prepare:

Shop roaming plans with your carrier

Before you go: To avoid fees and higher rates, call your carrier or visit online to shop international roaming plans.

After arrival: Open Settings. Tap Mobile, or Mobile Data, or Cellular Data. Then tap Mobile Data Options and turn on Data Roaming and other settings suggested by your carrier.

Shop roaming plans with eSIM and Apple SIM

Before you go: If you have an iPad with an eSIM or Apple SIM, you can browse mobile data plans from select service providers in more than 90 countries, regions and territories. 

After arrival: Go to Settings > Mobile Data and buy a roaming plan that fits your needs.

Buy or rent local SIM cards

Before you go: You can usually3 buy or rent a SIM card for a specific country or region. Learn more from travel guides and websites related to the country or region.

After arrival: Replace your current SIM card with the new one. You'll need the original when you return home, so put your original in a safe place.

  1. When you turn off Mobile Data and Data Roaming, the mobile data icon shouldn't appear in the status bar. Learn more about mobile data settings and usage.
  2. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch Series 4 don't support data roaming. While using data roaming on your iPhone, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) or Apple Watch Series 4, you will only be able to use Wi-Fi or your iPhone mobile connection.
  3. To use bought or rented SIM cards, you need an iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), unlocked iPhone or SIM-free iPhone.

     Mobile setting screen on iPhone

Check your data usage

If you exceed the data-usage limits of your international data plan, you might run out of data or notice slower network speeds. To check data usage, open Settings and tap Mobile, or Mobile Data, or Cellular Data. Then look under the Mobile Data heading.

Learn more about mobile data usage.

Get help when you have roaming issues during international travel

  1. Turn on Airplane Mode for about 30 seconds. Then turn it off again and let your iPhone automatically select the best network. 
  2. If you see No Service in the status bar of your iPhone, open Settings and tap Mobile , or Cellular Data, or Mobile Data. Tap Mobile Data Options and make sure that Data Roaming is on. Then, to check that international roaming is turned on for your account, contact your service provider.
  3. If the date and time are wrong after you arrive, go to Settings > General > Date & Time. Make sure that Set Automatically is turned on.

Still need help? If so, here's what to do:

  1. Go to Settings > Mobile> Cellular Network and turn off Automatic. Wait until available networks appear, which might take two minutes.
  2. Tap the service provider that you want.
  3. Go back to the main Settings screen and wait for your iPhone or iPad to connect to the network.
  4. If you still need help, try a different SIM card or contact your service provider for more information.

 

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