How To Effectively Manage Your Android Smartphone Data Usage

Mobile data is an integral part of our everyday lives with everyone always connected to the internet via their smartphones. Emails, browsing the web, YouTube, you name it. We are not limited to browsing from our desktops or by unavailability of WiFi networks. If you have a mobile data plan, you can access it all with just a few smartphone strokes.

However, let’s not get too carried away since data can be expensive and overages even more expensive. Due to the potential for this wonderful thing to potentially do some serious damage to your pocket I think its necessary that effective management of your android smartphone data usage be considered.

You will be thrilled to know that Android comes stock with Data Usage software which will help you to manage your data. Below we will go through how it works.

How It Works

Before we venture any further please note that I am using an LG Nexus 5 running Android Marshmallow. The experience should be similar on most devices but it may differ slightly.

In order to access the data usage settings, go ahead and open the Settings app on your phone. Under Wireless & Networks, select Data Usage.


One of the first things you will notice is the Cellular data toggle. If you find that your data use is getting dangerously close to the limit, the best thing to do may be to set this toggle to the off position in order to prevent further data usage and possible overage charges.


You can also set a cellular data limit.

Set cellular data limit

You can set a usage warning in addition. This way you will know when you are close to approaching your data limit. When your specified data limit is reached, your data usage will be disabled.

The amount of data you have used so far during your current billing cycle is also displayed.


In order to set the limit as well as the warning, you can slide the toggles or tap the number corresponding to each slider in order to dial in your desired value.


You also have the ability to view the amount of data you have used so far over your set billing cycle.


If you wish to, you can even change the current billing cycle over which your data usage is monitored.

change-cycle  Screenshot_20160426-094914

The data usage for the various apps using data on your device is displayed at the bottom of the screen.


Selecting the menu button reveals additional settings which allow for further data management.


If you select Restrict background data, this will prevent apps from using data in the background. Any apps which usually use background data such as email apps and Whatsapp will only use data when opened.


Selecting Show Wifi displays another tab which displays data usage over WiFi networks if you wish to monitor this as well.


Network restrictions allows for limits to be set on specified WiFi networks.

Cellular networks allows the user to adjust some general settings related to their cellular network such as the ability to disable data usage when roaming which could obviously result in severe expenses.



Data is very important but it can get expensive and should be managed. Hopefully this article will assist you in this endeavor.

Posted by William Elcock on August 10, 2016

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