How to Control Data Usage on an Android Phone

Due to the fair usage policy used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), mobile internet speed is throttled. This leads to large data consumption on most Android devices. Here, we have explained how to control data usage on an Android phone.

How to Control Data Usage on an Android Phone

Most telecommunications companies around the world now offer Unlimited Data plans. This helps consumers access a massive amount of data to use on their devices every day. The offer is mostly available for both prepaid and postpaid customers.

However, the truth about Unlimited Data plans is that they are not unlimited. There is always a limit, and when you exhaust that limit, your internet speed is throttled very low to ensure the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is observed.

Surfing the net on the phone with a slow internet speed can be very frustrating. As a result, we have explained below various ways through which you can control data usage on your Android phone.

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Controlling Data Usage on an Android Phone

Set data limit

Controlling data usage on smartphones is easy. You can start by setting a limit for your data plan. This will help you keep track of how your data is being used. Also, it gives a warning when you have reached this limit.

How to Control Data Usage on an Android Phone

Restrict background data access

Another option is to restrict background data access for specific apps. Identify apps you don't use frequently or don't require internet to run in the background and disable internet access.

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Turning on data saver mode can help

With this option turned on, apps are prevented from sending or receiving data in the background. It simply restricts background data usage for all apps. However, you can manually select the apps to be restricted anytime the Data Saver is turned on.

Ensure to turn off dual-channel

Specific phones come with a Dual-channel network acceleration option. This allows it to use both Wi-Fi and mobile data for faster downloads. Toggle off this option to save your data. The dual-channel option can be found as dual SIM on some devices.

Enable auto-update of apps on Wi-Fi only

Once there is a new update, and the internet connection is available, some apps start updating themselves. Disable the option to allow auto-update only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi.


Replace apps that consume much data with their lite versions

Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps are guilty in this case. Since we can't do without them, you can consider replacing them with lite versions.

The lite app doesn't consume much data and allows you to perform all the essential functions you do with the regular app. However, not all the features on the original app may be made available on the lite version, but it will surely help you save data.

How to Control Data Usage on an Android Phone

How to Set data limit on Android

  1. Open Settings and search for Network or Internet.
  2. Next, tap the settings icon beside the service provider's name under the internet and scroll down to choose Data warning & limit.
  3. Tap the Mobile data usage cycle option and set the data use cycle.
  4. Further, tap the Set data limit option and input the data limit.

On some phones, go to Settings >> Data Usage >> Billing Cycle and continue from step 3 above.


How to Restrict background data access

  1. Go to Settings >> Data settings & Data usage and scroll down to see your data usage by individual apps.
  2. Tap on each app and choose the Mobile data & Wi-Fi option.
  3. You should see the Background data option on the screen. Toggle it off.

Please note that the steps may differ on some devices.

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How to Turn off dual-channel

  1. Go to Settings >> Data settings & Data usage and find the dual channel or dual SIM option.
  2. Tap it and toggle it off on the next screen.

How to Turn on data saver mode

On your settings app, search and go to Data Saver. You will see the option to enable the data saver from the screen. Toggle on the option.

How to Enable Auto-update on Wi-Fi Only

  1. Launch the Google Play app and tap on the profile icon to see a pop-up. The profile icon is located in the top right corner.
  2. From the pop-up menu, tap Settings and go to Network preferences.
  3. You will find the App download preference option, the Auto-update apps option, and the Autoplay videos option. Select Over Wi-Fi only for all three options.


Be aware that some of these procedures could differ on some devices. However, ensure you navigate the settings app or use the search tool under settings to get the options.

You can easily enable the data saver mode to stop your smartphone from draining your data. Also, allowing auto-update of apps only on Wi-Fi can help you stay within the limit.

How to Control Data Usage on an Android Phone

Besides, remember that lite apps can save you from exhausting your data before the end date.

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