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How to check mobile data usage on an iPhone

Check to see if you're nearing your monthly limit.

Published onApril 1, 2024

In an ideal world, everyone would be on an unlimited internet data plan. But unfortunately, either through lack of affordability or lack of availability, many people are stuck with a monthly data cap on their phone internet usage. This means keeping careful tabs on your monthly usage to ensure you don’t use up your allocation of gigabytes before the month is up.

Going over your limit can mean a throttled connection or worse — major overage charges. To avoid nasty consequences, here’s how to check your mobile data usage on an iPhone.


To check your mobile data usage on an iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular. On non-US phones, Cellular will be called Mobile Data instead. Scroll down to Mobile Data, and Current Period will give you the amount of internet data used since the stats were last reset.


How to check data usage on an iPhone

  • Go to Settings on your mobile phone.
  • Look for the option labeled either Cellular or Mobile Data and tap on it (the name may vary based on your phone’s language).
  • Scroll down to the section that says Current Period. Here, you can view the amount of internet data used since the last time the statistics were reset.

Data usage statistics

Some carriers automatically reset these stats to zero at the beginning of each monthly billing period, while others may require manual resetting.

  • You can check your latest update for data usage at the very bottom of the menu.
  • If your carrier doesn’t automatically reset stats, you can manually reset them by tapping on Reset Statistics.
  • It will ask you to confirm your decision, select Reset Statistics once again.

Remember, once the stats have been set to zero, they can’t be reversed. So, be sure you really want to do this before confirming.

How to manage data usage on an iPhone

If you’re on a very restrictive plan, you should try to reduce the amount of data you use. Here are suggestions.

Use Wi-Fi as much as possible

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Try and reduce your reliance on your data plan as much as possible by sticking to trusted Wi-Fi networks. And if you must use free public Wi-Fi networks, like Starbucks, use a VPN for additional security.

  • To connect to Wi-Fi, go to your device’s Settings, select Wi-Fi, and then choose the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.

Turn on Low Data Mode

Enable Low Data Mode to efficiently reduce cellular data usage by temporarily pausing automatic updates and background tasks. Follow these steps to activate Low Data Mode:

  • Open Settings on your phone.
  • Navigate to Cellular and select Cellular Data Options.
  • Choose Data Mode and tap on  Low Data Mode to activate the feature.

By following these steps, you can effectively optimize your data usage, preventing unnecessary consumption and ensuring a more efficient use of your cellular data.

Turn off cellular data for resource-intensive apps

  • Navigate to Settings on your device.
  • Select Cellular.
  • Scroll down to view a list of installed apps, each accompanied by its respective data usage.
  • Identify apps that are consuming significant data from your plan.
  • Toggle off cellular data for the selected app to restrict its data usage to Wi-Fi only.

Use Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode is a great iPhone feature, but it should also be used sparingly. It’s bad for the battery if you always have it on. But if you’re running low on data, you can turn on Low Power Mode which turns off all non-essential apps and their background processes. iCloud, for example, will stop syncing, and other apps will stop refreshing in the background.

  • To enable Low Power Mode, go to Settings, locate Battery, and toggle on the Low Power Mode switch.

Turn off or restrict background app refresh

Then you can get more granular and enable or disable background app refresh for each installed app. For example, the Mail app uses your internet connection and IMAP to check your email service for new emails. This helps in conserving data and optimizing battery life by preventing unnecessary app refreshes when not in use.

  • To disable background app refresh, access your device’s Settings.
  • Go to the General section.
  • Find and select Background App Refresh.
  • Toggle off the feature for specific apps that you don’t need to constantly update in the background.

Turn off any unnecessary features in Location Services

One of the biggest drains on both the battery and your data plan is, without a doubt, Location Services. While some, like Find My iPhone, are essential, others may be unnecessary drains on your resources. Do yourself a favor—navigate to your device’s settings and follow these steps to optimize your Location Services:

  • Open Settings, go to Privacy & Security, and select Location Services.
  • Now you have two options:
  • Option 1: to disable Location Services for all apps, toggle off the switch next to it.
  • Option 2: If you want to disable location services selectively for specific apps, review the list of apps using location services, and customize settings for each app based on your preferences. Maybe for apps you rarely use or for features that don’t require location information.
  • For individual app settings, locate the app and in the Allow location access section, select Never.


That depends on the carrier. The iPhone itself doesn’t do it — your carrier would. However, some carriers won’t do it, so you have to manually reset your iPhone data stats to remain accurate.

In most cases, you would be charged a fee for the excess data. In other cases, your phone’s internet speed would slow to a crawl, making it difficult to use away from WiFi until the next billing period.

It’s a good practice to check your data usage regularly, especially if you have a limited data plan. Consider checking it at the beginning of each billing cycle.

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