How to Set Wi-Fi Network Priority on Android and iPhone
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Wi-Fi has become ubiquitous these days. You can even use various services to find free Wi-Fi hotspots near you 5 Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders to Find Free Wi-Fi Spots Near You 5 Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders to Find Free Wi-Fi Spots Near You Read More . While this is mostly a boon, it also means that there are way too many signals competing in the same space.

Your smartphone factors in various details like signal strength, Wi-Fi’s security level 7 Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network in Minutes 7 Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network in Minutes Is someone sniffing and eavesdropping on your Wi-Fi traffic, stealing your passwords and credit card numbers? Would you even know if somebody was? Probably not, so secure your wireless network with these 7 simple steps. Read More , network stability, etc. and then connects to the Wi-Fi network that it thinks is the best. But amid so many Wi-Fi hotspots, your phone may sometimes have a tough time deciding which network to connect to.

Fortunately, you can take control over this process by prioritizing Wi-Fi networks, thereby ensuring that your smartphone connects to the best available Wi-Fi network. This can help you achieve consistent connectivity and allow you to transition smoothly between available Wi-Fi networks.

Today we’ll see how to prioritize Wi-Fi networks on an Android device as well as on the iPhone.

Set Wi-Fi Network Priority on Android Devices

Android has two routes you can take depending on which device you have. You can try looking for the built-in setting, and if that doesn’t work, then try the other option.

Prioritize Networks Using Built-In Settings

Some custom Android ROMs 6 Reasons You Need to Be Using a Custom ROM 6 Reasons You Need to Be Using a Custom ROM Custom ROMs are the best thing about having an Android phone! Don't miss out! Read More (like CyanogenMod 6 CyanogenMod Features We Need in Stock Android 6 CyanogenMod Features We Need in Stock Android Android is a great operating system, but it could be even better if it took these features from CyanogenMod. Read More ) come with a built-in setting to set Wi-Fi network priority. To check if your ROM has one, open Settings > Wi-Fi. Tap on the overflow menu, and then tap on Advanced Wi-Fi. If you see a Wi-Fi Priority option, you can specify the priority of Wi-Fi networks here.

Stock Android does not seem to have this built-in option. But don’t worry, you can use third-party apps to accomplish the same thing.

Prioritize Networks Using WiFi Prioritizer

WiFi Prioritizer is a free app that lets you set Wi-Fi connection priority on Android devices. It periodically monitors for signal strength and switches between Wi-Fi networks accordingly.

wifi network priority android wifi prioritizer

After installing the app, open it and turn on Enable Scheduled Job. You should see a list of all the saved Wi-Fi networks. The networks on the top of the list have a higher priority than the ones at the bottom. Here, you can drag the networks in the order you want to connect to them.

wifi network priority android wifi prioritizer

By default, it scans for new Wi-Fi networks every 60 seconds and switches accordingly. If you’d like to change this refresh interval, tap on the overflow menu and then tap on Settings. Tap on Refresh Interval and set any time between 5 seconds to 30 minutes. Lower values will enable faster switching, albeit at the cost of battery life.

wifi network priority android wifi prioritizer

In the same settings, you can change the minimum signal strength to connect to the network. If a network with higher priority is available, and if a signal is better than this value, then it’ll switch to the higher priority network. It can also check for internet connectivity on the current network. If there’s no internet connectivity on the current network, it will automatically switch to the next available network.

If you want to disable Wi-Fi Prioritizer temporarily, you can toggle Enable Scheduled Job to off. To disable it permanently, simply uninstall the app.

Download: WiFi Prioritizer (Free)

Set Wi-Fi Network Priority on iPhone

There’s no way of setting Wi-Fi network priority directly on the iPhone. However, if you have a Mac, you can prioritize the networks on your Mac, and then sync it with your iPhone.

wifi network priority iphone

Before proceeding, make sure to sign in with the same Apple ID on both the devices. Also, make sure that iCloud Sync is turned on. To verify this, open System Preferences on your Mac. Click on iCloud and make sure that Keychain is checked.

wifi network priority iphone

On your iPhone, open Settings and tap on the name banner at the top. Navigate to iCloud > Keychain and turn it on.

Now that we have verified the prerequisites, here’s how to set Wi-Fi network priority on the iPhone.

wifi network priority iphone

On your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi menu bar icon and click Open Network Preferences. Next, click on Advanced.

wifi network priority iphone

Here, you should see the list of saved Wi-Fi networks. The networks on the top of the list have a higher priority than the ones at the bottom. You can drag networks into the order you want to connect to. Click OK after you are done.

Now, your preferences should be saved and then synced seamlessly with your iPhone. If you have trouble syncing them with your iPhone, verify that you’re signed in with the same Apple ID on both devices and iCloud Keychain Should You Use iCloud Keychain to Sync Passwords on Mac & iOS? Should You Use iCloud Keychain to Sync Passwords on Mac & iOS? If you primarily use Apple products, why not use the company's own password manager completely free of charge? Read More is turned on.

While this method isn’t difficult per se, its dependence on having a Mac makes it a little inconvenient. There’s no denying that the Mac and iPhone work great together Should Mac Users Always Buy iPhones? Should Mac Users Always Buy iPhones? If you're on a Mac, you should grab Apple's own iPhone rather than an Android or Windows Phone. Why? There are many benefits to the iPhone-Mac combination. Read More , but it leaves out iPhone owners who prefer using Windows. 4 Things About Windows That You'll Miss On A Mac 4 Things About Windows That You'll Miss On A Mac Thinking about switching over to a Mac? It's easy to find faults with Windows. But are you aware of the things you'll miss? Read More Hopefully, Apple adds a way to change Wi-Fi network priority directly on the iPhone.

Prioritize Wi-Fi Networks for Consistent Connectivity

Earlier, my Android phone would stay connected to a Wi-Fi network until the last bit of the signal died off. It wouldn’t connect to another available Wi-Fi network, even though other networks had a stronger network.

Using Wi-Fi Prioritizer on Android, I spent some time tweaking the settings and eventually found a setting combination that works. Now, my Android phone switches between Wi-Fi networks more seamlessly than ever before.

Did you try prioritizing Wi-Fi networks on your Android or iPhone? Did it help in making your Wi-Fi network switching hassle-free? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. MarkB
    September 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    For the iPhone instructions, that's great if you have a Mac, but what if you don't? Isn't there a way to prioritize the iPhone without a Mac?

    • Abhishek Kurve
      September 15, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Hey, Mark. Unfortunately, there's no way as of now to prioritize WiFi connections on an iPhone without a Mac.

  2. riz
    September 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I use a similar app to switch me to the strongest wifi signal in my house. It does a good job of this, however, if I am doing something online on my phone, like a skype call, when it switches hotspot, it disconnects the call.

    • Abhishek Kurve
      September 15, 2017 at 6:30 am

      Hi, Riz! What app are you using? I'd recommend you to give WiFi Prioritizer a try and see if that works well for you.