Daily Tip: How to track your data usage

Have you ever wanted to know how to track how much data your iPhone or iPad are using? If you're on a capped plan, you probably should, especially now that there have been accusations AT&T have been fudging data numbers. There are a few different ways in which you can track how much data your iPhone or iPad has used. Stay with us after the break to find out how to use the built-in method.

Most casual users will only go through about 100 to 200 MB per month. So as long as you are not downloading videos or streaming a ton of internet radio you should be fine even on a relatively low tiered plan. The only way to know for sure, however, is to keep track of it. (I have at times gotten into hot water with my carrier due to the number of YouTube videos I watched!)

  1. Go to settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Usage
  4. Look at Cellular Network Data, sent and received
  5. Reset Statistics

Now you can reset the statistics so you can track your usage. It will also tell you the last day that you reset. Unless you're a math whiz with a great memory, set an alarm to remind you to tap Reset Statistics at the beginning of each billing cycle so you have a better idea how much data you're using during the current month.

Bonus Tip: There are also apps like DataMan -- which Alley reviewed back in December and now comes in an iPad version as well -- that help you track and manage your data.

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

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Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to track your data usage


"There are a few different ways in which you can track how much data your iPhone or iPad has used."
But you only showed one method. There is *DATA# and apps like sigterm's Data Usage which allows background monitering and notifications.
Could you touch on the pros and cons of various ways/apps to monitor data?

If you want more data usage statistics like daily, weekly and monthly usage, you should use DataMan for iPhone and iPad. It can track and geotag your usage in real time and warn you once you exceed your custom usage thresholds. It can save you from overage charges.

How do you get text updates like you have on the picture? I have an unlimited plan on ATT and have used up to 8 gigs and never got a text like that.

You have unlimited data so you don't have to worry about it. Those texts are sent from carriers to customers who have teired data

Test messages are sent approximately 48 hours after you have crossed each threshold. Slap another $10 to my bill... #fail

also, you cannot view your data usage once you cross the threshold because AT&T says: Due to a recent change in features, this information cannot be viewed until the next billing period.

I need a counter on my AT&T broadband connection. MiWi. I use that up so quick. Plus with all These updates and apples ridiculous size on their rentals I don't have a chance.

Georgia, the data counter in the iphone is NOT reliable, i used to reset it every month to keep track of my data and by the end of the month both the iphone counter and the at&t website showed two different numbers, sometimes 1gb off so be aware people , the best way to know how much data you use in at&t is using the at&t iphone app or through a text message from them.

If you are in the U.S. and have AT&T as a carrier dial *3282# from your iPhone, (pretty sure it is for all their users, but I only have an iPhone. This will request the data used from their server, AT&T, and you will get a text telling you how many MB you have used since your last billing cycle and when your next billing cycle will start. I used it every day as I have the 2GB plan. Finally, I have it set up as a "favorite" so all I do is tap it and I will get a text in under five second. I hope this helps you fight the battle, I know this definately helps me.

Come to the UK and get true unlimited data on the 3 network then you don't have to measure it - except to see what a good deal you are getting! ;)

The *3282# worked great for me because even on the Att website it says no data usage. The *3282# option gave me the amount. info much appreciated!

Thank you soo much. I was at home on my wi-fi and running over 200 every other month or so. Even though i'm positive i'm on my wi-fi.

Nice tip, thank you!

A widget in notification center with a reset button would be really cool, delving into settings always makes me mad, because I feel it's a never ending rabbit hole... Well, luckily I've got an unlimited plan so tracking data is just good-to-know for me :)

Anyone know a way to track sms messages?

Regarding Tracking Data Usage:

I am unable to reset statistics on my iPhone 5. There are no selections for sent or received data or reset statistics.

Since I'm so data challenged, is there a list of the types of things that use data? Games like Words with Friends? Am I using data if I'm using wifi?