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Why Do I Keep Going Over On My Cellphone Data Plan?

David Pogue
Tech Critic
Yahoo Tech

Reader Dianna asks why she keeps going over her 2-gigabyte monthly cellphone data limit. She doesn’t do much online, so what’s eating up her allotment?

This is an extremely common question. And the answer is this: “forces you’re unaware of, like background apps, automatic app updating, and music/video streaming.” 

They are not, however, forces beyond your control. In this week’s “Ask Pogue” video, I’ll walk you through the process of turning off the background activity that’s sucking down your data — and costing you money.

ANDROID UPDATE: In the video, I mentioned an Android app that you can download to see which of your apps are eating up cellular data in the background. On most recent Android phones, there’s a similar feature built right in.

Open your Settings app. Under “Wireless & networks,” tap “Data usage.” (It might be called “Mobile data” instead.)

At the bottom of this screen, you can see a list of apps and how much cellular data they’ve been using. You can turn on “Restrict background data” for any app that you don’t want using the Internet without your knowledge.

For complete details on this feature, click here and scroll down to “View or restrict data usage by app.”


You can email David Pogue here.