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How to: Disable Mobile Data Usage [Beginners’ Guide]

mobile data android

If you didn’t have a chance to lock into unlimited data back before most carriers killed it off, then you are likely on a tiered data plan that forces you to constantly monitor your usage. With limits as low as 1GB on some carriers, there may be times when you reach your limit and need to toggle data off to save yourself from overages and penalty fees. Thankfully, the Android operating system has made this easier than ever to do with just a few quick steps. Even better, though, they allow you to set data limits, so that your phone will warn you as you approach your monthly data allotment. 

Instructions (Turning Off Data):

1.  To turn off mobile data, pull down your notification bar and open up Settings.
2.  On many phones, your third option from the top is “Data Usage.”
3.  Tap on that.
4.  From this screen, you can monitor the amount of data usage you have used over the month.
5.  If you would like to turn off mobile data, simply flip the switch at the top to “Off.”

Instructions (Setting Data Limits):

1.  Setting a data limit should be done by anyone with a tiered data plan.
2.  From that same settings screen, you can drag the orange warning bar to a limit of your choosing.
3.  Your phone will warn you as you approach, with a notification shortcut to this screen.
4.  Be sure to set you Data Usage Cycle to match-up to your carrier’s billing cycle.

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  • Jag28co

    I’ve received two calls from verizon in the last week asking me if I wanted a “detailed analisys on my account” basically they want me to switch to a tier planned. I guess they are trying to get everyone on it.

    • They did this to me last week and at first I was scared when they asked to speak to the account manager (I thought they caught onto the tethering without a hotspot plan something) until I realized it was just them trying to sell a product!

  • Raven

    Anyone ever have the problem of their “Mobile data” being turned off for no apparent reason? I have made sure the mobile data limit is turned off as I have unlimited data, but sometimes, couple times a month or so, I find, usually in the morning, that Mobile data is turned off and I know that I didn’t do it. Moto Droid 4 stock 4.0.4 rooted.

    • michael arazan

      I have unlimited and keep mobile data turned on, then you can customize apps to not turn on and stay off, like the verizon apps

  • jdizzle

    So I have a real noobish question…. so I have a Galaxy Nexus and I put battery saver app but 2-3 times a day it turns off my data on my phone. It is really annoying, does anyone have any tips?

  • JetBlue

    Does anybody have the problem of where they are warned about going over a limit even though they have unlimited? My sister has this problem on her HTC Vivid on AT&T

    • Uncheck the “Set Mobile Data Limit” box…

  • Mallahet

    Huh, just played around and found the wifi usage toggle. That’s neat!

  • Cloud

    Would you be able to send MMS with that turned off? Don’t know why, but I don’t seem able to send them..

    • Nick Floria

      no you can’t to send mms you need data on.

      • There used to be “smart” apps that would turn on MMS when needed then turn data off again.