Use 5G with your iPhone

iPhone 12 models or later work with the 5G mobile networks of certain network providers. Find out how to use 5G mobile service.

What you need

If your new iPhone comes with a physical SIM or eSIM, use that SIM. If not, use the SIM card from your previous iPhone. In some cases, you need to contact your network provider to set up the SIM card from your previous iPhone for use with a 5G network.

Understand the 5G icons in the status bar

When you're in an area with 5G coverage for your network provider and your 5G mobile plan has been activated, you'll see a 5G icon in the status bar of your iPhone: 

5G: the 5G status bar icon.
Your network provider's 5G network is available, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network (not available in all countries or regions).2


Your network provider's 5G+, 5G UW or 5G UC network is available, which can include your provider's higher-frequency version of 5G. Your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network (not available in all countries or regions).2

Find out about 5G options

The default settings for 5G on iPhone are optimised for battery life and data usage based on your data plan. You can customise these options for when to use 5G and how much data to use in some apps.

Find these options by going to Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options. If you're using Dual SIM, go to Settings > Mobile and choose the number whose options you want to change.

Screenshot showing Voice & Data preferences 

Voice & Data

Choose how your iPhone uses the 5G network, which can affect battery life.

  • 5G Auto: enables Smart Data mode. When 5G speeds don’t provide a noticeably better experience, your iPhone will switch to LTE automatically, saving battery life.
  • 5G On: always uses 5G network when it’s available. This may reduce battery life.
  • LTE: only uses LTE network, even when 5G is available.

In China mainland, 5G Standalone is the default setting. If you're using iOS 14 to iOS 14.5, you can turn on 5G Standalone by going to Settings > Mobile (or Cellular) > Mobile Data Options (or Cellular Data Options) > Voice and Data. With 5G Standalone, all mobile data activity uses 5G. For more details about 5G networks, contact your network provider.

Data Mode

  • Allow More Data on 5G: enables higher data-usage features for apps and system tasks. These include higher-quality FaceTime, high-definition content on Apple TV, Apple Music songs and videos, iOS updates over mobile, and automatic iCloud backups.
    • With this setting, your iPhone can automatically use 5G instead of Wi-Fi when Wi-Fi connectivity is slow or insecure on a network you visit occasionally. To turn this feature off and on for a certain network, go to Settings > Wi-Fi. Tap the info button next to the Wi-Fi network and tap Use Wi-Fi for internet.
    • This setting also allows third-party apps to use more mobile data for enhanced experiences. 
    • This is the default setting with some unlimited data plans, depending on your network provider. 
    • This setting uses more mobile data.
  • Standard: allows automatic updates and background tasks on mobile, and uses standard quality settings for video and FaceTime. This is generally the default mode.
  • Low Data Mode: helps reduce Wi-Fi and mobile data usage by pausing automatic updates and background tasks.

Data Roaming

Many network providers around the world support 5G roaming. If your network provider doesn't support 5G roaming, you can get mobile data through 4G or LTE networks or obtain a local SIM card or eSIM with 5G where available.

Contact your network provider for more information.

If you can't see 5G in the status bar

  1. Make sure you’re in an area with 5G coverage. Contact your network provider if you aren’t sure.
  2. Go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data Options. If you see this screen, your device has 5G activated. If you can't see this screen, contact your network provider to confirm that your plan supports 5G.
    Screenshot showing Mobile Data Options
  3. Turn on Airplane Mode, then turn it off.

If you still don't have 5G service, contact your network provider.

Learn more

  • If you want to use 5G with Dual SIM on iPhone 12 models, make sure you have iOS 14.5 or later.
  • You can choose to always stream the highest quality content by going to Settings > Music > Mobile Data and turning on High-quality Streaming and Settings > TV > Mobile and tapping High Quality. These settings use more mobile data, and content may take longer to start playing.
  • If you turn on Low Power Mode, 5G is disabled except in some cases such as video streaming and large downloads. With iPhone 12 models, Low Power Mode disables 5G Standalone (where available).

 

1. Contact your network provider to check if you have a 5G plan. Some network providers may charge an activation fee.

2. Higher frequency 5G networks are only supported in the United States when using an iPhone purchased in the United States.

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