How to Monitor Cellular Data Use for Apps

Q. Are there any programs that track phone cellular data usage by individual app?

A. Third-party apps often use easy-to-read graphics to break down your phone’s cellular data consumption so you can see just which programs are burning through your bytes. Data Usage for Android and iOS as well as My Data Manager (also for Android and iOS) are among the options, and your wireless carrier may have its own data-tracking app. However, depending on your device, you may not need extra software.

In iOS 11, open the Settings icon on the home screen and tap Cellular. Scroll down to the Cellular Data section to see the total amount of data used in the current period noted above a list of apps. (The “current period” is measured between the times you hit the Reset Statistics button at the bottom of the screen — which can be at the beginning of your billing period or whenever you feel like it.)

In the list, you can see the amount of data each app has used. If you want to stop an app from pulling down data over the cellular connection, tap the button on the right side of the screen to restrict its network activity to a Wi-Fi connection.

The steps for checking your data usage in Android varies based on the operating system and device maker. In several versions, start by opening the Settings app, choosing Network & Internet, then tapping Data Usage and Mobile Data Usage. To see how much an app is eating, tap its name in the list to see its total use, its foreground use and its background use. Android 7.0 and later has a Data Saver mode that can help save megabytes on a limited plan.