Control Cellular Data Usage on iPhone

Many cell phone providers won’t offer you the choice of unlimited data for an iPhone anymore. Instead, you must choose a plan that gives you a cap on how much cellular data you have to use in a billing period. If you exceed that cap, the charges can mount up very easily.

If your iPhone is connected to your Wi-Fi or any Wi-Fi point that you are near to, if an app requires data, it will use Wi-Fi first. So that usage doesn’t get added to your monthly limit. However, if you use data when you are not on Wi-Fi, it will count. On your iPhone, you can easily see which apps will use cellular data and which ones will not. To do that:

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings
  2. Tap on Cellular 

You will now see a list of the apps on your iPhone and how much cellular data each of them have used. Check this on a regular basis to see which apps use the most amount of data.

Stopping an app from using cellular data is quite easy. Beside each app in the apps list is a slider – simply set this to OFF. The app can still use data when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, but it cannot use any cellular data.

Look at the bottom of this apps list and you will see System Services. Click on this and you will see the amount of cellular data that system services use. Those services include:

  • Messaging Services
  • Push Notifications
  • iTunes Account
  • Documents and Sync
  • Siri
  • Software Updates
  • Voicemail
  • Find My iPhone
  • Diagnostics
  • Apple ID Services

Tracking Cellular Data :

One way to ensure that you don’t go over your monthly cellular data limit is to track it. To do this, you will need to reset your usage information at the start of each billing period. To do this:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on Cellular 
  3. At the bottom of the list of apps, you will see Reset Statistics
  4. Tap this button on the first day of your new monthly billing period

You will need to remember to do this for every billing period and, while this can be a bit of a pain, especially remembering to do it, you can make it easier by setting yourself a reminder when its time.

The easiest way is to disable all apps from using cellular data and use Wi-Fi where possible, retaining your cellular data for emergencies or times when you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network.

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