What is airplane mode?
What is airplane mode?

We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all used it, but do we really know what Airplane Mode on our devices does? This feature is ubiquitous on all modern electronic devices, but its function and benefits may not be immediately clear to everyone.

The Basics of Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode is a setting available on almost all smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. When activated, it suspends the device’s signal transmitting functions. This is why it’s often necessary to switch to Airplane Mode during flights.

What Does Airplane Mode Do?

Cellular Network Connection

First and foremost, Airplane Mode disconnects your device from its cellular network. This means no calls, no text messages, and no mobile data use.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

In most cases, Airplane Mode also disables Wi-Fi. However, most devices allow you to re-enable Wi-Fi while still in Airplane Mode, useful during flights that offer in-flight Wi-Fi.


Like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is typically disabled when you switch to Airplane Mode, but can usually be turned back on without exiting Airplane Mode. This allows for use of wireless headphones or other Bluetooth devices during a flight.

GPS and Location Services

Depending on the device, Airplane Mode may also disable GPS and other location services. However, some devices maintain these services even in Airplane Mode.

When Should You Use Airplane Mode?

During Flights

The most obvious time to use Airplane Mode is, of course, during flights. The radio signals sent out by your device can potentially interfere with the airplane’s equipment, which is why passengers are asked to enable this mode.

To Save Battery Life

Airplane Mode can also be used to save battery life, even when you’re not in the air. By disabling your device’s wireless communications, it uses less energy, helping your battery last longer.

To Avoid Distractions

Airplane Mode is also handy if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. By switching off all your device’s connectivity, you can work, read, or relax without being interrupted by calls, texts, or notifications.


In short, Airplane Mode is a valuable feature that disables your device’s wireless communication functions. It’s not just for flights—it can also help save battery life and provide a quiet, distraction-free environment.


  1. Can I make phone calls in Airplane Mode?
    • No, you cannot make or receive phone calls in Airplane Mode unless you have Wi-Fi Calling enabled and are connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Will my alarm work in Airplane Mode?
    • Yes, alarms stored on your device will still work in Airplane Mode.
  3. Does Airplane Mode stop all data use?
    • Yes, it prevents any use of mobile data. However, if Wi-Fi is enabled while in Airplane Mode, your device may still use data over the Wi-Fi connection.
  4. Do all devices have Airplane Mode?
    • Most modern electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, have an Airplane Mode feature.
  5. Can I still play games in Airplane Mode?
    • Yes, as long as they don’t require an internet connection.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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