I'm confused right now because I don't know if enabling the airplane mode disables all the data connections or it does something more.

  • Actually "airplane mode" disables all radio broadcasting (voice, text, data, wifi, Bluetooth, etc), which on most devices just turns down the service of each radio device, but with the advent of WiFi on planes, it is often possible to enable WiFi well in Airplane Mode, I know I can on my Moto G 2015. – acejavelin May 22 '16 at 18:25
  • Which radio is part of being triggered by airplane mode depends, and can even be configured (if one knows where to look). So the answer would be a "Nes": Depends on :) – Izzy May 22 '16 at 18:54

I didn't dig into the source code for authenticity so consider this as an educated guess. I noted that when turning on Airplane mode only the radios mentioned in the key airplane_mode_radios1 are turned off. That is, the communication through those radios cease to exist. The list of radios in the value for that key I've seen in my devices are: cell,bluetooth,wifi,nfc,wimax,


  • cell: cellular radio (used for mobile network connectivity)
  • bluetooth: used for bluetooth connectivity
  • wifi: used for Wi-Fi and portable hotspot connectivity
  • nfc: for NFC
  • wimax: ??

So yes, if you individually disable all the radios listed in the said key in your device then you would effectively be achieving the final result of Airplane mode.

If it matters, I found the value for the said key using through the command:

adb shell settings get global airplane_mode_radios

1 The key can be found in the table global of database /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db. In Android 6.x, the location for the key is /data/system/users/0/settings_global.xml

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  • I'm surprised. I got an upvote under a minute of posting this answer! – Firelord May 23 '16 at 7:08

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