Common reasons for high data use

Over your limit again? Learn how to track and manage data use. Know which activities (like video and music streaming) use the most.

How to limit data usage charges

Make sure you’re on the best plan

If you regularly go over your plan’s data limit, consider changing your plan to one of our new unlimited plans.

Be aware of what uses data

Activities that use a lot of data

Many devices on your plan – smartphones, tablets, and even in-car Wi-Fi® – use wireless data that can count against your monthly allowance.

These activities1 can consume a lot of data:
  • High definition video streaming (900MB per hour)
  • Video conferencing, like FaceTime® and Skype® (480MB per hour)
  • Standard-definition video streaming (240MB per hour)
  • Online interactive gaming (60MB per hour)
  • Streaming music (30MB per hour)
  • Downloading movies and large data files

App syncing, updates, notifications, and autoplay

Many apps sync to the cloud, update themselves, and send notifications automatically. These functions, while convenient, can use data in the background.

For example, videos often play automatically as you scroll through your newsfeed on social media apps. You may want to disable cellular data for video autoplay within each app’s settings on your device.

Good to know:
  • Some apps may use wireless data even when your device is connected to Wi-Fi.
  • You can go to Device help or check with your manufacturer to get specific instructions for your device. Search for details on how to disable auto-update, automatic sync, and manage notifications.

Know your data usage options

Manage your usage

Learn about ways to manage your data use.

Keep track of your usage

  • Sign in and check your usage. Then select View usage by category under the data usage graph (primary account users only).
  • Call *3282# (*DATA#) from your wireless phone. For Spanish, dial *3285#. We'll send a text message with your data and messaging usage.

See all important details
Last updated: December 7, 2022

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