Data usage refers to the amount of data uploaded or downloaded by your device during a given period. Depending on the device and your wireless plan, you may be charged additional fees when your data usage exceeds your plan's limit.
To monitor your data usage, adjust your data usage settings. First check your plan and determine what data limits may apply.
Data usage settings allow you to:
- Set the data usage level at which you'll receive a warning.
- Set a data usage limit.
- View or restrict data usage by app.
To adjust the settings described here:
By default, you see the settings for mobile data: that is, the data network or networks provided by your carrier:
- Touch the Settings icon on a Home or All Apps screen.
- Touch Wireless & networks > Data usage.
It's possible to show Wi-Fi data usage settings in a separate tab. To do so, touch the Menu icon, then Show Wi-Fi usage.
Near the top of the screen, note the on-off switch for mobile data. The instructions that follow assume that this switch is turned on. If it's off, you won't be able to use mobile data at all and many features of your phone and apps won't work correctly.
Just below the on-off switch, note the data usage cycle. Touch it to choose a different cycle. This date range is the period of time for which the graph displays data usage.
The vertical white lines on the graph show a period of time within the data usage cycle. This range determines the usage amount displayed just below the graph. Drag lines to change the period.
Set data usage warning
- Drag the orange line by its right side to the level where you want to receive a warning.
When your data usage reaches this level, you'll receive a notification.
Set data usage limit
- Check Set mobile data limit.
A dialog appears that describes the limit you're setting.
- Read the message. If you're willing to proceed, click OK.
The red line at the top of the graph activates, so you can drag it up or down.
- Drag the red line by its right side to the limit you want to set.
When your data usage reaches the limit, mobile data will be turned off automatically and many features of your phone won't work correctly. You'll receive a notification when this occurs.Important: The usage displayed on the data usage settings screen is measured by your phone. Your carrier's data usage accounting may differ. Usage in excess of your carrier plan's data limits can result in steep overage charges. The feature described here can help you track your usage, but is not guaranteed to prevent additional charges. For best results, set a conservative limit.
View or restrict data usage by app
Some apps transfer data in the background—that is, when you're not actually using the app, it may download data for future reference. Restricting background data usage for individual apps can sometimes be a useful way to reduce your overall data usage. However, this is a drastic measure that may also affect the app's performance or cause it to malfunction. Check whether data usage can be restricted from the app's own settings (available from within the app) before restricting it here.
- Make sure you're viewing the network for which you want to view or restrict app data usage. If more than one is displayed, you can switch between them by touching tabs at the top of the screen.
- Scroll down to find the app whose data usage you want to view.
The blue bar for each app indicates its total data usage for the cycle displayed above the main graph, near the top of the screen.
- To see more details for an app, touch its name.
The main graph switches to show just this app's data usage for the specified cycle. Below the main graph, a pie chart breaks out foreground versus background data usage for this app.
- To stop background data usage for this app, check Restrict background data.
- Read the message that appears. If you're willing to proceed, click OK.
Advanced data usage settings
Two other settings available from the Menu iconcan have dramatic effects—but may sometimes be useful:
- Data roaming can result in steep additional charges. However, in some locations this may be the only way to connect to the Internet.
- Restrict background data affects all your apps across all available networks, and may cause some features to stop working. This is an extreme step that should be used with caution.