Some carriers are more generous with data than others. Whether you are a prepaid or postpaid user, you will find that most unlimited plans have usage thresholds. If you’re not careful, you could see your service limited towards the end of the month, or even receive a hefty bill if you’re still on a plan with a fixed data cap. Android data monitoring feature can help you avoid slow speeds and big bills. With Android’s data modes, you set a data limit for your monthly cycle and turn on data saver mode to reduce background usage. Here’s everything you need to know about data usage and data saving modes on Android.

Check data usage on most Android devices

If you are using a Pixel phone or a standard Android device (Nokia, Motorola, etc.), follow the steps below and check the data usage.

  1. Swipe up from the home screen and open the app drawer menu. Find and open the Settings app (the one with a gear icon).
  2. Go to Network & Internet menu.
  3. Select SIM.
  4. Press on Use of app data in the next menu.
  5. You can check the set cycle, total data consumption during this period and data usage by installed apps.

Check Data Usage on Samsung Phones and Tablets

As expected, the steps for checking data usage differ on all Galaxy phones because Samsung uses a completely different Android skin (One UI).

  1. Swipe up from the home screen and open the app drawer. Open the Settings app.
  2. Press on Connections.
  3. Select Data usage.
  4. Press on Mobile data usage.
  5. You will see a familiar data usage graph with all relevant details such as billing cycle, data usage limit, data usage warning limit and consumption by apps installed on the phone .

You can check Wi-Fi data usage from the same Data usage menu.

How to Use Data Saver Mode on Most Android Phones

If you are running out of mobile data, you can enable data saver mode and reduce data usage by preventing apps from using data in the background.

  1. Open Network & Internet menu on your Android phone (refer to the steps above).
  2. Press on Data saver.
  3. Enable Use data saver to toggle.

You can also enable Data saver mode from the quick toggle menu. Swipe down from the top and open Notification Center. Swipe down again and open the quick toggle menu. Swipe left to check more options and tap Data saver.

Although data saver mode is useful for reducing cellular usage, you should not leave it on for essential apps like WhatsApp and Gmail.

  1. Press on Unlimited data from Data saver menu.
  2. Enable the toggle for relevant apps in the next menu.

These apps will continue to consume data in the background and function normally.

How to Use Data Saver on Samsung Phones and Tablets

Samsung not only offers data saver mode, but also offers ultra data saver feature to reduce data usage.

  1. Open Settings and go to Connections menu (check the steps above).
  2. Select Data usage.
  3. Press on Data saver.
  4. Enable data saver toggle and add exceptions to allow apps to use data when data saver is enabled.
  5. Go back to Data usage menu and scroll to Ultra-saving data fashion.
  6. Enable Ultra data saving mode and the system will start to compress received images, videos and data.

The feature will completely block background data for all apps and compress data using Samsung Max service. You can customize ultra data saving mode from the data compression menu and add up to six apps that can use mobile data while running in the background.

How to check your data usage from the Android home screen

Google and Samsung don’t offer a way to check data usage on the home screen. Thanks to a third-party app called My Data Manager, you can place a data usage widget on the home screen and keep tabs on your usage without navigating to the Settings menu.

Download the My Data Manager app on your phone using the link below and open the app to set data limits for cellular data and Wi-Fi. Place the app widget on the home screen and you are good to go.

Keep an eye on data usage

With millions of apps and games from the Google Play Store and dozens of streaming services at our fingertips, it’s quite easy to run out of cellular data on our phones. By following the steps above, you can control data usage and prevent apps from consuming data in the background.