How to check how your data usage on Android

How to check data usage on Android

If you’re on a SIM Only deal, it’s important to keep track of data usage.

The wrong settings can impact on your data usage, such as not having your device’s WiFi set to automatically turn on when you’re at home.

Fortunately, the Android operating system makes it easy to monitor recent activity, and identify efficiency savings.

How to check your data usage

How to check how much data you’ve used on Android

  1. Firstly, unlock your device. If the Settings button isn’t on your home screen, scroll to the relevant page and click on it.
  2. The Settings menu should default to the Networks tab, but if it doesn’t, tap this option on the top menu bar.
  3. Mobile data will be one of the first options displayed. Click into it.
  4. Your data usage will be shown in megabytes (MB), above a graph that shows recent data usage.
  5. You can change the time period being displayed by clicking the small drop-down triangle to the right of the displayed date.

How to restrict your data usage on Android

If your data usage has become too high, or if you’re in danger of running out of credit, Android helps you to reduce data consumption.

On the Mobile Data screen are two slider buttons, marked as Mobile data and Limit mobile data usage. You have the option to turn either of these off.

Deactivating the former will prevent the phone distributing data across mobile networks, forcing it to rely on WiFi connections. Your phone will still be able to make and receive calls and text messages.

Turning off the second slider will restrict mobile data when a pre-set limit has been reached.

To adjust this limit, move the orange bar displayed on the graph to the point at which you want to restrict usage.

Tips and tricks for minimising data usage

Firstly, different mobile networks measure data usage slightly differently, so the figures displayed on your device aren’t always fully accurate.

Some applications use more data than others; Google Play is notorious for using bandwidth even when it’s running in the background.

Some apps may be consuming your data allowance by constantly requesting GPS data. Consider deleting or turning them off, and only give essential apps permission to request location data.

Although it drains the battery, it’s a good idea to leave WiFi turned on, so your phone automatically connects to known WiFi networks.

Because Android supports automatic app updates, these might take place when you’re not connected to a WiFi network.

You can prevent this by going into the Settings menu again, tapping the General menu button at the top:

  • Scroll to the bottom and click About Phone, then tap the Update Centre option
  • From here, go into the App Updates sub-menu
  • Tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen
  • Click on the Settings button that appears, and tap Auto-update apps
  • You can then choose between updating apps via WiFi only, doing so at any time, or not updating them at all
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