How to Limit Mobile Data Usage on Android

Even though data volume from carrier is getting more and more comfortable, limiting your data usage on Android is still useful in some cases to keep you safe from unpleasant surprises. Here are all the tips you need to control your data usage and limit it if necessary.

Nowadays, many of you have plans that include a generous mobile data allowance. SFR, Orange and Free offer 5G packages with unlimited data. However, not everyone has such plans. Many users still have to deal with data caps (sometimes very low). Therefore, they will try to optimize their mobile data consumption as much as possible. The objective is to avoid exceeding the threshold and having to pay extra for additional data.

Moreover, the bill can quickly reach new heights when you use mobile Internet abroad via data roaming. In this case, monitoring your data usage is also highly recommended to avoid overages. Here are some tips to reduce mobile data usage on your Android smartphone.

Favour Wi-Fi

If you have the possibility to use Wi-Fi, you should do it. This will allow you to save a lot of mobile data, especially when you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

In addition, don’t hesitate to deactivate mobile data when you don’t need it. In addition to saving data, this will extend the battery life of your smartphone, which is not negligible.

Data consumption: set caps

Android includes a feature that allows you to set a limit on mobile data consumption. You can set a threshold above which connections will be blocked. A good way to prevent overages.

  • Go to the settings and follow this path: Network and Internet > Data Consumption.
  • Select Mobile data consumption and then press the settings wheel.

Note that the paths may vary slightly depending on the OS and overlay versions. On the Samsung S21+ used for this tutorial section, you had to go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Billing Cycle.

  • Then enable the data limit by toggling the button to the right and then set a limit.
  • After setting your limit, click Set.
  • You will now be notified if you cross the threshold. If you still want to use the data even though the limit has been exceeded, simply repeat the process and deactivate the limit.

Another option is to simply set up an alert to let you know when you exceed a certain threshold. You will be warned but the mobile data will still be on. From the same menu, enable the data warning and set a cap.

Read also >> How to optimize the RAM memory of an Android smartphone to make it more fluid

Check the consumption cycle carefully

Setting the data consumption limit is one thing. But if the period taken into account is not synchronized with that of the beginning of your plan, there will inevitably be a time lag, and therefore an erroneous calculation of your current consumption. If you activate a plan on the 10th for example, the consumption cycle on your Android smartphone should start on the same date.

  • Follow this route: Settings > Connections > Data usage > Billing cycle.
  • Configure the start of the billing cycle according to your plan.
  • Finally, click on Set.

Another important clarification: don’t necessarily expect your operator’s billing to match the system’s billing exactly. The differences are not huge, but it is better to set limits slightly below the threshold you really have in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises in case your operator counts faster than Android. Also note that most operators automatically send SMS alerts when you cross certain thresholds.

Limit the data usage of certain applications

To reduce data consumption, you can also disable background data usage for all applications. A trick that will make you save a lot of data.

  • Always in the settings click on Network and Internet > Data Saver.
  • Then turn on the Data Saver.

You can also target certain data-hungry apps and disable background data usage for them only.

  • Go to the Mobile Data Usage menu and locate the high data consuming apps. You can change the period to compare with previous months.
  • Then tap on the targeted apps and drag the tab in the Allow background data usage section.

Read also >> Android: secret codes to access hidden features

Install a third-party application

Android basically offers everything you need to track and limit your data usage. But in case you prefer to use a specific application that centralizes all important information, we suggest you opt for My Data Manager. It allows you to set personalized alarms so that you don’t exceed your threshold, have a detailed history of your consumption or understand which applications consume the most data. All this for free.