Skip to content

How to know which applications consume the most data on Android

26 mayo, 2021

Unless you have an unlimited data rate or a huge amount of data on your plan, the extra data costs you money. And nobody likes to spend money foolishly. Here we will see how to see which apps consume the most data on your Android.

Well-developed apps adjust data usage when you’re off a Wi-Fi connection, but there’s a problem … not all applications are well designed. If your last bill came with an extra data charge that you don’t know where it came from, it’s time to check which apps are wasting your data.

Use of data

Android manufacturers like to rearrange Android settings, so the names and position of the menus might be slightly different on your mobile. Do not panic, the option is and has been there for many years. What is the same on all mobiles is the first step: go to the Settings Android, from the app drawer.

Data usage

This is where the paths start to diverge. On Android without modifications, you must enter Network and Internet, while other layers such as Samsung call this section Connections. Within Red and Internet you should go to Use of data (which luckily most layers keep the same name).

If your mobile does not have these optionsI recommend that you use the settings finder (the magnifying glass icon at the top of the settings). Search for “data” and it is very likely that you will find the data usage section, whatever the Android layer you are using calls it.

Tricks to save data on Android

Use of data includes information on the total data spent in a specific period, but not independent for each application. To see this information you need to enter Use of mobile data. If your mobile has two SIMs, you may have a section like this for each SIM.

You will get a list of the applications that have used the most data, although you may want to change the report time period. To do this, tap on the arrow next to the dates.


The list is ordered by higher to lower data usage, so that the application at the top is the one that has used the most data in that period of time. The total figure is also included, which includes foreground and background data. Tapping on an app displays more information about its data usage.

How to interpret this data


This is all very well, but what does it mean? First of all, an application’s data usage includes both downloading and uploading data. This is aligned with the normal way in which your Internet provider will count how much data you have used, which, by the way, does not have to exactly match what you see on your mobile.

It is also important to note that Android lose track of the data usage of apps you’ve uninstalled, which are all included in Deleted users and apps. If you tried two games and they used 50MB each before you uninstalled them, it will show as the removed apps have used up 100MB, without further details.

Finally, a section that could appear at the top of the list is the Access point. Here the data usage you have made when connecting to the access point created with your mobile is counted, and that can go up like foam if the device you have connected believes that it is an unlimited connection.

Usedatosz Using data from an app on Samsung (left) and pure Android (right)

By tapping on each application you can see some more information, such as the difference between the data in foreground and in background (or background, as Samsung calls it). Foreground data is what happens while you are actively using the app, while background data happens in the background without you necessarily using the app. For example, synchronization tasks.

What to do with data-intensive apps

If you have detected an application that is using a large amount of data, the easiest thing is uninstall it. Android allows you to block the use of data from the settings (you can see it in the previous screenshot, the option Automatic connections), but you can’t do anything with the foreground data. It is a permission that is granted automatically.

Reduc Spotify and Instagram, two apps in which you can reduce the use of data

If you need the app, it’s worth your research if the application includes a native data saving function in your options. More and more developers include an optional mode that reduces data usage in exchange for reducing the quality of audio, video, or images.