Save Data on Your iPhone: How to Check What Apps Are Using the Most Data

Learn how to check data usage on your iPhone to stay within your mobile data limits and avoid overage fees.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you have a limited data plan or a data cap for your iPhone, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on where your cellular data is going. But how do you find out which apps use the most data? If you can find out which apps are sucking your data, you can turn off Cellular Data usage for them, which means you’ll only be able to access the apps over Wi-Fi. (You can also turn on low-data mode.) If you’re trying to stay within a certain amount of gigabytes each month, this data-saving tip will make it easy! 

Related: Forgot Your Restrictions Passcode? How to Reset It Without Restoring Your iPhone or iPad

To learn more about your iPhone's data usage and settings, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap the Cellular button in the Settings menu.

    Tap cellular to check iPhone data usage
     
  3. Scroll down to the Cellular Data section. Each app you have will be listed, and the amount of cellular data used will be shown below each app.
  4. Using the toggle, turn off apps using unnecessary mobile data.
  5. For example, you can see that I’ve used 493 MB of my data on Facebook. But I don’t want to waste my data on Facebook. So I’m going to toggle off the button next to it.
  6. Now when I try to use Facebook outside of Wi-Fi, my iPhone will let me know it can’t because I have cellular turned off for the app.

    Tap to switch off cellular data
     
  7. Follow this process to selectively turn cellular data off for apps that you don’t want using cellular data. 

Best Practices for Limiting iPhone Data Usage

If you are concerned about your iPhone's data usage, it's a good idea to toggle off any apps that you don't absolutely need to access while you're out and about. If you spend most of the day connected to Wi-Fi, that could be every app except weather, navigation, and fitness-tracking apps. By toggling the switch, you can always restore an app's cellular access temporarily or permanently if you find yourself wanting to use it away from Wi-Fi.

Cellular Data Usage will show you how much data you've used in a given time period. This information does not reset automatically; if you want to keep track of this in order to prevent data overages, it's a good idea to set a monthly reminder to manually reset your data usage statistics on the first day of your billing cycle. You can reset the statistics by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen and tapping Reset Statistics.

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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor and SEO Content Manager at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time Apple enthusiast, Sarah can't live without her iPhone, Macbook Air, HomePod, Apple TV, or Apple Watch. As the original contributor to the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter, she wrote hundreds of iPhone how-tos to help users master their iPhones. It's safe to say that she has written or edited every tip published on iPhoneLife.com! In her 20 years of editing and writing, Sarah has done everything from working as the associate editor of the Iowa Source magazine to developing recipes and reviewing cookbooks for a vegetarian cooking website. But teaching people how to use their Apple devices is her favorite job so far.