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How Much Data Am I Using?

Coastal Computer - Thursday, February 18, 2016

A question people often ask, especially while traveling and using an International or roaming data plan is: how much data am I using on my phone? In this article we’ll cover how to check your data usage on your iPhone, iPad, and Android phone, and provide some important notes to follow when checking.

You might guess it would be easy to check the data usage on your phone. Surprisingly, there are ways to check, however, you’ve got to be on top of the data usage, before you go over. Of course, when we are asking, “how much data am I using?”, the question we might be really asking is, “How much data do I have left in my plan?”, or “How far have I exceeded my plan?”.

There are generally two ways to check your data usage. By a built-in app on your device, or by contacting your carrier or using an app that they provide. First we’ll look at how to check on your device, and second, the methods and apps for checking via your carrier.

Please note, the data usage on your device may not match the data use recorded by your carrier. When you are very close to your limit and in doubt, you should check with your carrier, before going over your plan.

Check Data Usage by Device

Check Data Usage on Your iPhone or iPad

You can check the data usage on your iPhone or iPad using a built-in app. However, you’ll need to reset it at the beginning of your billing cycle to get the best use of it. Here’s how:

  • Step 1. - Tap on the Settings app
  • Step 2. - Tap on Cellular
  • Step 3. - Scroll down to see your Cellular Usage
  • Step 4. - Scroll down further and Tap on Reset Statistics to reset the counter at the beginning of your billing cycle.

Please note, until you reset the statistics, your iPhone or iPad will show the data usage on cellular for all time, or since the last major update, that’s why you need to reset it on a monthly basis according to your billing cycle to accurately reflect your data usage.

Check Data Usage on Your Android Phone or Tablet

  • Step 1. - Tap on the Settings app
  • Step 2. - Tap on Data Usage under Wireless & Networks
  • Step 3. - You’ll see your data usage for a set period, to change this period or see more details, tap on More Settings
  • Step 4. - Here you can change the dates to align with your billing cycle and also set limits on your data use. Once you’ve set a limit, you can also set when to receive a reminder.

When checking on your devices, remember to add up the usage for all devices that use the same data plan. In case you are on a shared data plan, you can place limits on specific devices via your carrier so that everyone gets their fair share each month.

To check your current data usage, here are the steps for typical carriers. It’s worth mentioning that not all apps or methods from carriers may work while you are roaming or on an international plan. They may not also reflect your international or roaming data usage on their website until the next billing cycle. It’s best to reset your data statistics on your iPhone or iPad, or adjust your time period for tracking on your Android phone or tablet to match the time period for when you are using the roaming or International data.*

*Hint: You can use these same methods to check your WiFi usage when you are at hotels or other venues that place a limit on use. Look for the same settings under WiFi and look out for an article covering this in detail soon.

Check Data Usage by Carrier

You can always check the data usage for your carrier by setting up an account online and checking your data and plan via the carrier's website. This is especially helpful when you want to see data usage for a shared plan. We recommend checking from a laptop or desktop connected to WiFi to make it easier to see. The following steps will show you how to check your usage without using more data.

AT&T

Call *DATA# (*3282#)

Use the myAT&T app

Verizon

Call DATA# (3282#)

Use the My Verizon app

T-Mobile

#WEB# (#932#)

Use the T-Mobile My Account app

Sprint

Text the word “usage” without quotes to the number 1311

Use the Sprint Zone app

Checking on your data usage can help you save money from going over your plan and can also make sure everyone gets a fair share on a shared plan. In our next article, we'll look at how you can limit our data usage, by device, and by app.