On some Android smartphones, it is not uncommon to see Wi-Fi turn on automatically, even if we had turned off the function a few minutes before. With the latest updates, Android has become more “independent” from this point of view, integrating the automatic Wi-Fi function when the cellular network signal is poor, in case of advanced search for the position of the phone, or when we use tricks to force access to the Wi-Fi network even when deactivated.
In the following guide, we will show you all the tricks to prevent Wi-Fi from activating completely independently on Android, so as to leave us with the final control over the function (we can choose to leave it always active or deactivate it when necessary).
1) Turn off Smart Wi-Fi (Samsung)
On Samsung phones, we find the intelligent Wi-Fi function, able to reactivate the Wi-Fi even when it is off when the cellular network signal is not intense or fast enough to guarantee a good Internet connection.
To turn off this function, open the Settings app, go to the Connections menu, press on Wi-Fi, press on the three dots at the top right, press on Advanced and, in the Intelligent Wi-Fi section, deactivate the switch next to the Activate item Wi-Fi automatically.
2) Turn off Adaptive Connectivity (Pixel)
If we are among the owners of a Google Pixel phone, Wi-Fi could only be activated due to the Adaptive Connectivity function, which allows you to start Wi-Fi alongside your data network connection to optimize Internet access speed.
To deactivate this function, open the Settings app on the phone, go to the path Network and Internet -> Advanced -> Adaptive connectivity, and deactivate the switch next to the item Adaptive connectivity.
3) Turn off Wi-Fi scan for location
On all updated Android phones Wi-Fi could also be used to improve tracking of the phone’s exact location; this function is useful if we are outdoors a lot, but if we notice that the Wi-Fi turns on often, it is better to calibrate the GPS and turn the function off.
To proceed, open the Settings app, open the Geolocation, Location, or similar items menu, press on Geolocation services, go to the Search for Wi-Fi networks menu, and deactivate the switch on the screen.
To learn more, we can read our guide on ways to track the Android phone.
4) Prevent apps from checking Wi-Fi
Some apps can control your Wi-Fi settings by turning on the connection when needed. If we don’t tolerate this behavior by apps, we can limit control over the function using special Android permissions (available from Android 11 and up).
To prevent apps from turning on Wi-Fi, open the Settings app, go to the App menu, the Permissions menu, select the Other permissions menu, and now go to the Permissions tab and open the Change Wi-Fi connectivity permission.
In the open list, identify the apps that have a green check or are authorized to change the Wi-Fi connection, press on them, and select Deny or Notify Me as needed.
5) Reset Wi-Fi settings
If none of the solutions seen so far have solved the problem of Wi-Fi turning on by itself, resetting the phone’s network settings may be the only option that applies; after resetting the connection we will lose all the Wi-Fi settings and we will be able to apply the suggestions seen above to turn off the automatic Wi-Fi functions provided by Android.
To reset the network settings on Samsung, open the Settings app, go to the General management menu, press the Reset menu, select the Reset network settings menu, and finally press the Reset settings button to reset the connections on the phone.
On other phones the procedure is similar but we will have to find the item Reset network settings: it can be a good idea to use the search bar integrated in the Settings app to find the right item to reset the connections.
If we notice that the Wi-Fi activates by itself on Android we shouldn’t immediately cry out to the paranormal: some innovative functions of Android and of the manufacturers that support the operating system can force the activation of the Wi-Fi to improve the network speed, to save battery or improve the accuracy of your phone’s location.
These functions can be deactivated by the user, who will then be able to regain full control over the switching on and off of the phone’s Wi-Fi connection.