HOW TO: Restrict Background Data for Apps

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Posted in: Tips & Tutorials

Most Android apps which refresh/update data in the background while you are not entirely using that app or have put your phone to sleep use your wifi or mobile data which result in usage of your mobile data package and as well drain your battery.

This is why Google brought up the option of data usage in Android 4.0 which shows you which apps and how much data has been used over mobile network and Wi-Fi. It also gives you a quick summary of which apps use how much data when in the foreground and when in the background over which network.

If you think apps are using a lot of background data, restrict them from using any. How? Follow the very simple steps below.

  • Go to Settings > Data usage.
  • Tap the 3 dots icon at the top right.
  • Check “Restrict background data” box.

Apps should not use any data in the background now. Some services like Gmail and other Google sync services might still use data, but to stop them, you will have to disable Accounts sync. Check out our extensive guide of battery saving tips on Android phones.

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  • Pedro

    How can I restrict the main android os from using background data while letting some specific apps use background data? My android os uses up a hell out of data and I have no clue what for, but if I restrict all background data, it will be a huge functionality loss.

    • Tim Cheapskate

      There is on off and on switch for mobile data in the settings. If you keep that in the off position no data will be used on your mobile network. All the updates will still happen when you are connected to Wifi, at home or Starbucks or wherever. If you need to be on the network, for navigation or some other reason, turn your Mobile Data back on. I have the settings wheel cog right on my home page to remember.

  • MoNaz

    if use above method then there will be annoying notofocation on status bar backround data disable….and how do i hide that ugly notofication?

  • Flrn

    This setting affects push notifications for mail, whatsapp, facebook etc?