HOW TO: Restrict Background Data for Apps

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. In this guide, let us show how to restrict background data for Android apps using the Data Saver option.

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.

Enable Data Saver

Most phones these days with at least Android 9.0 Pie or Android 10 are smart enough to manage data usage of background apps automatically. Your phone uses AI and machine learning to know how and when you use your mobile network data. This helps you save money on using less mobile data. Since Android 9, your phone can automatically switch to a WiFi network if there is an open network around you.

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 > Network & internet > Data Saver
  • Enable the option “Use Data Saver”
  • This is it!

To help reduce data usage, Data Saver prevents some apps from sending or receiving data in the background. An app in the foreground that you are currently using can access data, but may do so less frequently. Do not enable this if you rely a lot on push notifications from social media apps or messages.

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.

Haris Nadeem
Haris Nadeem

Haris lives on everything Android; has countless devices, apps and games to play with everyday. Currently serving as the Chief Editor at Team Android. Connect on Twitter: @harisn

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  1. […] That specific app will now not use your mobile data when in the background. Want to know how to restric background data for ALL the apps? See: How to Restrict Background Data for Apps. […]

  2. 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.

    • 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.

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

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