Data roaming, as convenient as it can be in certain situations, can rack up a horrendous phone bill. However, when you aren’t using data roaming, you can still get charged, almost all the time. Then it goes from paying one phone bill, to feeling like you’re paying for two. But how do you turn off roaming on an Android phone? It’s rather simple.

Turning Off Roaming on your Android Phone

1. Locate and launch the Settings app. Its icon is a gear. If you can’t find it on one of your Home screens, try looking inside your App Drawer. All your apps currently installed on your Android phone can be found there.

Or, alternatively, you can open the Settings app by opening your Quick Settings Menu. To open it, select the taskbar at the top of your Android’s screen, or tap and swipe down (it’s the black bar that displays your time, battery and notifications). You’ll find a gear icon within your Quick Settings Menu.

2. Head on down the menu to Mobile Networks and select it.

3. In the Mobile Networks menu, locate and select Roaming. For some Android phone manufacturers, Roaming is located in Mobile Networks, and then locate and select Cellular networks. Other Android phones have Roaming located in Battery & Data Manager, and then locate and select Data Delivery.

turn off data roaming

4. In Roaming, uncheck the box next to Data roaming. This will disable data roaming. If you check the box again, you’ll turn data roaming back on.

5. If you want to go one step further, locate the slider at the top. Move the slider to the left to turn it off. Furthermore, you can uncheck the box next to Voice & text roaming to disable the ability to get and make calls, as well as send or receive text messages while you’re roaming. This option is typically separate from roaming.

Now that you’ve turned off roaming on your Android phone, you can be happy knowing your Android phone isn’t collecting a huge bill for you to pay. Almost. There’s still one more option to disable that will ensure you aren’t getting a surprise bill in the mail.

Disable Roaming for MMS

1. Locate and launch the default texting app, or whichever app you use for sending text messages. You’ll find it somewhere on your Home screen or inside your App Drawer.

Considering that every texting app is slightly different, this article will showcase Android’s default ‘Messages’ app. However, generally speaking, texting apps tend to have similar steps.

select the menu

2. In the Messaging app, tap the three vertical dots located in the top right corner of your Android’s screen. It will produce a drop down menu. The icon should be fairly universal among various texting apps.

3. In the drop down menu, select Settings among the list. Or, depending on your texting app, it could be labeled Messenger Settings. Both are synonymous in this context.

select Advanced

4. Head down the list of options until you find Advanced. Go ahead and select it. Depending on your texting app, it could be labeled as Multimedia message.

turn off auto download mms

5. In Advanced, locate Auto-download MMS when roaming. With the slider on the right, move the slider to the left to turn it off.

Another option that could vary among different messaging apps. It could be labeled Auto-retrieve or Roaming Auto-retrieve. Any of those are synonymous as well.

Take Advantage of Airplane Mode

Rather than going through all the trouble of sifting through your texting app, looking for the hundreds of different variations where roaming could be located, you can make it easier on yourself and simply activate Airplane Mode.

What is Airplane Mode?

When you send a text message or make a call or use the internet, you’re establishing a connection. Well, that connection can interfere with other signals. In this context, when you’re on a plane, your signals could interfere with an airplane’s communication, hence, the name ‘Airplane Mode.’

By enabling Airplane Mode, you proactively remove any signals coming out and block any coming in. And that’s where the magic happens. You see, if you use Airplane Mode, you can disable roaming altogether without fiddling with your texting app.

1. Locate and launch the Settings app. Its icon is a gear. Check your Home screen or your App Drawer.

2. Scroll down to More and select it.

turn on airplane mode

3. Next to Airplane Mode, there’s a small slider. Move the slider to the right to turn it on. Afterwards, your Android phone will disable all signals going out and block any signals coming in, including roaming.

Alternatively, you can activate and deactivate Airplane Mode inside by opening your Quick Settings Menu. Tap the dashboard at the top to open it.

Data roaming can be great when you need it outside your network’s signal, if only for a moment to make an important call. Unfortunately, to be used all the time takes a huge bite out of your paycheck. But, for now, keep it off and only use it in emergencies.