How to Use the iPad mini’s Airplane Mode - dummies

How to Use the iPad mini’s Airplane Mode

Your iPad mini offers settings to keep you on the good side of air-traffic communications systems. No matter which mini you have — Wi-Fi only or 3G and 4G — you have Airplane mode.

Using a cellular radio on an airplane is a no-no. Wi-Fi is too, some of the time. But nothing is verboten about using an iPad on a plane to listen to music, watch videos, and peek at pictures — at least, after the craft has reached cruising altitude.

So how do you take advantage of the iPad’s built-in iPod (among other capabilities) at 30,000 feet, while temporarily turning off your wireless gateway to e-mail and Internet functions? The answer is, by turning on Airplane mode.

To do so, merely tap Airplane Mode on the Settings screen to enable the setting. You’ll know it’s on rather than off when you see green instead of gray on the switch.

That act disables each of the iPad’s wireless radios (depending on the model): Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth. While your iPad is in Airplane mode, you can’t surf the web, get a map location, send or receive e-mails, sync through iCloud, use the iTunes or App Store, or do anything else that requires an Internet connection.

If a silver lining exists here, it’s that the iPad’s long-lasting battery ought to last even longer — good news if the flight you’re on is taking you halfway around the planet.

The appearance of a tiny Airplane icon on the status bar at the upper-left corner of the screen reminds you that Airplane mode is turned on. Just remember to turn it off when you’re back on the ground.


If in-flight Wi-Fi is available on your flight, you can turn on Wi-Fi independently, leaving the rest of your iPad’s wireless radio safely disabled. And it’s a breeze to do by toggling the setting in Control Center.