Having a smartphone doesn’t automatically mean that you can use it to its fullest potential: these devices were made so that you need internet access to make use of their best features. Since WiFi access isn’t available everywhere, having a cellular data connection is strongly recommended. This has additional costs, so having full control over your data usage is really important. Fortunately this has been a built-in feature of Android for a very long time. Read our tutorial to learn how to control how much cellular data your smartphone or tablet is allowed use:
NOTE: For this tutorial we used a OnePlus One smartphone running CyanogenOS 13.1.1 based on Android 6.0.1. This version is very similar to the stock Android experience, so you should have no problem finding the settings mentioned here. If your device’s interface is heavily modified, please refer to the device’s user manual or the manufacturer’s support website for additional information.
How to access your data usage settings in Android
In Android you can set a usage limit that exactly matches the amount of data you have on your plan, so you don’t need to be worried about additional costs. To start, tap the All apps icon on the home screen.
Tap Settings to access the device’s configuration options.
Here, tap on Data usage to access the relevant settings. It’s found in the Wireless & networks section.
How to set cellular data limits in Android
In order to set a data usage limit, make sure that you select Cellular connections instead of Wi-Fi. Then, tap on Set cellular data limit to activate the feature.
Tap OK in the dialog box that is shown. Also, keep in mind that your carrier might measure a slightly different amount of data used, so consider setting a limit lower than what you actually have on your plan.
Now you have two sliders to set: the bottom one is for a warning - when you reach this amount of cellular data used, the device will issue a warning, but take no other action.
The upper slide is the actual limit - when reached, your smartphone will block cellular data usage. Simply tap and drag each slider vertically to adjust them to the desired values.
There, you’re done! In the example below we have configured our smartphone to warn us when we have used 1.5 GB of cellular data and disable cellular data usage upon consuming 2 gigabytes.
How to s et your cellular data billing cycle in Android
Just like minutes or text messages, cellular data is also billed on a monthly cycle, so when you reach a certain date of the month, your cellular data counter is reset. Staying on the same Data usage screen where you have configured your data usage limits, you can also set your monthly cycle. To do so, tap the date selector.
Now tap Change cycle…
Tap and scroll the date selector in the dialog box to choose the date on which your billing cycle is reset each month.
Finally, tap Set to confirm your selection.
That’s it: below you can see that we have changed the billing cycle on our smartphone so that it resets on the 16 th of each month.
Having internet access on a smartphone is a must: without that, it’s usability is highly limited, and not much content is accessible. Having cellular data on your monthly plan is also highly recommended, as it is quite fast and has a much better coverage than WiFi.
Controlling your monthly costs is essential, and fortunately Android has a built-in feature that lets you do that: you can set when does your monthly billing cycle reset and how much data is the smartphone allowed to use. But you can also set up a warning, so that you’ll get notified when your data plan is about to run dry. And it’s quite easy to set up… especially if you follow our tutorial. Before you close this tutorial, share with us whether you use cellular data. How much do you think is enough for a month? Let us know in the comments below.