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How to control the use of mobile data on your Android

27 mayo, 2021

To enjoy all the experience that Android offers us, we have to have hired a data plan for our device. Most of the data plans that currently exist either limit the download speed once a limit is exceeded or they begin to charge us the excess. To avoid slowing us down or surprises in the bill, we have to use applications to control data consumption on Android.


From Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) It is no longer necessary to resort to third-party applications, the system already carries its own data manager so that we can consult and restrict the consumption of data that the applications are making.

Optimizing data consumption in Android 4.0

To control data consumption on Android we have to go Settings> Wireless & networks> Data usage. There we will see and control all the data consumption made by all Android applications on the mobile network. If we want to see the data consumption by WiFi we have to go to the menu and activate the option Show Wi-Fi usage.

To start using Data Usage we have to define our data usage cycle. There we have to put the date range of our billing with the operator so that it always starts counting from zero when we have finished the cycle. Once the graph is done, it will show our data consumption well.

Android data usage

The next thing we have to do is configure the warning that will appear in the notification bar when we have exceeded a certain amount of data. To do this we have to adjust the orange bar of the graph up to the desired amount of data. If we want the mobile to stop consuming data we have to activate the option limit mobile data and move the red bar to the amount of data that we want that once reached the data is deactivated in the whole terminal. We also have vertical white bars that we can move to see the data consumption in a certain period of time within the data usage cycle.

We also have the possibility of enable or disable mobile data whenever we want and if we go to the menu we find the options to activate or deactivate data roaming and restrict reference data of all applications. Disabling data roaming is used to not have Internet roaming when we are abroad, but that option sometimes has to be activated in Spain with some virtual mobile operators. If we restrict the reference or background data, it will make all applications stop consuming data in the background causing many to stop working correctly, since we would stop receiving notifications and lose synchronization.

Android data usage

Below the data usage graph we already see a list of applications that are consuming data on our Android device, ordered from highest to lowest according to their consumption. If we click on an application, we can see its data consumption with its own graphs. In the first graph we see your total data consumption in orange and in blue the total consumption of all applications and Android system. Below we find a pie chart showing the foreground and background data consumption.

If we see that an application makes excessive use of data in the background, we can restrict that consumption for that application by activating the box Restrict reference data or background. With this option, the application will stop consuming data when we are not making direct use of it, but as we have already seen, activating this option could stop the application from working properly.

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