Data usage is how much data your phone uploads or downloads using mobile data. To make sure that you’re not using too much data on your data plan, you can check and change your data usage.
As data gets expensive, monitoring your data usage and setting limits to your data usage is your possible best option. This How-To guide educates you on the easy steps to reduce your data consumption.
SET A DATA LIMIT
You can have your phone issue a warning if you’re nearing your data limit before the end of your monthly billing cycle. You can even set a limit beyond which your phone won’t use any data.
- Go to Settings
- Go to Network & internet > Internet and tap on the gear icon next to your carrier’s name
- You’ll see the amount of data you’ve used so far in your current payment cycle on top. Scroll down to and select Data warning & limit or Billing Cycle and Data Warning if you are using Samsung.
- Tap on Mobile data usage cycle. This will let you set the day that your account starts its monthly cycle. Your current cycle is probably set to sync with your carrier’s, but if you want to change it, go ahead and then tape on Set.
- If you are using Samsung, Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Billing Cycle and Data Warning > Set Data Limit
- Toggle Set data warning on. You can then enter the data limit — say, 5GB — that you want for your phone.
On the same page, you can toggle Set data limit on. This will turn off your mobile data completely when it hits whatever limit you set.
USE DATA SAVER MODE
Unless you have a much older version of Android (earlier than 8.0), your phone should come equipped with Data Saver mode, which kicks in when you’re not on Wi-Fi and ensures that apps and services that are not being actively used won’t be able to stream data in the background. It can slow things down a bit, but if you’re worried about passing your data limit for the month, it can come in handy.
It’s very easy to turn Data Saver mode on and off.
- Go to Settings > Network & internet > Data Saver
- Toggle Use Data Saver on
- If you are using a Samsung Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Data Saver
There may be specific apps that you want to allow to use background data, even when Data Saver mode is on. For example, you may want to get Twitter notifications no matter where you are.
- On the Internet page, tap on Unrestricted data
- Scroll down to any apps that you want to enable for background data use even when Data Saver mode is on. Toggle them on.
LIMIT DATA USAGE ON SPECIFIC APPS
Data Saver mode is useful but can also be an irritation if it limits apps too much. Instead of turning it on and specifying which apps should not be limited, you can decide which apps are using the most data and just limit those.
Again, these directions work for a Pixel 6 running Android 12; your mileage may vary depending on your specific mobile device.
- Go to Settings > Network & internet > Internet
- Scroll down to and select Non-carrier data usage
- If you are using a Samsung Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage
You’ll get a list of all the apps that are have used data over the last month and how much they have used. (You can change the period of time to look at by tapping on the time range at the top of the page.)
To see if an app is using background data, tap on the specific app. You’ll get details on how much data the app has used; you can also turn the use of background data on or off and decide whether it should still have unrestricted data usage if Data Saver is on.