Here's why Android 12 'disable 2G' toggle is missing on Google Pixel 5/4/3, Samsung Galaxy S21/S20 (One UI 4) & other phones

Launched on October 4 last year, Android 12 brings in several new features, some of which such as Material You are really useful.

While the majority of devices are yet to be updated to the newest Android version, some phones such as the Google Pixel 6 series and the Galaxy S21 series are already powered by Android 12.

Google-Android-12

That being said, Google recently released the ‘Disable 2G’ feature that allows smartphone users to disable 2G connectivity at the modem level. It is really useful if you want to protect your device from cell-site simulators.

If you don’t know, attackers use the weak 2G encryption to act as a cell tower and intercept calls and text messages without even transmitting a single packet. You can find the toggle under Settings > Network & internet > SIMs section.

The feature does not come as a surprise since it was already documented in the Android 12 release notes. But some Android 12 users are now reporting that they are unable to see the ‘Disable 2G’ toggle on their devices.

Hey, so I just saw the news that Google rolled out an update to combat “stingrays”, or base station simulators. Stingrays can force your phone to connect to them when you’re in range of them. Their owners do this in order to skim personal information from the data that passes through the stingray on the way to and from actual cell towers. They’re saying that in order to disable 2G connections, which stingrays use, you can go to Settings, then Network & Internet, then SIMs. Disable 2G should be an option there, but it’s not in that menu for me. I’m using a Pixel 5 with a SIM card from Mint Mobile.

It looks like searching for 2G does not help either.

I’ve tried checking for system updates, and my phone is up to date. I also tried searching for “2G” in the search box in Settings, and it’s not showing up anywhere else. Does anyone know what I can do to add this option to my settings menu?
(Source)

It looks like some Pixel 6 users are unable to find the toggle as well.

Android-12-unable-to-find-disable-2G-toggle
Source

But Google also lets carriers disable the toggle, which might be the case here. It looks like the feature isn’t available on Pixel 5/4/3 and Samsung Galaxy S20 series users.

As it turns out, the feature requires Radio 1.6 HAL, something that is not updated quite often.

If you are want to use the ‘Disable 2G’ toggle, your best chance is to buy a phone that comes with Android 12 pre-installed instead of opting for a phone that will get the update.

Android-12-1

Currently, it is not known if Google will be bringing the feature to phones that are being upgraded to Android 12 such as older Pixels, Samsungs, and OnePlus devices amongst others.

Rest assured, we will be keeping an eye out on the matter and update this space as and when required so make sure you stay tuned.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Android Section so be sure to follow them as well.

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Anurag Chawake

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.