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Connect automatically to open Wi-Fi networks

You can automatically connect to open Wi-Fi networks that we verify as fast and reliable. Wi-Fi assistant makes these secure connections for you.

Wi-Fi assistant works on:

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.1 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Turn on or off

Turn on

Wi-Fi assistant is off by default, unless you have Project Fi.

Set to automatically connect to open networks

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Wi-Fi and then Wi-Fi preferences.
  3. Turn on Connect to open networks.

When connected via Wi-Fi assistant

  • Your notifications bar shows the Wi-Fi assistant virtual private network (VPN) key VPN by Wi-Fi assistant.
  • Your Wi-Fi connection says: "Connected via Wi-Fi assistant."
Disconnect or turn off

You can disconnect from one network or turn off Wi-Fi assistant at any time.

Disconnect from the current network

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Wi-Fi and then the network name.
  3. Tap Forget.

Turn off Wi-Fi assistant

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Google and then Networking.
  3. Turn off Wi-Fi assistant.

Fix issues

Where available

On Pixel and Nexus devices running Android 5.1 and up:

  • Wi-Fi assistant is available in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.
  • If you have Project Fi, Wi-Fi assistant is also available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.
App doesn't work while connected

Some apps don't work over this kind of secure connection. For example:

  • Apps that limit use by location, like some sports and video apps
  • Some Wi-Fi calling apps (other than Project Fi)

To use apps that don't work with this kind of connection:

  1. Disconnect from the Wi-Fi network. Learn how to disconnect.
  2. Manually reconnect to the Wi-Fi network. Learn how to connect manually.
    Important: Other people using an open network could see data sent to that network via a manual connection.

When you reconnect manually, the app will see your location.

Can't connect to open network

If you can't connect to a nearby open network via Wi-Fi assistant, it could be because:

  • We haven't verified the network as high-quality and reliable.
  • Wi-Fi assistant doesn't connect to networks that you've connected to manually.
  • Wi-Fi assistant doesn't connect to networks that need you to take steps to connect, like signing in.

Try these solutions:

  • If Wi-Fi assistant doesn't connect automatically, connect manually. Learn how to connect manually.
    Important: Other people using an open network could see data sent to that network via a manual connection.
  • If you'd already connected to the network manually, "forget" the network. Wi-Fi assistant will then re-connect automatically. Learn how to "forget" a network.
Shows "Device connected to Wi-Fi assistant" message

To help make open Wi-Fi networks safer, Wi-Fi assistant uses a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN helps protect your data from being seen by other people using the open network. When a VPN is on for Wi-Fi assistant, you’ll see a "Device connected to Wi-Fi assistant" message.

Google monitors system data. When you're securely connected to a website (by HTTPS), VPN operators, like Google, can't record your content. Google uses system data sent through VPN connections to:

  • Provide and improve Wi-Fi assistant, including the virtual private network (VPN)
  • Monitor for abuse
  • Comply with applicable laws and regulations, or as required by court or government orders

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Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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