How To Limit Data Consumption on iPhone

November 2016

Cellular data lets you use the internet on your smartphone wirelessly without a WiFi connection. And while smartphones are great at doing a lot of things, keeping data usage low isn't one of them. With iPhones being particularly bad offenders when it comes to this, you may be searching for a solution to limit your data consumption.

This tutorial will show you a few tips and tricks to help you stay under your monthly allowance.


Decrease Data Usage on iPhone

The best way to start is by first taking a look at how much data you are currently using. To do this, go to Settings > Cellular.

In this menu, you can not only see your total data usage, but you can also see a breakdown of which apps use your data and how much of it each one eats up. To stop an app from using your cellular data, move the slider next to it into the OFF position (so that it turns from green to white):


In addition the apps listed, you can remove iCloud Drive's access to your data by going to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Once there, perform the above step on the slider next to Use Cellular Data.

Turn Off Push Notifications

You can also try turning off Push Notifications, which some apps send you to notify you of new messages or updates.

To do this, simply go to Settings > Notifications. You will need to manually turn off notifications for each app by tapping on its name and moving the slider next to Allow Notifications into the OFF position:


Doing so will remove your ability to select any notification settings at all.

Disable Background App Refresh

Apps that automatically update when you are not using them may be secretly running up your data usage. To prevent them from doing this, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

Here, you can either choose to manually select the apps that you'd like to stop from refreshing on their own or to just disable the feature completely:


Disable Cellular Data for Automatic Downloads

Automatic downloads are another data-hogging culprit. To stop them from relying on your data plan, head to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Swipe the slider next to Use Cellular Data into the OFF position:


Turn Off Data Roaming

Data roaming happens when you exit the area covered by a plan (e.g. in the middle of an airplane ride) and is usually very costly — in dollars and in data.


To stop your phone from ever roaming, go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options. Once there, move the slider next to Data Roaming into the OFF position:


Turn Off Cellular Data

If none of the above options worked and you just want to shut off your cellular data completely, go to Settings > Cellular, and move the slider next to Cellular Data into the OFF position:


When your data is turned off, you may still browse the internet and check your email via WiFi. However, you will not be able to use a personal hotspot, and sending and receiving MMS messages will be disabled until your data is reenabled.

Image: © Pranch - Shutterstock.com

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