Automatically connecting to a saved Wi-Fi network saves time. However, it may be annoying when your device keeps auto-joining known Wi-Fi without permission. Also, this can raise security threats if you’re on the move and your device connects to public networks. Fortunately, you can stop automatically connecting to Wi-Fi, so your devices never connect to a network without your permission. In this blog, I will share how to stop Wi-Fi auto-join on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
- Why must you stop your iPhone from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi networks?
- How to turn off Wi-Fi auto-join on iPhone or iPad
- How to forget Wi-Fi network on iPhone or iPad
- How to disable Wi-Fi Auto-Join on Mac
- How to forget Wi-Fi network on Mac
Why must you stop your iPhone from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi networks?
When it joins the Wi-Fi, Apple devices store all the network information, including name, password, and settings. So, whenever you are in the range of this network, your device identifies the network and auto-connects to it. Despite it saving time, you may run into security and network-related problems.
- Public networks are less secure than private ones and can autorun scripts or malware without the user’s knowledge. Therefore, the auto-join Wi-Fi feature can lead to vulnerabilities in the system, posing risks of attacks and hacking attempts.
- While moving around, your device may try to join multiple networks or constantly switch between Wi-Fi. So, it will not have a stable internet connection.
- The auto-join Wi-Fi feature can interfere with your cellular connection.
- Your device may automatically reconnect to a known network, but the Wi-Fi may not have active internet access. So, your online activities will get interrupted.
Therefore, you must disable auto-connecting to saved Wi-Fi networks to maintain a secure network. Additionally, manually selecting trusted networks reduces threats to sensitive information such as financial transactions, personal data, or other confidential information.
How to turn off Wi-Fi auto-join on iPhone or iPad
- Launch Settings → Select Wi-Fi.
- Tap the info icon next to the saved network.
- Now, toggle off Auto-Join.
The process does not require you to stay connected to the network; you can disable the automatic network connection as long as it is saved. Besides, you must delete the saved public networks to prevent automatic Wi-Fi connections.
How to forget Wi-Fi network on iPhone or iPad
- Open Settings → Navigate to Wi-Fi → Edit.
- Enter the passcode of your device to proceed.
- Tap the minus (-) icon next to the network.
- Hit Delete → Done → Select Remove when prompted.
How to disable Wi-Fi Auto-Join on Mac
Now that you know how to stop Wi-Fi from auto-connecting on your iPhone, you must do the same on your Mac. Follow the steps below.
Ventura and later
- Click the Apple logo () → System Settings.
- Navigate to the Wi-Fi → Press Details for the network you’re connected to.
- Now, toggle off Automatically join this network → Click OK.
Enter your Mac password if prompted.
- If you’re not connected to the network and still want to stop Wi-Fi auto-connect, click the three-dot icon next to the network and uncheck Auto-Join.
Monterey and earlier
- Click the Apple logo ()→ System Preferences.
- Access Network from the menu.
- Select the network from the drop-down menu.
- Uncheck Automatically join this network.
How to forget Wi-Fi network on Mac
Alternatively, you can avoid the threat of cyberattacks or data breaches by removing open networks from your Mac.
Ventura and later
- Navigate to the Apple logo () → System Settings.
- Go to Wi-Fi → Click Details next to the connected network.
- Press Forget This Network.
If you’re not connected to the network, click the three-dot icon and press Forget This Network.
- Hit Remove when prompted.
Monterey and earlier
- Click Apple logo ()→ System Preferences→ Network.
- Select Advanced.
- Select the network you prefer to remove → Hit the minus (-) icon.
Additionally, disable auto-connect for other saved networks by unchecking Auto-Join.
- Hit OK → Apply.
The speed on the internet varies concerning the capacity of the network you’re connected to. Disabling auto-connect for any network will not affect your device by any means.
When you connect to a public network, use a VPN to protect your activities.
There is no way you can identify a safe public network. So, for a better and more secure experience, I recommend using cellular networks or Wi-Fi assist feature on your iPhone or iPad instead of open Wi-Fi.
The automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks feature is convenient yet dangerous, as your device may pair with an unsecured network. So, you should take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim. You may reset your network settings if you face issues disabling the auto-join Wi-Fi feature.
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