What is mobile data on Android?

What is mobile data on Android? With a small Mint fox in the corner holding an Android phone

Whether you have an Android or other device, mobile data is any info your phone sends or receives over the internet when not connected to Wi-Fi. It’s what lets you like posts (or pointedly ignore them), put your food pics on Instagram Stories, stream 10 episodes in a row, be real on BeReal and more. Big wireless carriers often push people into one-size-fits-all data plans, but knowing how much data you use can help you pick the best cell phone plan (and save you money). That’s why we’ve put together the following tips for Android users for managing and monitoring your data usage.

How to check data usage on most Android phones

While checking data usage on your phone will depend on your model, these instructions should work for most Android devices:

  1. Swipe up from the homescreen
  2. Tap the app drawer icon
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Network and internet
  5. Tap SIMs
  6. Select App data usage
  7. From here, you’ll be able to see the data you’ve used, as well as the data used by your phone’s apps
How to turn on mobile data on Android with the first step, second step and third step screenshots

How to turn on mobile data on Android 

One great thing about data is being able to use all of your phone’s functionalities on the go, even without Wi-Fi. With that in mind, here’s how to turn on your mobile data:

  1. Access the control panel by swiping down from the top of your homescreen 
  2. Tap Data usage
  3. Swipe the switch setting on

You’re all set to watch cat videos no matter where you are.

How to turn off mobile data on Android with the first step, second step and third step screenshots

How to turn off mobile data on Android 

On the other hand, maybe you need to conserve your data or your local cafe’s Wi-Fi is poppin’.

Here’s how to turn off mobile data:

  1. Access the control panel by swiping down from the top of your homescreen 
  2. Tap Data usage
  3. Swipe the switch setting off
How to turn off mobile data using airplane mode sign with an airplane icon on a phone being displayed.

How to turn off mobile data using Airplane Mode

Need to turn off data in an instant? Use Airplane Mode (which will also turn off voice calls and Wi-Fi)–even when you’re not stuck in economy, eating a tiny pack of biscuits. Here’s how:

  1. Access the control panel by swiping down from the top of your homescreen 
  2. Tap Airplane Mode

How to turn off app data

Apps can use up a lot of data, whether you’re using Spotify, Google Maps or YouTube or Candy Crush (sorry, no article on that… yet). Here’s how to turn off app data and conserve your data:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Wireless and networks
  3. Tap Data usage
  4. Tap Network access
  5. Uncheck the box next to any app you don’t want using mobile data 

How to limit app data usage

Need to conserve your data–but still want to use your apps? Here’s how to limit the amount of data your apps use while running in the background of your phone (a.k.a. background app refresh).

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Apps
  3. Choose the app you want to limit
  4. Tap Mobile data
  5. Set slider next to Allow background data usage to off 
What's data saver on Android? With a screenshot of an Android data saver display.

What’s Data Saver on Android?

Data Saver does…well, exactly what it says it will. It’ll save the data your phone’s functions and apps use by preventing your apps from updating or downloading large files. Here’s how to turn Data Saver on:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap the SIM card & Mobile Data tab
  3. Tap Data usage
  4. Scroll down to the Data saving option 
  5. Turn the data saving toggle on 

Done with the whole data saving thing? Here’s how to turn Data Saver off:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap the SIM card & Mobile Data tab
  3. Tap Data usage
  4. Scroll down to the Data saving option 
  5. Turn the data saving toggle off

Now that you’re an Android data expert…

Why not find a Mint Mobile plan that’s right for you and the amount of data you use? We have tons of cell phone plans for every kind of data user.

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