You Asked, We Answered: When Am I Using Cellular Data?

It can be confusing to know which features on your phone might be using data. One thing you can be sure of, the list will always include using email, social media, third party apps or GPS, browsing and downloading from the Internet, or streaming music or video.

As a reminder, I always encourage you to connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible. A Wi-Fi connection lets you connect to the Internet without using any cellular data at all. While connected to Wi-Fi, you can also download videos, TV shows, or movies to your phone or SD card to watch anytime at your convenience, with no data required.

You can easily check which specific apps or features are using your data, and how much, by going to the Settings menu on your smartphone and following the steps shown below.

For iPhone:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Cellular.
  • Then, scroll to the section which shows a list of your apps. Your data usage will be marked next to each app name.

On Android phones:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Connections.
  • Then, tap Data Usage.
  • Finally, tap Mobile Data Usage. Scroll down to see a list of your apps. The amount of data each has used will be displayed next to them.

Once you’ve determined which apps are your biggest data consumers, you have several options to control them. First, simply delete any apps you haven’t use for a while, or ones that are duplicating tasks performed by others. You can also turn data access off completely for specific apps. For iPhone users, tap the slider next to the app you want to turn off; on Android phones, turn on the “Data Saver” setting.

Another option is to turn off “background data,” the process by which your apps are updating or performing other maintenance tasks when you’re not directly using them. To do this, follow the same steps listed above for checking your data usage. Then, for all the third-party apps you’ve installed, toggle to allow or restrict background data usage for ones you don’t use often.

Once you’ve grown familiar with identifying what’s using the most data, and by being diligent about connecting to Wi-Fi, you can surf, search, and stream with total confidence. You may even discover that you can save money by switching to a smaller data plan. Remember, with Consumer Cellular, there’s never a fee to change your plan! Add that to the data tips above, and you’ll always have exactly what you need.

12 Thoughts on "You Asked, We Answered: When Am I Using Cellular Data?"

  1. Fred calleon says

    I am still trying to learn about my data usage.

    reply to Fred

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Fred. We’re always here to help if you have any questions as you get to know your device. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 at your convenience. We hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  2. Larry says

    Awesome info clearly presented!!

    reply to Larry

  3. Marilyn W says

    Does sending texts to a group (of 3 or 4) use data? It was previously, but doesn’t seem to be now.

    reply to Marilyn

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Marilyn. When sending SMS messages, you won’t be using data from your plan as long as you are using the messaging feature on your phone. If you’ve downloaded a different app to send messages, the app may use data. We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  4. David Whitaker says

    1) How do I know which is a 3rd party app?
    2) How do I know which app using data does?

    reply to David

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Those are great questions, David! A third party app would be an option that you downloaded from the Play Store, and would not be one that came pre-installed on your phone. If you’ve reviewed the list of apps on your phone and you see one that is using more data than expected, we recommend looking for that app on your phone to see what it is, and disable it if you don’t plan to use it. We’re always happy to help you with any questions, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Barbara Kintop says

    Why isn’t MyConsumerCellular app pre-installed on phones ordered and paid for on your website? By definition, the CC app is a third party app and can use a lot of my data allowance.

    reply to Barbara

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Barbara. The My CC app comes installed on most devices we offer. If you don’t see it on your device, you can download it from the Google Play Store free of charge. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any other questions. We’ll be happy to answer them! We hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Denise says

    I have a Alcatel flip phone can I get on the web

    reply to Denise

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Denise. That device is not designed to access the internet. If you’re looking for a phone that has that capability, we’re happy to tell you more about our smartphones at 888-345-5509. Thank you again for reaching out to us, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

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