Control and Understand Data Usage on your Android Phone


Android is one of the biggest and most popular pieces of technology in the 21st century. Everyone uses it to do practically everything, especially web browsing. But do not you hate it when your wifi cuts out and your android automatically switches to your limited mobile data without you even knowing? Before you know it, you have burned through your entire monthly data plan in just about 15 minutes. It can be very frustrating. In this article, we are going to talk about Control and Understand Data Usage on your Android Phone. Let’s begin!

Thankfully, there are some options to make sure this does not happen. There is a feature in android called ‘Data usage’ which enables you to limit. And monitor your android’s data usage both in mobile data and WiFi. Let’s explore it further.

Basics of Data | Understand Data Usage

When you open an app, it checks its connection to the server. Your phone sends some data, the server receives it, and then you are in. You might casually scroll through your feed and find an interesting video. Let’s say you click on it and watch it. All of these actions consume data. Every time you refresh your feed, the app sends data to a server, requesting new video lists to display to your phone. Every time you stream a video, you send data to acquire video and audio bits so the video plays.

Counting Your Data | Understand Data Usage

As the famous business proverb goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Counting your data is the first step to android data mastery. Every time you send data from your phone to some random server out there, your trusty android counts every bit of it.

You can check how much data you are using by going to your settings > network & internet > mobile data/wifi > data usage.

On this screen, it tells you how much data you have used within a time period. Such as, in the image above, between  April and May, I consumed 13.83GB of data. As you can see, this was made up of several applications with each app showing its own data usage. Let’s take a closer look.

Within that time frame, the youtube app used 543MB of data, which consists of 538MB Foreground and 5.17MB Background.

The foreground is the amount of data used when you’re actively using the app on your screen, like scrolling feeds, commenting, or watching videos.
The background is the amount of data used when the app is running in the background, like receiving notifications, app checking the server for updates, or downloading texts to display.

Below that, the background data option lets you decide whether the said app can use data in the background or not. It is very useful to limit those pesky apps that always autorun and update behind the scenes. The unrestricted data usage option basically gives unlimited data access to the selected app. This is more useful for essential communication apps such as Whatsapp, Google services, etc.

Controlling Your Data | Understand Data Usage

Here comes the fun part. Android gives its user so much control over its data usage, be it mobile data or wifi. There are several things you can use to control the flow of your precious data.

Setting Data Usage Cycle | Understand Data Usage

You can also set the time frame of when you will count and control your data. Because most of the data plans are counted monthly. Android only gives one date to choose from to set the start of your data plan. To do this, simply head to settings > network & internet > mobile network/wifi > data usage and click that gear icon just beside the date that shows the time-frame.

Then you can choose the date. Once you reached the date, the data counting will reset to 0 and start again.

Setting Data Warning and Limit | Understand Data Usage

Still on the same window, if data warning is enabled. You will get a notification warning once your data usage reaches a certain amount.

Meanwhile the data limit feature sends you a notification and turns off data completely unless manually overridden until data reached a certain amount.

The notification from the data limit, mobile data or wifi is turned off unless you manually toggle it.

Turning on Data Saver | Understand Data Usage

Data saver forbids any app to use data while in the background to reduce overall data consumption. That means you won’t be notified when someone replies to your Instagram post or youtube comment unless you put it on the exception list. To enable it, head to settings > network & internet > data saver, turn it on.

If you turn data saver on, you should put any important communication apps on the exception list.

Third-Party | Understand Data Usage

Android enables app creators to help users to do practically anything because android is awesome, so why not use them? You can use a third-party app from google play to both control and monitor your data flow. For example, you could use MyDataManager from google play. Its almost the same as the default android data manager app, but they add more detail to the daily data usage. And you can add a small widget to your notification bar to remind you how much data you are already using.

Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you like this Understand Data Usage article and find it helpful. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How To Remove An Album In Photos App On Windows 10

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