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How to use Android's 'quick settings tiles' to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile networks fast

If you're tired of going through the Android Settings app to switch networks, Jack Wallen is here to show you a much more efficient method.
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Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer on

Generally speaking, Android is quite good at switching between a wireless network and your carrier network. And given the speeds of 5G, most often you'd never know the switch was made. That doesn't mean, however, that it's perfect. I've run into situations where, for whatever reason, a device doesn't automatically switch from either 5G to Wi-Fi (or vice versa). Or, maybe my device has connected to the wrong Wi-Fi network (I have three different networks in my home).

It is those occasions where I'm glad Android 12 made it very easy to quickly switch between either my carrier network or a wireless network.

Let me show you how this is done. 

Requirements

To use this feature, you must be using a device running (at least) Android 12. That's it. There's no additional software you must install. If your device meets that simple requirement, you're ready to go.

It's all about quick settings tiles

Once upon a time, in order to switch networks, you had to go into Settings > Network & Internet to switch networks. Although that wasn't terribly challenging, it was a rather cumbersome solution to what should have been a very simple problem. Yes, you can still take care of switching networks from within Network & Internet, but with the help of Quick Tiles, there's no need.

What are quick settings tiles? They are simple tiles (found in the Android Notification Shade) that give you quick access to enable/disable certain features on your phone. If you pull the Notification Shade down twice, you'll see the quick tiles section (Figure 1).

The Android Quick Tiles section of the Notification Shade.

Getting quick access to certain Android features from the quick tiles section of the Notification Shade.

Image: Jack Wallen

Among that collection of quick settings tiles, you should see one labeled Internet. If you don't, all you have to do is add it.

Adding the internet quick tile

1. Open the Notification Shade

Pull down the Notification Shade twice and you should see a section that includes an Edit, Power, and Gear icon (Figure 2).

The Quick Tiles edit button

The quick settings tiles edit button is the pencil.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Open the quick settings tile edit window

Tap the pencil icon to reveal all of the available quick settings tiles (Figure 3).

The Quick Tiles Internet pop-up.

The Quick Tiles edit window is where you add the internet option.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Add the internet tile

Locate the internet quick tile. Tap and hold the tile and then drag it to the top of the quick settings tiles section. Once you've done that, tap the left-pointing arrow (top left corner of the display) to back out of the edit screen.

Now, if you pull down the Notification Shade twice, you should see the internet quick tile available.

Using the internet quick tile

To use the internet quick tile, pull down the Notification Shade until you see it. Once on the screen, tap the internet quick tile to reveal a new pop-up window (Figure 4), where you can select either your internet carrier or any available Wi-Fi network.

The Quick Tiles Internet pop-up.

The internet quick tile in action on a Pixel 6 Pro running Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

And that, my Android-loving friends, is how you can easily switch between networks on your Android device. Once you start using this feature, you'll find it to be the easiest method of selecting between your carrier network or one of the many wireless networks available to your device.

I've come to depend on quick settings tiles to make enabling/disabling features on Android far more efficient than having to dig through the Settings app. I'm confident, that the second you start using them, you'll find the same results.

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