How to keep your Verizon iPhone 5 from leaking cellular dataSo, I was poking around my online Verizon Wireless account for my new iPhone 5 recently when I noticed something odd: lots and lots of little cellular data charges, even when my iPhone was connected to my home Wi-Fi network.

The 4G data usage noted on my account wasn’t anything major, mind you—just a few kilobytes here, a few megabytes there, often in the middle of the night when my iPhone was asleep on my bedside table, and well within range of my Wi-Fi base station.

Small though they are, though, those odd bits of cellular data usage can really start to add up, particularly when you’ve signed up for a “capped” 4G data plan.

Meanwhile, some iPhone 5 users have complained of even larger chunks of rogue cellular data usage on their accounts—as much as a gigabyte a day, even when they hadn’t strayed far from Wi-Fi.

Verizon iPhone 5 carrier settings alert

A quick, over-the-air update of the Verizon iPhone 5’s carrier settings should plug its mobile data leak.

So, does the Verizon iPhone 5 somehow “leak” cellular data even when connected to a Wi-Fi network? 

The answer, as it turns out, is yes.

Apple has issued a support notice warning that “under certain circumstances,” the iPhone 5 “may” consume Verizon cellular data even when it’s sypposed to be using Wi-Fi data instead.

The fix? An “over-the-air” update to the iPhone’s carrier settings, which takes just a few taps and only a few minutes of your time.

Here’s how to grab the update:

  • Tap the Settings app on your iPhone 5’s home screen, then tap General, About.
  • An alert titled “Carrier Settings Updated” will pop up on the screen. Tap the “OK” button.
  • Next, power off your iPhone: press and hold the “sleep/wake” button that sits on the top edge of your handset until the “slide to power off” slider appears, swipe the slider control from left to right, then wait for the spinning wheel in the middle of the screen to disappear.
  • Press the “sleep/wake” button again; the Apple logo should appear, and you should see your iPhone lock screen a few seconds later.
  • Last but not least, double-check that the updated carrier settings were properly installed. Tap Settings, General, About, then make sure the “Carrier” entry reads “Verizon 13.1.”

I just applied to carrier update myself, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for any unusual 4G data usage on my iPhone over the next few days—as should you.

And if you’re still seeing random cellular data charges while your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, contact Verizon and let them know, pronto.

Bonus tip

You can check your cellular data usage on Verizon by visiting your online Verizon Wireless account, then selecting “My Usage” under the “My Bill” menu heading.

There’s also a “My Verizon” app that’ll let you view your data usage and monthly charges directly from your iPhone.

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