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Control which Android apps use background mobile data

Restrict background data in specific Android apps

There are many Android apps that, without your knowledge, will go ahead and connect to your cellular network even when the app is closed. This “background data” can be used even when your device is in standby mode (with the screen turned off), as these apps are constantly checking their servers through the Internet for all sorts of updates and notifications.

Fortunately, it’s very simple to restrict background mobile data for individual apps on your Android phone.

The Data usage section in Android Settings lets you view the amount of data used by each specific app. If you notice an app using more background mobile data than you’d like it to (Snapchat comes to mind), you can restrict it from accessing the Internet till you’re back in a Wi-Fi covered area. If you’re looking to conserve your bandwidth and lower that monthly phone bill, this feature is definitely worth checking out.

Have an iPhone? Here’s how to control which apps use your cellular data.

Restricting background data


Step 1

Open Settings and tap Data usage.

restrict background data

Step 2

Scroll down to view a list of your Android apps sorted by data usage (or tap Cellular Data usage to view them). Tap an app to check out detailed usage statistics. This is where you can restrict background data for individual apps.

restrict background data

Step 3

Tap the app(s) you don’t want to connect to mobile data and select Restrict app background data.

Restrict background mobile data


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Android or iOS?

For more info, check out Google’s Optimize data usage help article.

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