How To Check Mobile Data Usage On iOS For Apple Phones

mobile data

Apple iPhone owners use the most data

Reports say iPhone users are the heaviest data users largely because of the experience offered by the iPhone. The average amount of time per day that consumers spend on their iPhone is longer than on other operating systems, so it makes sense that their data usage would be higher.

Owners of iPhone devices are hungrier for data than those that use Android, BlackBerry, and Windows devices, and account for nearly 80% of the top 10% of heaviest cellular data users.

iPhones also have a higher specification for media playback as compared to other operating systems. This is the primary reason why iPhone users need much more data than those who own Android devices and other phones. That makes it even more important that iPhone users stay in control of how much data they use.

How to check data usage on the iPhone

In light of the increased usage, iPhone users need to pay particular attention to how fast they are using data, in order to stay within their allotted amount and avoid paying excess usage charges.

To find out how much data you use in a given month on your iPhone, there are a few ways to check.

First, got to the iPhone Setting app. Then, click on “Cellular” and then scroll down until you reach “Cellular Data Usage.” You will notice your data usage for receiving and sending data over the cellular network for the existing period of time. You can also see call time in the section above it.

To make sure that you are receiving accurate results, however, check that the period of time recorded by your iPhone covers the same period billed by your phone provider. If your phone provider bills per calendar month but your iPhone is tracking exactly every 30 days, the results may be different.

Checking data usage on iPhone

How to check data usage on iPhone. Source

How to Set a Limit on the iPhone

Follow these steps to limit cellular data usage on your iPhone:

  • Launch the Setting app on your iPhone.
  • Now, tap General on the screen.
  • Tap on Restrictions.

How to limit data usage on the iPhone

Restrict data usage on iPhone. Source

  • Now, click on Enable Restrictions at the top.
  • Enter the 4-digit password and don’t share it with anyone else.
  • Type the same password again to confirm it.
  • Scroll down to the bottom. Change the settings for the following categories: Cellular Data Usage and Background App Refresh
  • Tap on Don’t Allow Changes for each of these categories.

Don’t allow changes in settings on iPhone

Don’t allow changes on iPhone. Source

You can reset these changes any time you want.

What apps use the most data?

To avoid exceeding your data limit, another way is to limit data-hungry apps that consume large amounts of data in the first place.

The top apps that use the most of your cellular data include Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. If you use all or any of these mobile apps daily, it might help to check the settings on your iPhone to see how much data is being used by these apps in particular.

On your iPhone, you can check how much each app uses by going to Settings > Cellular. Each app shows how much data it has used. Scroll down to see when that particular app started counting your cellular data usage, which will normally start counting from when you first activated your smartphone or installed that app.

Most downloaded apps on the iPhone in March 2019

Most downloaded iPhone apps 2019. Source

At the bottom, tap the Reset Statistics to start new data usage count. It is often helpful if you do this at the beginning of the month or your phone billing cycle to get an accurate picture of how much each app has contributed to your data usage.

How to Reduce Data Usage on the iPhone

Fortunately, there are several ways to reconfigure your social media apps to reduce the amount of data they consume. The auto play function for videos on platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be turned off. In the settings, choose to stop preloading videos and images on Instagram. Enabling travel mode on Snapchat can help you save data. Change to “Wi-Fi Only” in the settings to avoid YouTube from consuming too much of your cellular data. Set the video quality as low as possible on Netflix, and make albums available offline on Spotify.

Next, you might want to disable Wi-Fi Assist to avoid your device consuming your cellular data in case of a weak Wi-Fi connection. Make sure you monitor and disable all data-hungry apps and disable background app refresh. There is an option in Apple devices to stream high-quality music regardless of whether you are using cellular data or Wi-Fi.

If you are using iCloud to transfer your files back and forth between different devices, it can lead to high data charges. If you work on a Pages document during your Uber ride, it means you’re using your cellular data. All those changes are being saved in the cloud and using data during the entire update process. So turn off cellular data usage for iCloud.

Minimizing Data Usage

Part of the appeal of a mobile device is the ability to use it whether you are near a Wi-Fi signal or not. However, there are simple steps you can take to make sure that you get the most from the data included in your plan.  Avoid paying excess usage charges and take control of your data by being aware of how much you use, by utilizing Wi-Fi as much as possible, and by only allowing apps to use data when you decide.

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.