How To Turn Off Data In Roaming?

in Tips and Tricks

So, you’re travelling soon, but you’d like to take your HTC Desire with you. But, you’d also like to avoid those huge roaming bills. Here is how you can turn off data (3G, Edge and GPRS) while in romaing.

Option 1

  1. Go to Settings > Wireless and networks > Mobile Networks
  2. Uncheck Data roaming (connect to data services when roaming)
  3. That’s it. Your phone will ask for your confirmation every time you want to use 3G, Edge or GPRS.

Option 2

  1. Download APNdroid application from the Market or scan QR code below. This application prevents your phone from using 3G, Edge or GPRS.
    APNdroid QR code


If you find some WiFi spot near you, feel free to use it. WiFi is separated from 3G, Edge and GPRS and you can use it freely.

I hope this was helpful. Be sure to check my other HTC Desire Tips.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Gledhill

Just back from a 1.5 day trip to Paris, during which time my HTC Desire randomly decided to connect to the local data network. Even at 5.15am, when I was sleeping, it was making 5 minute data connections, at a cost of £3 a time…. until it’d used up all of my credit.

I hate my Desire phone even more now… and wish I’d known about this tip at the start of the week.


From U.k and currently on holiday in Malta. My HTC Desire used £21 of credit all by itself! Data Roaming I now realise. Luckily I am on Pay As You Go. I hate to think how big my bill would have been if I was on contract. I’ve now changed the settings as you have suggested and am going to top up. I shall report back if it solves the problem.


Works perfectly now. Wish I had known how to turn off data before I left the U.K. Thanks.


Just back from Jordan. Turned off all Roaming functions while there. Though it would be ok to turn on for 20mins to checking on my return flight. £50.00 bill for no longer than 20mins.
how can this be a fair or reasonable cost? Beware.

Free HTC Desire

Hey Anthony!

I’ve learned my lesson about roaming long time ago, a very expensive one. Don’t turn it on, unless you really, really need it!


Why my Desire can’t go online? Anything wrong with the settings?

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Hey Lee!

Can you be more specific? Anyway, you should talk to your network provider and ask them to send you settings.


Hi, I have turned this off, but a little r has appeared where my signal strength is shown. What does this mean? I’m worried i’m going to get a massive bill as I am currently studying abroad.

Thank you.

Free HTC Desire

Hey Sarah!

“R” means that you’re in roaming. You don’t need to worry if you’ve turned off data (as described above). Also, you should know that phone calls and messages are much more expensive in roaming.


Every time I turn off my data roaming it turns off my internet too


Does data roaming need to be on in order to text or use free wi fi


I bought a package from Orange when I went to France last year which they said would enable me to check my emails once a day (I was expecting an important email about a job). They told me to switch roaming on and it would be OK. 10 days into the holiday Orange text me telling m to contact them urgently regarding my bill – it kind of spoilt the last few days of my holiday being told by Orange that my bill was almost £1700 as I had been connected to the internet for the whole time I had been abroad, despite a) having bought a package from Orange, and b) being told to switch roaming on!
On my return I did manage to haggle them down to about £50 for ‘fair usage’ and their UK call centre did admit I’d been mis-sold and mis-advised when I bought the package in the first place, but it did ruin the last few days of my holidays.
I’ve learnt my lesson now I’m taking my crap old Nokia PAYG phone this year with no internet capabilities what so ever!!!!!!


Thank you for the tips. I didn`t knew about disable data on roaming option in settings.



so IF the R appears after you’ve unchecked data roaming,
there is no need to worry about extra costs as the phone is not actually roaming?

Thanks for confirming,

Free HTC Desire

Hey Emme!

R means that you are in roaming. But, as long as you don’t use Internet data you’re safe.

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You’re welcome, Adrian!

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Hey Lisset!

That’s right! It should turn off your Internet. When we say “data” we mean on “Internet data/traffic”. The whole idea is to turn off Internet traffic in roaming (believe me – I’ve learnt my lesson the hard way!)

Free HTC Desire

Hey Lisa!

No, data roaming does not need to be on. SMS traffic does not count as a data traffic. So, no matter if you have free wi fi in roaming – you’ll still pay for every text you send. Of course, there are programs for free messaging (Viber, Whatsup, Piip etc).

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Hey Dave!

That was a close one! £1700… beats my EUR 700 few times :)



I have a HTC Desire, and as far as I know the roaming thing wasn’t on anyway. I’m on pay as you go, but every time I top up, all my credit is used SUPER quickly after hardly using it! I topped up £10 the other day and sent 11 texts and made a few very short phone calls and it’s all gone. :( I’m only 15 and cannot aford to keep topping up my phone all the time. Please help!


Hi, Im off to Spain on hols, I have turn off data roaming, does that mean emails wont come through to my phone? If they still come through but I don’t open them do I still get charged?


The best way to avoid data roaming fees is not to use data in roaming… Simple but reliable )))
I discovered that there are a lot of tourist/travel sim cards with data packages.
Has anybody tried travelsim ( I’ve just read a lot of information, semms to good to be true.
(Oh yeah, I’m facebook, twitter and 4square addicted…turning data off is not an option)

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