data usage chart

Data usage, especially on a mobile data plan, is something you might want to keep a close eye on. It’s very annoying if apps you don’t open often are eating through data caps in the background. Thankfully, Android allows you to prevent this.

Android makes it pretty easy to keep tabs on your data usage. You can even set up alerts to stop your smartphone or tablet from going over your limits. Another handy trick is to block specific apps from using mobile data in the background altogether.

RELATED: How to Track Your Data Usage on Android

Note: This is specifically for restricting mobile data. It will not stop the app from connecting to Wi-Fi in the background.

To get started, swipe down from the top of your device’s screen (once or twice, depending on your phone or tablet’s manufacturer) and tap the gear icon to open the Settings menu.

Next, select “Apps & Notifications.”

select apps and notifications

Tap “See All [Number] Apps” for the full list of installed apps.

see all apps

Find the app from the list that you want to restrict background data usage for.

select an app from the list

Next, select “Mobile Data & Wi-Fi.”

mobile dat and wifi

Toggle off the switch for “Background Data.”

turn off background data

That’s it! The app will no longer be able to use mobile data in the background. It will still be able to use data when you open it, though. For apps that you don’t use very often, this is a nice way to ensure that they don’t eat into your data allowance.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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