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Settings in iOS 9: Every notable change you need to know

Susie Ochs | Sept. 22, 2015
Once you upgrade to iOS 9, take some time to peruse the Settings app to tweak it just to your liking.

ios9 5up apple
Credit: Apple

The Settings app is like the bedroom on every episode of Cribs: It’s where the magic happens. Whenever you update iOS on your iPhone or iPad, it pays to peruse the settings to find, enable, and configure any new features just to your liking.

iOS 9 doesn’t have quite as many settings changes as iOS 8 did, and the best addition by far is a Search box at the top of the main Settings menu, so if you can’t remember, say, where to enable Personal Hotspot (spoiler: Cellular) or how to turn off shake-to-undo (Accessibility), all you have to do is start typing in that Search box to pinpoint exactly where your desired setting lives. Such a time-saver.

Here’s a rundown of the major changes in Settings in iOS 9, as well as some key settings that didn’t change, but you still might want to revisit. If you’ve got any questions, hit us up in the comments.


Not much is new in the Cellular settings, with the exception of SIM PIN, which used to be in the Phone settings, and now is here in Cellular. This lets you put a separate PIN code on your SIM card, so if someone had your stolen or misplaced phone, they couldn’t use your SIM card in another device. Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you to enter the SIM pin whenever you swap out the SIM (which you probably won’t do much, if ever) or when you reboot the device.

ios9 settings cellular wifi assist

SIM PIN is off by default, so if you want to use it, first you’ll turn it on. Your SIM has a default PIN on it already: For AT&T and Verizon, it’s 1111. For Sprint and T-Mobile, it’s 1234. (Great PINs, y’all.) Once you enter that—and you have to get it right within three tries or your SIM will be locked, but I believe in you—you can tap Change PIN and change it to something good. You can stick with four digits, or use more, up to eight digits total, all numbers. Again, pick something memorable because if you enter the wrong PIN too many times, your SIM will be permanently locked and you’ll have to ask your carrier for a new one.

The other addition to this screen is Wi-Fi Assist, located down below the huge list of apps with toggles to allow them to use cellular data. That’s on by default, and it’ll use some of your cellular data to boost a poor Wi-Fi signal. If your Wi-Fi network barely reaches every corner of your abode, you might want to leave this on. If you use up your monthly data allotment every single month, you might want to turn this off.


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