How To Limit Data Usage On Android

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In the U.S, most carriers are limiting their data plans to just 1 or 2 GB of usage per month. And if you end up using more data than this within the billing cycle, you’ll be hit with a slew of extra charges (sometimes at a high per-kilobyte rate). But the good news is with Android (4.0 and up) having the ability to both warn and limit your data usage, you can easily avoid this costly scenario. In this article, we’ll show you both how to set a warning for when you’re approaching your limit and how to set a hard limit outright:

Note: Only versions 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and up of Android have the data usage controls built in to the OS. If you’re on 2.3 or below, I’d suggest using a third party application from Google Play that gives you similar functionality.

To set up a warning so your phone notifies you when you reach a certain level (e.g 2 GB), do this:

  1. Go to your phone’s main settings application.
  2. From here, tap on Data Usage.
  3. On the graph, you’ll see two horizontal lines. The orange one is for your data warning.
  4. Move the orange line up or down to set the threshold for your warning.

To set up a outright limit, where all data is turned off at a certain level, do the following:

  1. Go to your Android phone’s Settings.
  2. Tap on Data Usage.
  3. Check the “Set mobile data limit” box.
  4. On the graph, you’ll see red and orange horizontal lines. The red one is for setting a data limit.
  5. Move the red line up or down to the desired level to set your absolute data limit.

You also have the option to restrict an applications background data usage. This can help lower the amount of data your Android phone or tablet uses by only allowing these applications to use the internet when you actually have it opened up on your screen. To do this, scroll to the bottom of the data usage settings and tap on the application (if there) you want to restrict. Then at the bottom, check the “restrict background data” box. Note that this will prevent the app (and any associated widgets) from updating in the background.

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.