Your Pixel can keep Wi-Fi enabled even when Airplane mode is active

Looking at the back of the black Google Pixel 7
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has updated Pixel devices to have Wi-Fi connectivity even during Airplane mode.
  • Pixel devices have started seeing a system message alerting them to this change.
  • This new feature comes along with Google Pixel's December feature drop which includes Clear Calling, recorder speaker labels, and Live Translate.

It looks like an old feature from an older Android OS release has been retooled and released for newer Pixel devices on Android 13.

According to 9to5Google, Pixel phone owners can now have Wi-Fi connectivity active even when Airplane mode has been enabled. It appears that for the past few days, Pixel devices have been receiving a system message alerting them to the new addition. The message states, "If you keep Wi-Fi on, it will stay on the next time you’re in airplane mode." This has also appeared on our Pixel units.

Wi-Fi remains connected even during Airplane mode on Pixel devices.

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

A second system message that serves as a reminder for Pixel owners that this feature is optional and can be changed. Tapping these messages sends users to a Pixel support page that explains the functionality of the feature. This page also states that if you do not want to keep Wi-Fi on during Airplane mode, you retain the option of disabling any connectivity options.

If you remember those Android 11 days, this feature existed but was restricted to Bluetooth connectivity at the time. Keeping this connection would ensure that any headphones or wearables you had would remain connected even with the loss of cellular service.

It's a handy feature that removes a step for users that want to keep Wi-Fi on, especially since airplanes allow Wi-Fi connectivity in flight. However, it's not yet known if this feature will remain a Pixel exclusive one or if it will roll out to other OEMs and devices.

It seems likely the feature arrived for Pixels as part of the December feature drop that's just been released. The update brought the Pixel 7 exclusive free Google One VPN, as well as a handful of other features, including speaker labels on the Pixel Recorder app.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.