How to disable mobile data for some applications on Android

As we know, data plans are limited and we can run out of navigation on our cell phone. For this reason we must avoid excessive or unnecessary use on our device. And one of the things you need to do is turn off the data for some apps on Android.

Most mobile phone plans offered by providers are data limited. This means that we must monitor mobile data usage to stay within the limit. The problem is that some applications use a constant connection to the Internet, even when they are not in use.

There are apps that can help you disable mobile data for some specific apps on your Android device.

Turn off data for apps in Android Settings

Go to  Settings> Connections> Data usage  to manage your mobile data usage.

At the top, you will find the option to disable access completely. But that’s usually only necessary in specific circumstances, like when you’ve used more than your data plan allows.

To prevent this from happening, you must find and activate the Apply data usage limit option . In my case, it is entering the Billing Cycle.

If your plan is limited to 5GB per month, you can set the limit to 5GB and your mobile data will automatically turn off when it reaches that threshold. You can also make your phone warn when it is approaching.

This setting will prevent you from incurring overage charges. But really, we can do better. Let’s avoid even getting close to that point.

Below you can see how much data each app uses. This lets you know which applications you should limit access to the network.

At the beginning you can disable the option Allow data use without restriction. But if your internal configuration does not allow deactivating data access, you can settle for disabling the option Allow use of background data.

The option offered in the system is enough to limit mobile data, but if you want to go to the next level, then you must use a third-party application.

Disable data for some applications with NetGuard

NetGuard is an open source app that not only serves to disable mobile data for some applications. It also prevents them from connecting over WiFi.

Turning off data for some apps on Android prevents them from tracking usage and reporting to a remote server. It also reduces bandwidth, saves battery life, and blocks ads.

The application uses a local VPN to block Internet traffic. Since the application does not ask for permission to access the Internet, you know that it is not funneling all your information to a distant source.

Like any other VPN, running the application will display a key in the notification bar. NetGuard defines itself as a firewall, allowing you to decide which applications connect to the Internet and which do not.

NetGuard lists all applications in alphabetical order. Next to each one you can switch between WiFi and mobile data and disable access to the ones you want.

For more specific controls and exceptions, hit the drop-down arrow next to each app.

In Settings, NetGuard provides the option to block WiFi or mobile data by default for all applications. You can also automatically allow Internet access when the screen is on.

NetGuard does not display pre-installed applications by default, but you can configure it to display them as well.

Enabling these settings can protect you from surprises when you install a new game that you had no idea was going to keep a connection in the background all the time.

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