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How to: Set Data Limits on Android [Beginners’ Guide]

With the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, Google has enabled Android devices to notify their owners that the device has reached a set data limit. You as the owner can set this limit anywhere from 0.0MB all the way to whatever your plan is set at. If you’re unlimited, then this feature is probably something you won’t be using anytime soon. 

Below we have written out the directions for setting a data limit. These limits can be used as just a warning or as a way for the device to automatically restrict data usage to make sure you don’t go over your carrier’s plan. Additionally, users can set time cycles for the data count to reset, which should usually be set on your billing cycle. If you’re a heavy user, then this feature could save you later down the road.


1.  Open the Settings menu.
2.  Under “Wireless & Networks” select “Data usage.”

If you would like to enable a data limit, check the box for “Set mobile data limit.” Once the limit is reached, the device will disable your mobile connection.

3.  Under “Data usage cycle” set the time of your billing cycle. (Example: Sep 1 – Oct 1)
4.  Using the horizontal orange line, set the limit at which you want the device to disable data.
5.  Using the two vertical white lines, set the range of time you would like calculated.
6.  Once your mobile data reaches this number, it will notify you in the notification area and disable data.

Hopefully this can save some of you data hogs from going over your limits. Happy streaming!

*The rest of the Android Beginners’ Guide is a one-stop shop for all of those new to Android.

  • JolleyMan

    I have recently noticed this turning on by itself or at least inadvertently. It seems to be that whenever I have my Droid RAZR Smart Actions toggle Background Data off (due to low battery) it somehow also re-enables the data limit. I do not need a data limit. Anyone else seeing this?

  • i am on track to hit 12 gigs this month. 6 gigs so far

  • MkVsTheWorld

    I wish there was a feature to turn off data automatically on a daily basis as opposed to a monthly basis.

    • LionStone

      I just use a Mobile data widget…there probably is an app that will turn it on/off automatically though.

      • michael arazan

        I noticed when you activate the data limit feature, on my nexus, it will kill those apps that turn themselves back on even after you force stop them, like some verizon bloatware does, as long as you checked them to turn off in the list.

  • sparticus

    Does it know the difference between mobile data and wifi?

  • Which Toggle App are you using?

    • giri0n

      I was just going to comment on this…pretty sure its the alternate AOKP toggles. My wife has almost those exact same settings on her GNex.

      • I use Power Toggles (Free). Holo Style. The only problem is it shows a notification icon when pinned to top (Most of the toggle apps show icon, Google API doesn’t support it yet). Google should make Toggles a part of Android like Samsung did with TouchWiz.

        • giri0n

          I use Power Toggles too…and I really like it. The persistent notification doesn’t bug me too much, I have a few of those so as long as its not running across the length of the bar, I’m good. 🙂

  • i’ve tried it but what my phone says is wildly different from what verizon says i use

    • Matthew Merrick

      because for some reason it doesn’t seem to differentiate between wifi data usage and cellular data usage.

  • paul_cus

    I never looked at it until now. Seems pretty useful if you’re worried about going over. And much nicer than the options the carrier’s provide. Not sure how much I trust the calculations made by Big Red and Old Blue.

  • T4rd

    I don’t plan on ever using this feature =p.

  • I use it but, just so that I can respond to Droid-Lifes data usage polls without having to Us MyVerizon.