How to Check and Restrict Data Usage for Installed Apps on Your Phone?

Haseeb Awan
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May 24, 2022
Modified On
April 15, 2023


Americans spend an average screen time of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily.

5.4 hours make up a significant portion of your day. If you are addicted to your phone, use it for various purposes throughout the day, such as reading the news, listening to music, watching movies, playing games, chatting and calling, etc. It means you are also spending a lot on the mobile data plan.

Today, a variety of mobile apps are available with a wide range of functions. Social media apps, gaming apps, photo and video editors, educational apps, corporate apps, music players, and others are among the app categories available.

However, using these apps requires Internet connectivity most of the time. If you have many of these applications on your phone, the cost of data can swiftly pile up as the mobile app consumes your internet access.

Therefore, auditing your apps is essential to ensure they are not exhausting your data plan and using more data as they should. Restricting data consumption for specific apps is among the most effective methods to fix this problem. In this article, I have discussed how to prevent any app from utilizing mobile data on Android and iPhone.

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How to Check and Restrict Data Usage for Installed Apps on Android?

Androids are often bashed for their lousy app controls and data permissions. So, if you are an Android user worried about the same thing and looking for ways to reduce Internet data consumption. Here are the steps to check and restrict background data on your Android:

Open the phone menu on your Android phone. Now, Scroll down to Settings and open it. Next, go to the Network & Internet, followed by Data Usage. Alternatively, go to Settings, SIM card, and mobile network, followed by Data Settings & Data Usage.

Once you have landed on the Data Usage page, you will see the data used at the top. You can further see the data each app on your phone consumes and restrict the background data usage by toggling it off. Apps that use the most data are Facebook, YouTube, Chrome browser, and some gaming apps.

On phones with Android 10 and above, follow the same steps and land on Data Setting and Data Usage page, then tap on Data Server, followed by Unrestricted Data. Here you will see a list of all apps on your phone. Now, toggle on the bar next to the apps to restrict data.

How to Turn Off Cellular Data on Android for Specific Apps

Switching off mobile data for specific apps that consume a lot of data on your smartphone is another efficient way of preventing any application from using cellular data on Android. The options for accomplishing this goal differ from one Android brand to another and from one Android version to the next. Some devices will not even let you do this. 

Follow these steps to switch off cellular data for specific apps if your device enables it. Open the Settings on your phone, tap Wireless and Networks, then Data usage, Network access, and then through the list of mobile applications. Now, clear the checkbox for apps to disallow using mobile data.

In this way, you can minimize and control your mobile data usage. Eventually, reducing the data subscription costs.

How to Check Which App is Using Data in the Background?

Are you running out of mobile data sooner than you should? Here is how to create a data plan to avoid exhausting cellular data.

Open the Settings app and tap on SIM card and Mobile Network, followed by Data Settings & Data usage. You are now in the Data Monitor section; tap Set Data Plan, fill in the details of weekly or monthly data usage on the right, and tap DONE.

It will help you monitor data usage and prevent unnecessary data consumption and high cost.

Read About Controlling Android App Permissions.

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How to Check and Restrict Data Usage for Installed Apps on iPhone?

Mobile data on your iPhone or iPad allows you to surf the web without a Wifi network. Even though most phone carriers provide unlimited data plans, most users opt for limited data plans.

Fortunately, most iOS versions have excellent tools to track and limit data usage. Here is how you can check and minimize data consumption on your iPhone.

How to Check App Data Usage on iPhone?

First, you need to figure out how much data you are using. If you have a monthly data cap, reset monthly data usage statistics to view your monthly data use. Go to Settings, followed by Cellular, and then scroll to the bottom of the page. Here you will see the data consumption stats for all your apps and reset Statistics.

How to Control Data Usage for Apps Installed on iPhone?

To control the data consumption of each app, go to Settings, followed by Cellular, and then view mobile data usage for each of your apps. Now,  turn on or off the mobile data to control the apps and their data consumption.

To limit mobile data usage for Safari reading list, automatic updates, files apps, and iBooks, go to settings and tap on each category, and toggle off the cellular data.

Last, to completely turn off the mobile data usage, tap on Settings, then Cellular, and turn off cellular data.

How to Disable Background App Refresh on iPhone?

Go to Settings and tap on General, followed by Background App Refresh. Now, toggle on and off the background app refresh for all or some of the installed apps.


You can still spend quality time on your phone learning and playing without exhausting your data plan by following the tips I have shared above. Having said that, if you are looking for a secure mobile plan, subscribe to the Efani SAFE plan and get security and entertainment together.

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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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