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Stay safely under your monthly data limit [Tutorial]

Bring data-hungry apps back under strict control

Unless you’ve got an all-you-can eat package with a company like Three, chances are that when it gets towards the end of the month, you’re checking your data daily to make sure you don’t go over your limit and pay premium prices on every extra megabyte. We’ve all been there, and it really can be restrictive as you approach the tail-end of your cycle.

With iOS 7, though, Apple introduced a few settings that can help you stay on budget right the way through the month. We’re going to show you how to switch cellular data on and off individually for apps, as well as restrict the amount of data they use in the background, and lock these changes so they can’t be accidentally disabled. It only takes a few minutes to set up, but it could mean the difference between using your device normally when you’re away from Wi-Fior being cut off. Here are six steps and a handful of tips to get you up and running.

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Step 1: Head to Settings

Everything you need to get your data budget under control can be found in the Settings app. Fire it up and then tap on Cellular, up in the top section, to get started.


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Step 2: Switch off cellular data

You can use the top toggle to switch cellular data off entirely, should you get near your monthly cap. Otherwise, ensure that Data Roaming and Personal Hotspot are switched off.


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Step 3: Restrict it to communication

Scroll down to see a breakdown of your current usage. Below that, you’ll see toggles beside each data-using app – switch off everything but the essentials, like communication apps.


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Step 4: Check iOS data usage

Tap System Services at the bottom of the list. It’s useful to check this; if, for example, you’re using a lot of data on push notifications, you might want to switch a few off.


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Step 5: Stop background refreshes

Head to the General area of Settings next, and then tap Background App Refresh. Here, you can prevent apps from using cellular data to silently refresh their content.


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Step 6: Lock in the settings

Head back to General and then into Restrictions. Scroll down to find the Allow options for your Cellular Data and Background App Refresh settings. Set both to Don’t Allow.