How To Check Your Mobile Data Usage On iOS For Apple Phones

Mobile data usage

Controlling data usage on your iPhone device

Between June 2016 and June 2018, mobile data usage increased by 103.8 percent, outpacing broadband, which increased by 82.9 percent during the same period.

Mobile data growth in Australia from June 2016 to June 2018.

Volume of downloaded data in Australia on mobile using broadband. Source

Consequently, around 43% of mobile users in Australia exceed their monthly data limits, according to 2017 research from Deloitte Australia. Most of these are iPhone users who are charged a significant amount of money for extra bytes.

Do iPhones use more data?

According to an analysis of 1,000 users in the US and Europe, data usage can be divided into two categories:

  • Typical users, and
  • Heavy users.

Typical users don’t require a large internet data allowance, while heavy users require large data allowance.

Amongst those who fall into the top 10 percent of data usage, 89 percent are iPhone users. Also, in the top 30 percent less heavy users, iPhone users outnumbered the next common device by a factor of three to one. This is because iOS users spend nearly 2.5 times more than Android users.

Considering these facts, data usage should be a concern to iPhone users. Typical users should want to check their data to make sure their plan is not too much for their usage, while heavy users should do the same to make sure their plan is enough for their usage. Being an aware of your usage will help you select the best data plan for you.

How to check data usage on iPhone?

Follow these steps to check your mobile data usage on your iPhone:

  • Head to your iPhone settings and tap on ‘Mobile’.
  • Scroll down to ‘Current Period’ in the mobile data usage section. You will see the number of MBs (Megabytes) you have used.

How to check your mobile data usage on iPhones / Apple phone

  • Then scroll down further to see when the session started. You can use this information to manage your daily and monthly data usage.

Alternatively, you can use the self-service facilities offered by your telco. You can also use apps like ‘MyMobileData Manager’ to check your mobile data usage on the iPhone.

How to set a data limit on the iPhone

For those heavy users that often exceed their allotted data, setting a limit to the amount used can come in handy when trying to avoid excessive overage costs. There is no specific feature on the iPhone to set limits or customize your internet data limit. However, there is a feature that will turn off data automatically, or notify you, once you have used your allowed data.

There are ways to disable the changing of cellular data settings and stop the usage of certain apps.

  • Launch the Settings app > Go to General > Restrictions.
  • Tap on Enable Restrictions and enter a 4-digit password.
  • Scroll down and tap on Cellular Data Usage and tap on ‘Don’t Allow Changes’ to change the settings.

Restricting mobile data usage on iPhone

Cellular data restrictions on iPhone. Source

What apps use the most data?

The apps that consume the most data depends on the apps that you use the most on your iPhone. However, people typically report that apps including Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter and YouTube consume the most data because they use these apps daily.

It’s important to know which apps you use the most, as well as which consume the most data on your iPhone. Monitoring your usage of these apps can save you a ton.

Why do iPhones use so much data?

iPhone users are the heaviest data users because the average amount of time they spend using ‘add-on’ apps on iOS is longer than users on Android. iPhones come with a higher specification for media playback, which encourages increased internet data consumption for the best user experience.

Moreover, iPhone users consume more data than others because browsers on other operating systems have limited capabilities or are more efficient in presenting the information.

How to reduce data usage on iPhone?

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can reduce and control data consumption on your iPhone.

Disable background app refresh

iOS apps automatically update in the background, so they can show you the latest information.

To turn this setting off:

Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

Turn off Background App Refresh on iPhone

Disable Background App Refresh. Source

Disable Wi-Fi Assist

Wi-Fi Assist is a useful feature where your iPhone switches from a weak signal to your cellular network to allow you to browse the internet at a good speed.

To disable Wi-Fi Assist, head to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to the bottom to turn off Wi-Fi Assist.

Don’t stream music online

Streaming music or podcasts on your cellular network can add to your data usage. The best way to reduce your data usage in this scenario is to download playlists or podcasts before playing them, instead of streaming them over mobile data.

For instance, apps like Spotify and Apple Music let you download music and podcasts on your device.

Final words

Overall, the iPhone consumes more data because of the internet usage habits of iPhone users. It’s important to know whether you’re a typical user or a heavy user in order to determine just how much data you need. In order to do this, you should monitor your data usage to determine how much data you consume. Fortunately, there are many ways to control and restrict your data usage on your Apple iPhone.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.