How to Monitor Your Mobile Data Usage

Avoid overage fees on tiered or metered data plans

What to Know

  • Download and use an app such as My Data Manager (Android) or DataManPro or MobiStats (iPhone).
  • Use phone's built-in monitoring: Settings > Connections > Data Usage (Android) or Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Usage (iPhone).
  • Or, check your account on your plan provider's website.

This article describes how to monitor your data usage so that you don't exceed the data limit on your mobile data plan. This is especially important when you're traveling outside your wireless carrier's normal coverage area, because data usage caps might be lower.

Use a Mobile App

Download an app for your smartphone to track data usage and, in some cases, even turn off your data before you get to a pre-defined limit:

  • For Android, there's the popular My Data Manager app, which tracks data for everyone on a shared or family plan. It identifies which apps use the most data and has alerts to notify you before you run out of data.
  • For iPhone users, DataManPro tracks your data usage in real-time and posts a red percentage badge on the app icon so you can see where you stand at a glance. It works with all carriers, and the app maps where you used data. The app has an accompanying Apple Watch app.
  • Also for iPhone users, MobiStats is a free iPhone app that tracks your usage in real-time and maps where you use the data so you can monitor your behavior and not go over your monthly data limit.

Check Data Usage From an Android Device

To check your current month's usage on your Android phone, go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage. The screen shows your billing period and the amount of cellular data you've used so far. You can also set a mobile data limit on this screen.

Screenshot of Android Data Usage screen

Check Data Usage From an iPhone

The iPhone's Settings app contains a Cellular screen that gives an indication of usage. Tap Settings > Cellular and look under Cellular Data Usage for the current period's usage.

Screenshot of iOS Cellular Data screen

Dial In for Data Usage

Verizon and AT&T allow you to check your data usage in real-time by dialing a specific number from your handset:

  • On Verizon, dial #DATA (#3282) and receive a text message.
  • On AT&T, dial *DATA# (*3282#) to receive a text message with your next billing cycle date and remaining data.

Visit Mobile Provider's Website

You can find out how many minutes you're using by logging into your wireless provider's website and checking your account details. Many providers have the option to sign up for text alerts as you approach your data limit.

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