How to prevent your Android from eating mobile data

Wireless is a go-to connection for all of the mobile devices, but the concept of on-the -go mobile connectivity can be completed solely with the mobile data. At any point, you can run mobile data connection and browse the internet or update your social networks.

Of course, if you have a limited data package, careless use can lead to all kinds of trouble. Don’t be surprised if your month pricing exceeds all expectations. Even though most of the update-related processes are disabled on mobile data by default, it seems that occasionally Android has a way to consume your cellular data. To make matters even worse, data-consuming processes may work in the background, so you won’t even be aware before it’s too late.

So if you notice any unreasonable data consumption, we advise you to follow these tips. We gathered essential features you should check out in order to fix this issue.

Play Store

First things first. Google Play Store‘s apps update is probably the most dangerous feature when it comes to data consumption. As we already stated, default settings should use only Wi-Fi connection with updates. However, for no apparent reason, your apps may update over mobile data. Because of that, we advise you to check out these settings by following these steps:

  1. Open Google Play Store.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Tap Auto-update apps
  4. Select to Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

With that, you’ll disable possible Auto-updates via mobile data and protect your data package from overconsuming.

Backup & Sync

Another feature that is widely used and can deplete your data is the backup. Sometimes it’s hard to determine exact app that is using your mobile data for backup. You may be using 3rd-party Cloud storage apps, native Google Drive Photo or specific apps that are presented with certain OEMs like Samsung Cloud.

We advise you to check them out and make sure they are backing up your data only via Wi-Fi connection. The supreme leader of mobile data monsters is Samsung Cloud, known for ridiculous mobile data consuming. If you’re packing a Samsung handset, you can disable it this way:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Samsung Cloud.
  3. Choose More.
  4. Open Network Settings.
  5. Choose Wi-Fi only.

This goes for Samsung models but, in case you are having similar cloud apps on your phone, make sure you check their monthly data consumption. That way you’ll eventually find the culprit for data loss.


Another feature that may deplete your mobile data is mobile tethering. Tethering is, as you are probably familiar with, the feature that lets you share your phone mobile data with other devices via Wi-Fi. It can be a quite useful feature, but it’s not advised to use it with the limited data package.

Most Android devices have native Tethering app but occasionally you’ll be using 3rd-party solutions. It’s quite important to disable it after every use. For example, if the tethering connection with PC is not set as metered connection, your PC may perform updates. Since we are talking about large updates with enormous files, your mobile data may evaporate incredibly fast.


Apps are the elementary part of every smartphone. But besides their indispensable role in the Android OS, they can make your life hell in no time. There are too many apps that are available for download but not all of them are exactly safe to use. And that goes for their background mobile data consumption, as well.

So, when using connection-related apps, like instant messengers, social network apps or video streaming apps,  be sure to check for data anomalies. Namely, if you notice even slightest anomalies with your cellular data consumption, make sure to uninstall those apps and try alternative ones.

You can check apps data usage this way:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Wireless & Networks.
  3. Select Data usage.

Monitoring is of utmost importance for discovering the problematic app.

Additional Steps

There are additional steps you can perform to resolve issues with data usage.

  • Use Airplane mode to prevent all connections. This is, obviously, a temporary solution.
  • Limit your Data Usage. Navigate to Settings >Wireless & Networks > Data Usage. Toggle Set Mobile Data Limit and choose the limitation value.
  • Reset phone Network Settings.
  • Restore phone factory settings.

That should wrap it up. Even though we covered most of the universal guilty parties, some of the users mentioned specific carrier or device issues. In case you’ve checked everything and the data leak is still present, we advise you to contact your carrier or device distributor.

In case you have any questions or alternative solutions, please share them with us and other readers.

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August 9, 2021 4:41 pm

My Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro will now only connect by Edge, not 3G or 4G. Any ideas?

Kazz Gallant
Kazz Gallant
July 22, 2020 10:23 pm

I cant find the network settings for samsung cloud. I tried following the above advice, no luck. I was out of wifi zones for 5 days and it ate almost 2GB of my mobile data yet seems to have no way to change the network settings. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note9… can anyone help?

Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
June 5, 2018 6:33 pm

Hi Grace.
If you’re talking about Google Drive, you’ve probably exceeded the 15GB limit of the free storage. You need to pay for additional space, and Google probably asks if you want to upgrade.

June 5, 2018 6:07 pm

How do I OP+OUT of some site that is charging me for cloud?

June 5, 2018 6:05 pm

I received a message saying I’m being charged for cloud. What does this mean and how do I stop it?