How To Stop Accidental Cellular Data Usage on iPhone?

Suppose your iPhone plan doesn’t include unlimited cellular data. It may cost you money if you accidentally use cell data when your Wi-Fi signal is unstable or if the data-hungry app malfunctions. How to stop that from happening is provided below.

Switch Off Wi-Fi Assist 

When your Wi-Fi signal becomes too weak, a feature on both brand-new and used iPhones called “Wi-Fi Assist” automatically switches it to a cellular data connection, starting with iOS 9. This can be useful, but it also means that if your home or business has a spot with spotty Wi-Fi coverage, you might unintentionally be using cellular data there without realizing it.

  • First, open Settings by tapping the grey gear icon to reveal the Wi-Fi Assist menu.
  • Tap “Cellular” under Settings.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the Cellular settings page (below the lengthy list of apps) and turn the switch next to “Wi-Fi Assist” to the “off” position.
  • Then, leave Settings. Your iPhone won’t switch to cellular data automatically the next time you’re using Wi-Fi, and the signal becomes too weak.

Turn Off Background App Refresh

When Wi-Fi is unavailable, most social media apps have a compulsive propensity to constantly refresh data in the background using your expensive cellular data.

Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, and then turn the toggle to OFF to stop Background App Refresh for Social Media and other unnecessary Apps.

Turn Off Cellular Data for iCloud

Ensure that only the free Wi-Fi Network is used for any document or data transfers between the iPhone and the iCloud.

Scroll down in Settings > Cellular and turn the toggle next to iCloud Drive off.

Disable Cellular Data for Downloads 

Make sure that updates and apps can only be downloaded via a Wi-Fi network on your device.

Switch off the App Store, iTunes Store, and Music by going to Settings > Cellular Data.

After that, only when your new or used iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network will it download iOS and app updates.

Cellular data cannot be used to stream music. 

Turn Off Cellular Data for Photo

A lot of data can be used up for photos and videos. Therefore, you must stop the Photos App from uploading or sharing photos using cellular data.

Switch the Cellular Data off by going to Settings > Photos > Cellular Data.

Disable Automatic Video Play

As you must have noticed, videos begin playing automatically when you open a social media or news-related website on your iPhone.

Data can be saved by turning off video Autoplay in social media apps, especially if you frequently check your social media accounts.

Open Facebook and click the three-line menu icon in the bottom menu.

Select the Never Autoplay Videos option under Settings > Account Settings > Videos & Photos > Autoplay. After that, Facebook will no longer have videos playing automatically.

Turn off Cellular Data for Background App Refresh

By preventing All Apps from using Cellular Data for background activities, you can expect to save a significant amount of Cellular Data.

Select the Wi-Fi option under Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

Your iPhone’s apps will only be able to use the Wi-Fi network from now on for background app refresh.

Activate Cellular Data Manually

You can also manage when you use cellular data by manually turning it on and off. The simplest way to accomplish that is in Control Center, a special menu for your iPhone filled with shortcuts.

Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen (on iPhones with Face ID) or up from the bottom edge to access Control Center (on iPhones with home buttons).

Find the four icons in the upper-left corner of the screen when the Control Center appears. Tap the antenna-shaped icon repeatedly until it turns grey.

Cellular data is turned on when the icon for it is green. Cellular data has been turned off when the icon for it is grey. You can switch between these two states in the Control Center whenever you want.

You can also enable or disable cellular data by switching the “Cellular Data” to the “on” or “off” positions in Settings > Cellular

Stop Some Applications From Using Cellular Data

Sometimes you intend to use cellular data, but an app causes you to use more than you intended inadvertently. In that case, you can forbid cellular data to use by a particular app. 

Open Settings and select “Cellular” to do this.

Scroll down in Settings > Cellular to see a list of the apps that are currently installed on your new or used iPhone. Turn the switch next to an app to “Off” to stop it from using cellular data.

Any other apps consuming too much data should be treated the same way. Most data is typically consumed by multimedia apps that stream audio or video. Exit Settings once you’re finished, and you’re good to go.

Test Out an Unlimited Plan with a Different Carrier

The major carriers provide plans with unlimited data. However, you might find those prohibitively expensive if you want to reduce your cellular data usage. A different mobile phone provider in your area might offer an affordable unlimited data plan.

Google Fi and Tello provide unlimited data plans that are less expensive than some of the plans provided by major carriers in the United States. If you choose that, you won’t have to be concerned about unintentionally using cellular data any longer.

There are some restrictions, like data throttling after a specific volume of data is consumed. However, you won’t be charged more for it, at least. 

Final Thoughts 

We hope you found our article helpful to help you reduce or stop accidental cellular data use on your iPhone. This article lists several tips on reducing cellular data usage on your iPhone using easy ways to set it up. If your recently bought used iPhone has the same problem, apply the tips mentioned above. 


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