How to set a mobile data limit on your Android phone

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If you don't have an unlimited data plan for your smartphone, hitting the limit can be very frustrating, especially when you're nowhere near the end of your billing cycle. While phone carriers tend package data management applications in smartphones today, Android has its own system in place to help you monitor your usage. Of course, you'll need to know how to set it up, which is exactly what I'll be showing you today. 

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Go into your settings menu and select Data usage, and you'll be presented with the screen you see above.

To be warned and set a limit for your data use, you'll want to check the box next to Set mobile data limit. After that, you'll want to turn your focus on the adjustable chart below.

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  • Adjust the red horizontal bar to set your Data cap, the maximum amount of allotted data per cycle. 
  • Adjust the orange horizontal bar to give yourself a warning when you've passed the threshold, so you don't reach your data cap.
  • Vertical bars: Adjust the two bars to display specific data usage for specific times in the monthly cycle. The image above shows the data usage between May 1st and May 8th, but the bars can be expanded or contracted to get a more specific or broad view of your data usage.

For the purposes of this how-to, I set the data cap at 5GB, with a 4.5GB warning. So, when I use 4.5GB of data, I'll be warned that I'm nearing my limit. To be safe, it might be best to give yourself at least 1GB of data before reaching the cap. 

Technically, after this point, you've successfully finished setting your mobile data limit, but the built-in Android feature offers a closer look at what's using up app you're precious data. Below the chart, you'll find a list of applications and the amount of data each has used in the specified time from the chart. 

 

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Here you'll be able to get a closer look at how much data specific apps have been using and whether it's Foreground or Background data. Some applications will even allow you to restrict background data completely while on a mobile network. 

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This oft-overlooked Android feature is incredibly helpful if you're trying to mind your data consumption on your phone. Not only will you know where youre data is going, but it'll allow you to have a say on where it can and can't go.

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