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How to Check Data Usage on Android

These days our smartphones are getting bigger and more HD, and so is the content we view on them. If you’re like millions of Americans worried about your data usage, here’s how to check how much data you’re using, how close you are to your limit, as well as how to set limit reminders.

The days of truly unlimited data plans are long gone, with a few still having grandfathered unlimited plans from some carriers. Most have switched to tiered data plans, and those offering “Unlimited Data” cap users speeds after a certain amount, usually around 2GB.

Read: How to Stop Facebook Auto Play Videos on Android

With Android there are a few different ways to get to the data usage settings menu, and with Android 5.0 Lollipop Google’s even introduced a new shortcut right in the notification pulldown bar. Below we’ll go over both of those and everything above, letting users be in control of their data usage, and monitor it as they go.

Android-data-usage

While carriers claim the data usage meter on our Android smartphones may slightly differ from actual usage from the carrier, the numbers are usually fairly accurate and safe enough to use in order to ensure you don’t go over your limit. Thankfully with Android checking your data usage is extremely easy, so here’s how to do it.

Instructions

The easiest way is to simply pull down the notification bar slider from the top of the screen and tap the gear-shaped settings icon. This is in the top right on almost all Android devices, and will take you into device settings. From here, the top of the list has a few options and usually right at the top with WiFi and Bluetooth, is Data usage. This may be in the “connections” column on some Samsung devices.

Tap the data usage option in settings and you’re done. This is the area with a graph showing you your data usage, how much you’ve used since your last cycle (which can be set monthly) and it even breaks it down by app below the graph. It’s very convenient, and will also help you figure out which part of your usage habits is draining the most data if you’re experiencing overages and getting additional fee’s from your carrier.

android-data

From here all you need to do is set the dates, if it hasn’t done so for you already, and you’re all set. From here you can also slide the data usage limit reminder bar to whatever tier you’re carrier offers, or to fir your plan. If you have a 2GB plan, it’s a good idea to set this at 1.75GB or even less to get notified well ahead of any limits being reached. To prevent overages and additional fees. The graph can be seen below, just adjust the sliders.

android-data1

With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google made this even easier. Swipe down with two fingers (or twice with one finger to access to quick settings) where you’ll see WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, the flashlight and other quick-toggle settings, and tap the icon that shows your connection service. This is the icon that show how many bars of service your device has, and will probably say AT&T or 4G LTE. One tap on this instantly gets you a quick-view of your data usage, as well as an additional button to tap more settings and instantly head right into your data usage settings menu.

As you can see above this is another extremely easy way to view, track, and set limits of your data usage. It’s a nice addition to Android 5.0 Lollipop, and one that many don’t know about. Long pressing any of the other icons will open to their specific settings menu as well, so give it a try.

That’s it, it is that easy to see your data usage on Android smartphones or tablets. Simple head into settings and it’s one of your first choices. This is a good way to track things, manage data, and see what apps use the most if you’re trying to cut back on your data usage.

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6 Comments

  1. J Mac

    06/24/2015 at 3:47 pm

    For me this isn’t a particularly helpful tool since the date range (Jan 13 – Feb 12 in the screen shot above) isn’t editable. On my phone the date range is May 29 – Jun 29, with the option to open the dropdown list to select previous months (also ending on the 29th). The problem is that my billing cycle ends on the 11th. Has anyone figured out how to edit the date range in that dropdown list?

    Reply

  2. Graham Johnson

    06/25/2015 at 5:41 am

    J Mac, just click on the date range shown & it should give you the option to change cycle

    Reply

    • J Mac

      06/25/2015 at 7:36 am

      Thanks Graham,

      I can click on the date range and a drop-down list appears showing each previous monthly period, also ending on the 29th. So I can change the cycle to Apr 29-May 29 or Mar 29-Apr 29 or Feb 28-Mar 29, etc. But what I need to do is change the date range to Jun 11-Jul 11. Is there a way I’m not seeing of actually editing the date range values, as opposed to just selecting one of the (useless) ranges the dropdown list is giving me as options?

      Reply

  3. Naoe Tsukasa (Naoki)

    11/21/2015 at 8:10 pm

    I recently got a Dual SIM Moto G3. I don’t know if this is because my SIM card hasn’t been set up, but when I tap on the signal bars it takes me directly to the settings page rather than showing me the quick-view of my data usage. What’s the problem here? That quick-view has a cellular data switch, but now I have to go through pages to switch on and off my cellular data. This seems to be a very particular situation since I haven’t found anything about it anywhere on the net.

    Reply

  4. Webik

    03/25/2016 at 2:47 pm

    This application help you monitor data usage much better:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msd.counterdata

    Reply

  5. Brandi

    06/16/2016 at 12:58 pm

    I got my data saying 482 MB how much more do I have before I reach 5.0 I am confused with this

    Reply

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