How To Check Which Apps Are Using The Most Data On Your iPhone
You have probably allowed many apps to be installed on your smartphone, maybe dozens or even hundreds. It is essential to keep track of what these apps are doing, especially how much they are communicating with the outside world. We have previously discussed how to monitor data usage on Android devices. Now, let’s focus on iPhones.
There are a few reasons why you should pay attention to your phone’s data usage. Firstly, even though unlimited data plans are more common now, they often reduce internet speed once you exceed a certain limit each month. If you are on a limited plan and your apps consume more data than your allowance while you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, it could end up costing you, particularly if you are travelling abroad.
Secondly, there is a privacy concern. By examining your phone’s data usage, you might discover that some apps are transferring more data than necessary for their intended functions. This could indicate suspicious app behaviour that warrants further investigation.
How to Monitor App Data Usage on Your iPhone
To see how much data your apps are consuming on iOS, start by opening Settings and tapping on Cellular. At the top, there is a switch to control cellular data — switching it off means apps won’t access the internet unless you’re on Wi-Fi. (Calls and texts will still function.)
- Tap Cellular Data Options to manage Data Roaming, which affects data usage when you’re outside your carrier’s network, usually when you’re abroad.
- Back on the Cellular screen, scroll down to view the amount of cellular and roaming data used in the current period, which is since you last reset these statistics manually.
- Next to each installed app, you’ll see how much data it has uploaded or downloaded during this period. The apps using the most data will be listed at the top. You can use the toggle switches to block specific apps from accessing cellular data.
- For insights into iOS system data usage, including push notifications and software updates, tap on System Services.
Scroll to the bottom past the list of apps to see when these data usage statistics were last reset. If you wish to reset them, perhaps to monitor usage over a day or a week, simply tap Reset Statistics.
Activating Low Data Mode on an iPhone
In addition to blocking individual app access to mobile data or turning it off completely, iOS offers another feature to help control data usage when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi: Low Data Mode.
According to Apple, this mode pauses automatic updates and “background tasks” while you’re off Wi-Fi, although it doesn’t provide extensive details on these background tasks. One known change is that FaceTime calls may have a lower bitrate when Low Data Mode is enabled.
To enable Low Data Mode:
1. Open iOS Settings and tap on Cellular, then tap Cellular Data Options.
2. Look for the option labelled Data Mode and tap on it to access Low Data Mode.
Please note that the options you see alongside Low Data Mode may vary depending on your network. For instance, you might have an option to allow more data on 5G, prioritising faster 5G connection over Wi-Fi if available.
If you want to ensure that no apps are transferring data over cellular networks or Wi-Fi, you can always use airplane mode. Simply swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to reveal the Control Center, then tap the airplane icon to enable or disable airplane mode.