Cellular data is a wonderful resource and empowers many apps on our iPhone to do amazing things for us. Apps will vary in the total cellular data usage as they do our bidding, but not all apps will play fair with our device data. In fact, a few apps will belly up to the data bar and gorge themselves on your expensive data plan. For these apps, it might be good to limit their data abuse to wifi only. Here’s how to tame cellular app data usage.
Tame Cellular App Data Usage On Your iPhone
Apple has provided a handy control system for managing app usage of cellular data, all you have to do is to use it. To start, go to your iPhone settings and select “Cellular”
Once there, scroll down to the “Cellular Data” section. Here is where you can tame cellular app data usage instead of leaving it resembling something like the wild west.
Scroll on down and you should see data-using apps listed. As you scroll, there should be a number associated with each app.
This is the number of cellular bytes each app has consumed in the reporting period. Now, don’t be alarmed if you see a huge number at first, because you may have a very large reporting period selected on your device.
We’ll talk more about that later, but for now, you can use the numbers as a guide to determine which apps are using the most cellular data.
Selective Cellular App Data Usage
Some apps use very little data and can be safely ignored. Other apps may use little cellular data simply because you tend not to use them while away from WIFI.
However, there will always be a few troublemakers in the crowd that will continue to use data in the background, and these are the ones we want to corral. Scroll down the list and watch for apps that you never use while you are on cellular data. You can restrict them to WIFI by simply toggling their switch (on the right) to off.
There could be a few apps that you haven’t used on Cellular data yet but may find yourself in need of doing so later. For these, remember to turn them back on if the need arises.
You can also use this list to temporarily grant access to otherwise misbehaving apps as the need arises. A few items, such as email and calendar, should probably be left on except in extreme situations.
Reset Your Reporting Period
If you want to get a more exact number of how much data certain apps use during a given period, you can reset your usage statistics.
Simply keep scrolling on the same settings page, and at the bottom, you will find a “Reset Statistics” option. Touching this will reset all of your usage statistics, which means your call time usage and cellular data counters will reset as well.
Resetting the statistics on occasion is a great way to monitor how much cellular data you are using over a given time frame, and now you can monitor app data usage as well.
It really is easy to tame cellular app data usage, thanks to the controls already in place. Once you are aware of these controls, you can select which apps get to dip from the cellular data bucket.
Just remember that you may have turned off an app that needs data on the go, so don’t hesitate to revisit the cellular settings if the need arises.
And while you are out and about with your iPhone, you might want to check out our handy iPhone do not disturb and driving features tutorial.
When he is not writing on his wife’s blog or has his head buried in software code, Greg Chaffins can be found celebrating nerdy things on his own website, NerdBeach.