How to control the amount of data you use on your smartphone

Do you often find yourself with overcharge fees after having busted to data limit on your monthly plan? Or do you regularly receive warnings for your wireless provider telling you you’re about to reach your limit? Here’s a few tips and tricks to see which apps are responsible for draining the most out of your data plan, on your Apple or Android phone.

It’s true that today most wireless plan include big amount of data, but it’s still pretty easy to reach your limit if you have apps that use a lot of data. Good news thought, it’s pretty easy to follow the consumption of your smartphone with iOS and Android on a monthly basis, and avoid those nasty overcharge fees.

Here is how to verify your data consumption, limit the amount of data used, and prevent that certain apps use the last Mb of your data plan.


How to verify and minimize the data usage on your iPhone

You can verify your data usage by going on your settings screen. Follow these simple steps to have the whole view of the data consumption of all your apps:

  • Scroll down to the Mobile section (with the green mask icon).
  • Scroll down a bit more and you’ll see a section with the title ‘Mobile Data Usage’

How to check data use on an iOS iPhone, Android mobile or Windows Phone device

The display is made for the data consumption made since the last time the time the stats counter was reset.

Even better, if you continue to scroll down, you’ll see exactly how much each app as used. That way you can see if certain apps have been downloading in the background a bit more than what you have wanted or expected. You can block data access with the switch next to the name if the app.

If you diligently reset the stats meter to zero at the start of each month, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the quantity of data used, and ensure yourself that you never go over your limit. It’s kind of a hassle to do thought, as the process is not automatic. Solution? Go make a stop by the AppStore, with key words “manage your data usage”. DataMan is just one of the numerous apps that can help you do just the same.


How to verify and minimize the data usage on your Android phone

You can verify the data consumption on your phone in a similar manner then what’s done on the iPhone. Difference is that you’ll have the whole view of your data consumption on a monthly basis by default.

First, go on Settings, and chose the option Mobile data on the top of your screen.

You’ll the option to enable/disable mobile data, and you’ll also see a big graph showing the exact quantity of data you’ve used on a daily basis, for each monthly cycle of data usage. A bit further down you’ll see exactly how much each apps have used, with to more data hungry apps placed at the top.

How to check data use on an iOS iPhone, Android mobile or Windows Phone device

Should you decide to cut the access of data to certain apps, you do it by just selecting the names in the list and chose the option further down to “restrict background data”. Apps won’t be able to use mobile data unless until you reallow them access.

On the graph mentioned above, you should see an orange line for warning. You can move this line up and down, and when data consumption on your phone reaches this level, you’ll get a message warning you that you are close to your limit. For example, if you have 2Gb of data included in your monthly plan, it will be good to set that line to 1.7Gb, and give yourself a little cushion.

You can also set a limit to the maximum amount of data used, with the red line. When this line is reached, your phone will no longer be able to used mobile data until you reactivate it again.


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