Can Android act as a WiFi Access Point while the cellular radio is turned off?

I tried to accomplish that using flight mode, but that won't work. While flight mode is enabled, Androids portable Wi-Fi hotspot option cannot be enabled. Quite logical, because one cannot tether while cellular networks are disabled.

To my knowledge, there is no obvious dedicated option to only disable cellular networks. There is an Cell Radio ShutOff, but that app just crashes when pressing the disable cellular network button on my phone.

Are there any apps for setting up a cellular less, non-tethering WiFi Access Point or other ways to do this?

What's that good for? What is it, what I am really accomplishing to do? See background below.


For recording interviews, I want to use a newer Android device [Galaxy S3] as a video camera (MirrorOp Sender app), while using an older device [iphone 4] as an external display (MirrorOp Receiver app). In some sense as a "wireless live preview" display.

The MirrorOp app has to my knowledge no WiFi Direct mode. Therefore I am using Androids portable Wi-Fi hotspot option, so the receiver can log into the WiFi AndroidAP (WiFi access point). Took me a while to figure out, but it works so far.

During recording, be not disturbed my cellar calls, voip calls, messenger or update notifications, I would like to disable the cellular network radio. That also seems useful to save battery.

Another reason for not providing internet access is to prevent the receiver phone from using use the WiFi as hotspot (which would in reality, be just a 3G network) to download bigger files, updates, etc.

I don't like blocking mode, because then caller think I pressed the "rejection" button, and because it also does not save battery.


6 Answers 6


FWIW I discussed a few ways to disable just the mobile connection here for a different reason but with the same result... depending on your Android version (you didn't mention which you were using), it's as easy as selecting the mobile icon in the notification settings to switch it off, or just selecting an invalid APN under Wifi->Mobile networks->Access Point Names or Network Operators. But the absolutely easiest and most certain way as I suggested is to pull the SIM card while you're not using it. As long as your device uses a SIM card for mobile (GSM networks do, Verizon may not), you should be good to go-- though I believe 911 calls will still work. If you want to get really down-and-dirty, you can also root the phone, rename the binary blobs that work with your cell service, reboot, then do the reverse when you're done. But I think the SIMcard trick should do it :)

  • I would prefer not physically pulling the sim card. Makes it more likely for the sim card, the cover or in most expensive case, the sim card slot to break.
    – adrelanos
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 11:01
  • Invalid APN... Good idea... However, I am having difficulties setting one up. related question: How to setup an invalid APN that prevents mobile data access?
    – adrelanos
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 11:06

1.Dial *#*#4636#*#* on your phone If it does not work try this apk from XDA post

2.Goto phone information

3.Scroll down and you will see TurnOffRadio

4.Now enable mobile hotspot

  • Doesn't work on my phone. (Galaxy S3)
    – adrelanos
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 15:39
  • What doesn't work ? turning radio off or mobile hotspot?
    – samnaction
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 5:48
  • Because *#*#4636#*#* doesn't work on Galaxy. When you type it and call, it calls that number. No special menu. Doesn't go for all phones and I haven't found a Galaxy equivalent.
    – adrelanos
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 9:37

Can Android act as a WiFi Access Point while the cellular radio is turned off?


OPTION #1: Use your Android phone without SIM cards(s) inserted

OPTION #2: Disable mobile data & Enable call forwarding

You can use a WiFi Hotspot while your mobile data is disabled, to avoid disturbances you can set call-forwarding and adjust notifications volume.


  1. Bring down the quick settings panel with a double swipe-down gesture (or a two-finger drag) of the notification bar.

  2. Turn on Hotspot and adjust your hotspot settings as needed

  3. Tap on your mobile network indicator in quick settings panel this opens Mobile data

  4. Toggle mobile data off

  5. In your notification bar your can now see the WiFi hotspot indicator on the left side and on the right side a cellular network strength icon with an exclamation mark.

  6. Connect to your Hotspot from your other WiFi enabled device


  1. Launch Phone app

  2. Access settings by pressing ... and then Settings

  3. Select Call settings

  4. Select Call forwarding

  5. Setup a Always forward rule to your voice mail or another phone number or voice mail

Note: Since GSM services are still on, like text-messages, adjust notifications volume.

OPTION #3: Learn how to find good apps in Google Play. Make sure you read descriptions ;-)

As in regards your question about apps, please use Search in Google Play. Customer reviews and ratings usually provide fair guidance about app quality.

If you find an app not working (like supposed in your case "Cell Radio ShutOff") you might want to give a fair constructive comment with suggestion about app/widget improvement.

Most developers use customer's feedback for improvements and development.

In this case the developer was clear about tested devices and even posted the code to shut off the Cell-radio by dialing a code:

If this doesn't work with your phone you can access a builtin interface which has the same option. If you dial *#*#4636#*#* in Phone it will pull up a menu that will allow you to shut off the cell radio.

If above was missed or is unclear, please follow steps below.


  1. Launch Phone app
  2. Dial *#*#4636#*#* to launch Testing app NOTE: In case *#*#4636#*#* (Testing App) is not available on your Phone read: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2073543&page=2
  3. Select Phone information
  4. Scroll down to find button TURN OFF RADIO and press it Cell strength indicator will appear empty.

Repeat and press TURN RADIO ON to to enable cell radio again.

Note: Before turning off cell radio you might want to set appropriate call-forwarding setting a when unreachable rule. This must be set before you turn off cell-radio.

Important notes:

  • Depends on the Android Device and WiFi hotspot application on that device.
  • With dual SIM phones additional steps might be required.
  • Details above are based on: Nexus 5; Android version: 5.0.1 (Lollipop)

Hope this helps.

  • I've noticed MirrorOp requires a rooted Android phone link, for any concerns or issues with this software I would advice using support on their site. As for your concern about battery usage. I presume the display on your phone still stays on while you do the recording. Displays are good at draining battery. Make sure to adjust brightness to the lowest setting. And in any case would be wise having a charger/powerbank at hand.
    – Erik Ušaj
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 9:24

The easiest way to turn on wifi hotspot during flight mode is to use a 3rd party app that enable wifi hotspot in one click like air droid( tools -> tether ), super beam, etc.. Works fine on my ICS


PdaNet+ can be used to create a hotspot while your cell radio is off.


A simpler method than @fattire's, I think.

Just download Do Not Disturb

It seems to work quite well.

  • 1
    Care to explain how the "Do not disturb" app answers "Can Android act as a WiFi Access Point while the cellular radio is turned off" because I don't get how it does. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 16:34
  • 1
    Indeed. Mobile data connection would still be online when using that app. Which is the main point of this question. Having the mobile data connection disabled while acting as a WiFi access point.
    – adrelanos
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 21:32
  • ya. you wont get disturbed by phone calls or text messages but will be able to create a hotspot...
    – undo
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 10:25

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