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How to set a mobile data limit on your Android phone

Have an Android smartphone with a monthly data limit and want to make sure you don't go over? Here's a 3-step guide with everything you need to know.

Published onOctober 15, 2015

Smartphones are evolving at a rapid rate and as they do, we’re consuming a lot more internet based content on the move. While carriers have aimed to increase inclusive mobile data limits, some people still have low data allowances, so how can your stop your phone from going over and ending up with a large bill?

Most Android smartphones come with a data usage section that also allows you to specify a limit to the amount of mobile data your smartphone can use. While the exact location of this in the settings menu will vary according to which phone you’re using, the option should be present on most smartphones running Android 4.4.2 KitKat or later.

Here’s how to set a mobile data limit on your Android phone:

For the guide below, you’ll need to know how much data your plan comes with each month and what day your allowance refreshes each month. It’s worth noting that your carrier may measure data usage differently and the information displayed on your phone should be used as a guide only.
  1. Navigate to Settings > Data Usage.
  2. Toggle the Set Mobile Data Limit
    • If the date listed beneath this is different to the day your allowance refreshes, tap on this and select Change Cycle.
    • Then set the correct day your allowances refresh.
  3. On the graph, you’ll now have two lines; one that specifies a limit to your data and the other, which lets you set a warning.
    • Drag the top line (the limit) up or down until you reach your data limit. Although you can set a limit equal to your allowance, we’d recommend setting it slightly lower, in case your carrier measures data usage differently.
    • You can also drag the lower of the two lines (the warning) up or down to set a limit and we’d recommend putting at around 75% percent of your data allowance. E.g. if you have 4GB data each month, the warning should be 3GB. This is a really useful tool to help ensure you don’t go over.

There you have it, a quick and easy way to set a mobile data limit on any Android phone. If you’ve got other tips, let us know in the comments below!


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