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How to turn off cellular data on an Android device in 3 ways and avoid hitting your data limit

  • You can turn off cellular data on an Android device to avoid hitting your data cap.
  • You can swipe down from the top of the screen and disable cellular data with a single tap.
  • If you prefer, you can disable data for specific apps, such as streaming video apps that use a lot of data.  
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Thanks to the ubiquity of Wi-Fi at home, in the office, and a lot of public places in between, you may not need to rely on cellular data consistently. But if there's no Wi-Fi network available where you are, you can use a lot of data from your cellular plan fast — especially if you are streaming video.  

If you need to make sure you don't run out of your monthly allotment of data from your cellular provider, there are several ways to control your usage. Your Android phone gives you a single button to disable data, for example. You can also turn on airplane mode. Or, for more granular control, you can disable data for specific apps. 

How to turn off cellular data on Android

The fastest way to disable cellular data on most Android phones is by using the data setting in the phone's control panel.

1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the phone's control panel. Swipe down again to see more of the quick-access buttons. 

2. Tap "Mobile data."

Your phone will no longer use mobile data until you turn this feature back on. 

How to turn off cellular data on Android using airplane mode

This does essentially the same thing as toggling the mobile data quick-access button, but it also turns off voice calls and Wi-Fi (and possibly, depending on the phone, Bluetooth).

1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the phone's control panel. Swipe down again to see more of the quick-access buttons. 

2. Tap "Airplane mode." The icon should be in the shape of an airplane. 

Like turning off mobile data, you won't be able to use any cellular data while airplane mode is enabled. 

How to turn off cellular data on Android for specific apps

Depending on your model and version of the Android OS, the specific settings' names might be slightly different. 

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap "Wireless & networks" and then tap "Data usage."

3. Tap "Network access."

4. In the list of apps, clear the checkbox for any apps you don't want using cellular data. 

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to stream HBO Max over a cellular connection and watch content without Wi-Fi

  • How to turn off cellular data on TikTok and limit your usage to Wi-Fi only, or delete the app if you have privacy concerns

  • How to save data on your Android device in 5 different ways

  • How to turn off data roaming on your Android phone to prevent surcharges

  • How to check your data usage on a Samsung Galaxy S10, and set a warning for when you're nearing your data limit

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