How to Avoid iPhone Data Overage Charges

Published: 28 Apr 2012

The following are several tips you can use to avoid iPhone data overage charges.

  1. Turn Wi-Fi on. To turn Wi-Fi on, tap Settings -> Wi-Fi (turn this on). When Wi-Fi is turned on, your phone leverages an internet connection from which your phone can send and receive data without relying on a cellular network. Wi-Fi is generally free and cellular network usage is not unless you have an unlimited data plan with your carrier.
  2. Track your data usage. There are free apps such as DataMan which helps you track the about of data your using in real-time. Another app called Onavo Extend takes it a step further and lets you save money on your data plan by compressing unencrypted data between your device and the web. The result is that you consume up to five times less data.
  3. Use your free Wi-Fi when traveling. Also, if you're at AT&T customer, you get free access to AT&T's Wi-Fi hot spot network in the United States, which includes many Starbucks and McDonald's locations.
  4. Dispute overage charges. If you've been charged overage charges by your carrier, give them a call and if you persist in a lot of cases they will agree to reverse data overage charges.
  5. Avoid using Siri. A recent report from Arieso suggests that Appleā€™s virtual assistant Siri uses almost twice as much data as other Apple devices, such as the iPad.
  6. Turn off push notifications.
  7. Adjust your iCloud Settings. Settings -> iCloud -> Documents & Data -> Use Cellular (turn this off)
  8. Turn Data Roaming off. Settings -> General -> Network -> Data Roaming (turn this off)
  9. Turn Cellular Data off. This is probably over the top for most people but if you want to restrict all data to use Wi-Fi, this is for you. Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data (turn this off)
  10. Uninstall unused apps. I generally use the rule of thumb of if I haven't used an app in six months, I uninstall it.
  11. Keep iOS and your apps updated. As with any software, you should strive to use the latest version which means you should install updates promptly. There were reports of early versions of iOS which used cellular data instead of Wi-Fi to sync data between your phone and iCloud. To check for updates, go to App Store -> Updates