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People being able to do more work while they are out and about seems to be a growing trend. While laptops may be the primary way many professionals take their work with them, phones can do quite a few things, too. In fact, many of the latest smartphones on the market can do all of the simpler, less intensive tasks that some laptops might do for you.

With the right apps, you can run several programs that can sync from the phone to the computer of your choice. Many such apps have their own mobile versions of the same kinds of programs you can run on your computer.

All of this makes it easier for users to do some of the same kinds of work on their phones, and email is just one such task they can take care of here. Being able to answer various communications swiftly and accurately is important, and the chances are high that almost everyone you know has at least one email client which they can access with a phone.

However, Wi-Fi is the primary way that most people will get online to answer emails, just as it is for most of the things people like to do on the internet. Some users wonder if they might be able to receive or send emails even without the use of Wi-Fi. This is a topic we will cover in our article below.

Additionally, we’ll talk about what data the phone might use when you do not have an active Wi-Fi connection available, and we will also go over what kinds of settings you might alter in order to switch the active data types you might use with your email client. The steps may be slightly different between different Apple or Android devices, so we will do our best to cover both options here.

Depositphotos_11135583_S email Touch screen mobile phone concept

Is It Possible To Send or Receive Email Without Wi-Fi?

Before we get into the possibilities of people either sending or receiving email without an active Wi-Fi connection, we should talk about how most mail clients work.

In general, there are ways that you can still access your mail or use the app to make modifications even if you have no internet at all. However, this functionality is limited, and it is not the same thing as sending or receiving messages.

Some of our guidelines for what you can do without any sort of internet connection at all will depend on which email client you are using. However, here are some general actions you can still perform when you need to use offline email:

  1. You can view messages that your client downloaded from the server already.
  2. If you want to keep them without clogging up your inbox, you can choose to archive messages you’ve read or marked off as something you have completed.
  3. Should you not need them at all, you can delete unnecessary messages that you don’t want.
  4. When you need to find some specific information, you can use the search function to have the client look through all of your past messages using the terms you input.

5. Although you can’t send messages out, you can still write and revise drafts of them that the local device will save in the client. Then, when you establish another connection to the internet, you can send the messages.

For this, you can leave them in the ’Draft’ folder to send at your leisure, or you can put them in the ’Outbox’. Doing the latter should help the client send the messages automatically when your internet connection returns.

With all that said, yes, it is even possible to send or receive email without the use of Wi-Fi. When you activate a new phone, you sign up for a plan with a carrier of your choice. This plan comes with its own cellular data, and you can use the provider’s network to do things online. This is true even if you aren’t within range of an open Wi-Fi network.

The cellular network gives you access to the internet without Wi-Fi, but you also need to be within range of that network, just like you would need to be in range of a Wi-Fi one in order for your device to get that signal.

The standard network coverage area is usually quite broad, so you should have service for many of the places you want to go. However, each carrier has terms as to what their service area is.

If you go outside of that, you may incur extra charges on your phone that happen when you roam. This puts additional costs on your use of data while you are outside of the coverage area, and these are costs that might get out of control quickly.

Furthermore, if you travel far enough, you may go outside of your carrier’s own roaming area. This typically happens if you try to use your phone in another country. You won’t have service at all, including cellular network service.

46302426 Hand holding using mobile phone with email icon on screen. Business communication technology concept.

Does Email Use Data on a Cell Phone?

Yes, your email client needs to use data when it is active. This assumes that you are not within range of an open or acceptable Wi-Fi network.

Here, if you have the data from your carrier set to an active state, the email client will use some of it. The amounts can vary depending on what sorts of tasks you are doing, but its data needs should still be fairly small. The reason that the email client must use at least some cellular data is that it has to communicate with the server.

In order to do anything, the client must check with the server for updates. Typically, these updates will include new messages from various senders, or messages you have ready to go to others. The client checks to see if there are any changes to either of these categories, and it will download or upload messages appropriately when it does so.

You can use your phone’s settings to check just how much data the email client is using. In many cases, your client will check with the servers several times throughout the day, and it needs to use a little data each time it does so.

How Do I Change My Download Settings From Wi-Fi to Mobile Data? (iPhone & Android)

If you want to change your settings on the iPhone in order to only use mobile data, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. The easiest way to make sure the phone uses only a cellular connection is to just turn off the Wi-Fi capability.
  2. You should be able to do this by just switching it off when tapping the appropriate icon in the menu on the home screen.
  3. For a more involved method, you can go to your iPhone’s ’Settings’ and find the ’Connections’ menu. Here, you can turn cellular data on or off, and you should be able to do the same with Wi-Fi.
  4. As long as Wi-Fi is off and the other data is active, it should download things only using your mobile data plan.
  5. Additionally, you can set a mobile download limit that turns off mobile data once it gets to a point you determine.

For Android users, the process is largely similar. You can switch the types of data that you use on your Android phone when you follow these steps:

  1. You should be able to access a menu that drops right down from the home screen when you lower it. Once there, you have connectivity options that include the Wi-Fi symbol.
  2. Tap this to turn it off, and your phone should switch to LTE by itself.
  3. You can also go into ’Settings and find the ’Connections’ menu.
  4. From here, you can opt to turn the Wi-Fi connection off again, check that mobile data is on using the ’Data Usage’ submenu, or set limits on how much of that data your phone can use.


Email is one of the quickest ways we can type out detailed messages that we pack with information. Although we may have to wait for a response, the mobile platforms from which we can access email make it easy to organize our thoughts, ask questions, and send out queries from almost anywhere.

This type of data will also work over a cellular connection when no Wi-Fi is present anywhere. You can even start, edit, and get ready to send messages without any internet connection at all, or you can turn only mobile data on for your phone.