How to Use Airplane Mode on Your Samsung Galaxy Tablet - dummies

How to Use Airplane Mode on Your Samsung Galaxy Tablet

By Dan Gookin

It truly is the trendiest of things to be aloft with the latest mobile gizmo, like your Samsung Galaxy tablet. Like taking a smartphone on a plane, however, you have to follow some rules. Although the Samsung Galaxy tablet isn’t a smartphone, you still have to heed the flight crew’s warnings regarding smartphones.

First and foremost, turn off the Galaxy tablet when instructed to do so. Directions are given before takeoff and landing, so be prepared. This rule may change in the future, so simply obey the flight crew.

Before takeoff, you’ll most likely want to put the tablet in Airplane mode. Yep, it’s the same Airplane mode you see on a smartphone: The various scary and dangerous wireless radios on the tablet are disabled in that mode.

With Airplane mode active, you are free to use the tablet in-flight and face little risk of your tablet causing the plane’s navigational equipment to fail and the entire flight to end as a fireball over Wyoming.

To enter Airplane mode on the Galaxy tablet, follow these steps just before takeoff:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    It’s found on the Apps screen, though if you’re an old pro, consider using the shortcut found atop the notifications shade.

  2. If your tablet’s version of the Settings app features tabs, touch the Connections tab.

  3. Select the Airplane Mode item. If you don’t see that item, select More Settings first.

  4. Touch the OK button if prompted.

    The tablet turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if they were on when you first activated Airplane mode.

When the tablet is in Airplane mode, a special icon appears in the status area at the top of the screen.


And now, for the shortcut: To put the Galaxy tablet into Airplane mode, press and hold down the Power button and choose the Airplane Mode command. Or pull down the notifications shade and touch the Airplane Mode Quick Setting.

By the way, you can reactivate Wi-Fi in Airplane mode. It’s okay to do so, especially when you plan on overpaying for in-flight Wi-Fi.

To exit Airplane mode, repeat the steps in this section but remove the green check mark by touching the square next to Airplane Mode.

  • Officially, the Galaxy tablet must be powered off when the plane is taking off or landing.

  • You can compose e-mail while the tablet is in Airplane mode. The messages aren’t sent until you disable Airplane mode and connect again with a data network.

  • Bluetooth networking is disabled in Airplane mode. Even so:

  • Many airlines now feature wireless networking onboard, which you can use with the Galaxy tablet — if you’re willing to pay for the service. Simply activate Wi-Fi on the tablet and then connect to the in-flight wireless network when it’s available.