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Tip: Force HTC Thunderbolt to Use 3G Only, Turn Off 4G

If you needed another tip to help you save battery life on your brand new HTC Thunderbolt, then this might be the best one yet.  For those of you not in a 4G LTE area, or who just don’t need those kinds of speeds, this will tell your phone to stay on 3G and quit the constant searching of 4G towers.  This tip first popped up in our inbox last Friday, so I apologize for not sharing it sooner.  


Dial: *#*#4636#*#*

Then choose “Phone information”:

Change preferred network to “CDMA auto (PRL):

Back out and enjoy your 3G-only phone!

To turn 4G LTE back on, repeat the steps and choose “CDMA + LTE/EvDo auto.”

Cheers 4n1m4l and zeeds6!

  • flashgordons

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • Corey_eden

    wouldn’t it be simpler to just remove the $G LTE SIM card from the phone?

  • Jwalsh

    how do you get from dialing the number to the phone information screen?

  • Lilmoney_91

    -.yu dont even have to do all that , just go too settings then wireless &networks , then mobile networks , then change yur LTE too CDMA 

  • Steve

    I did this and it worked FANTASTIC as promised…. but when I try it again to reenable the 4g, I am missing the CDMA+LTE/EvDo auto option… anyone else have that issue ?

  • Rdrong

    nice find but for me only worked once… I cant seem to get back into testing mode… sequence is locked in the address book and tries to dial the number.  Any ideas?

  • Crazynwacked

    so what if i chose the LTE mode only, will the phone be only 4g then?

  • jezooi

    I thought this was a great fix (battery life was incredible) until I realized multimedia messages weren’t coming though…what’s up with that?

  • Awd111980

    Is there a way you can force roaming on the thunderbolt without having to root it?

  • Smussett

    It doesn’t pop up the menu. Am I supposed to hit call or should it just pop up?

  • JayBee

    I did all the steps, turned it to CMDA auto…still on 1x.. and 3g is supported where im at.

  • Bomber

    I get 4G in my area but for some reason when I try to switch to 3G nothing will update on my phone. For example the HTC Weather will no longer update.

  • Virtual Jennifer

    Everytime I try this to save battery life, it shuts off 3G too, and I lose internet connections.

  • Cmetrostation45

    does this really work?

  • Anonymous

    Tried this and it made a huge difference in battery life. Now, the kicker. I emailed Verizon about this BS of the battery life and got two typical BS Verizon response. I was getting 4 hours at best before having to plug in. I blasted V on email and figured I’d rant without getting any results. I know this has to be a fluke, but 1 day after the second rant, I unplugged the phone and I am now at 19.42 uptime and 3.12 wake time. I unplugged first thing yesterday morning and even though I never made it past noon before today, it’s now 0606 the next day and I am now hitting the orange bar. I can’t figure this out at all and I know it’s nothing to do with emailing Verizon and some OTA conspiracy, but just damn if it’s not one helluva coinckydink.

  • Klbsr

    How do you choose “Phone Information”? I’m not getting that option.

  • Much easier process of doing it that basically creates a widget for you without having to dial anything every time:

    1. Download an app from market (it is free) called Any Cut.
    2. Once downloaded, run the app and Select New Shortcut.
    3. Select Activity.
    4. Scroll way down to Phone Info and select it.
    5. Rename it to what you want it called and tap OK.
    6. A new shortcut will be on your homescreen.
    7. Go into the newly created shortcut and scroll down to Set Preffered network type:

    For 3G only, select: CDMA auto (PRL)
    To go back to 3G/4G select: CDMA + LTE/EvDo auto

    Hit the back arrow…

    credit goes to ThatDudeButch
    Source: http://forum.androidcentral.com/htc-thunderbolt/69957-poor-mans-4g-toggle.html

  • tomNasty

    I luv my 3G thunderbolt!! hey wait a minute

  • Did this and turned of automatic syncing on a lot of my apps. about 2 hours now and I see a huge difference. Thank you.

  • Mikki514

    Just bought my phone on Monday and I was warned about the low battery life. Thanks for the tip on preserving the battery life.

  • This has drastically improved my battery life. I live in a 4G area, and found my battery lasted only 3-4 hours of moderate to heavy use. Turning my 4Goff now allows my phone to last through the entire day with more than 30% of battery life at 11PM! I use at least 2 hours of GPS/Maps a day on my runs while I stream Pandora, use Google Talk throughout the day, send over 300 sms a day, send/receive emails throughout the day, and watch youtube and web based flash content ALL day long. I turn on 4G when I use mobile hot spot or stream videos at night. I’m LOVING this phone – I upgraded from the OG Droid (non-rooted), and cannot believe how fast this phone is. There’s absolutely no lag! The screen response is uber fast! There were a few SMS, GPS, signal bugs, but I just restarted my phone or pulled the battery out, and had no problems since. I attribute it to the sudden onslaught of new apps, etc. I LOVE THIS PHONE! I’m still hoping Seidio or HTC releases a higher capacity battery that fits with the current phone backl…something other than the current Seidio 1600mah battery. Or hope HTC/Verizon release a software update that addresses some of the battery drain issues. THANK YOU KELLEX for helping me yet again get the most out of this phone!

  • Mojoejoejoe2211

    Its funny how you guys rag on this phone .4g ant in every ones area and it great u can turn it on and off… O if u wasn’t some wat interested in this phone u wouldn’t be on this site looking at stuff bout it. But love my thunderbolt

  • to get an accurate battery level reading on ur first few days…. charge the Tbolt until it displays a full charge. Then with it still plugged in RESTART the phone …. it should show that its charging again.

    1. Lithium Ion batteries lie!
    2. it takes a while to break these batteries in

  • Michael

    So in another words, it’s the first 4G phone, yet force it to be 3G! Otherwise, it won’t last!

    Sooooooooooo sad!!!!

  • how to save battery life on TB:

    1. Turn off all it’s capabilities and features.
    2. Force 3G only, turn off 4G.
    3. Install whatever available apps that can assist in extending battery life. (If your TB’s battery has made it this far)
    4. Figure out why you just spent $250 with 2 year contract and $30 data plan when all you have now is just a phone that can be used as a coaster.

  • Mylockandroid

    once we have some fully customized roms we should gain access to a one click toggle of native tethering and 4g usage, that will be nice. look forward to it with gingerbread ime as i can barely type on this piece of dung HTC 2.2… it isnt even multi touch. pathetic

  • tomNasty

    This isn’t gonna screw up anything is it?? this phone is my new pride and joy…..im in Vegas but and my battery is cool all day until i get home than its crap in-out of 4g i’m out of battery in 3-4 hours

  • Anonymous

    sounds good. I will give it a chance…

  • tomNasty

    how do i get that time on my phone

  • shakeNbake

    just an opinion… i like the UI for htc phones and i’ve always wanted one. but the battery life is kind of a turn off at the moment. yeah i understand the fix here, but people buy a 4g phone for the 4g, not to have to toggle on and off. hopefully htc gets their shit together and in the future approves battery life. hopefully the bionic will be better even tho i hate motoblur. maybe the speed of the dual core will allow me to overlook it… or hold out for 4g iphone, but its hard to say when that will happen considering apple doesnt tell their employees everything.

  • Anonymous

    A bit off topic, but anyone know what theme that is? I like it.

  • Smtxom

    Im not in a 4g area but battery life is a non issue for me. My Tbolt last me a full 24hours before going below 10% battery life.

    • lvond600

      (cough) bull $!%#

      • Smtxom

        I could care less if you or anyone else believes me. I was like everyone else worrying about the battery life when I got it. I charged it to 100% 3x now and let it go till it died. I get about 30hours out of a full charge(from disconnecting it from the charger to shut off). Im happy with my purchase. Sorry if your not. Sux to be you

        • Jcon

          You must not use your phone during the day!!!

          • Smtxom

            lol @ Jcon, I use it plenty. Just play games and sms back and forth. Since my job has me strapped to a phone all day I dont actually make too many calls during the day. but I do use it for games with friends and messaging plenty.

          • Smtxom

            lol @ Jcon, I use it plenty. Just play games and sms back and forth. Since my job has me strapped to a phone all day I dont actually make too many calls during the day. but I do use it for games with friends and messaging plenty.

  • DUH

    isn’t there a widget 4g toggle to turn 4g off and on??????