What is Background Data

What is Background Data – Everything You Need to Know


Does your data bundle finish before its date, and do you have to buy another data package? Do you feel that you have not consumed every bit of data, but it still ends? Or do you feel that your data mysteriously disappears?

Well, your data is not going anywhere without its justified usage in your mobile phone. In fact, your mobile uses data even when you are not actively using apps. Your data bundle ends due to your apps’ excessive use of background data.

Yes, you may be thinking: what is background data? How can you stop your apps from using background data? Can you restrict it? How to it turn off on Android or iPhone?

Yes, you can restrict it easily with a few taps on your cellphone.

Everything is in detail below.

What is Background Data?

You can classify your mobile data usage into two types: foreground data and background data.

Foreground data is data that you consume when actively using apps. For example:

  • Scrolling through my Facebook feed
  • Viewing images on Instagram
  • Reading Tweets on Twitter
  • Exploring LinkedIn feed
  • Watching YouTube
  • Using Snapchat
  • Uploading videos
  • Consuming TikTok
  • Doing Live Stream
  • Using WhatsApp

In short, when you are on an internet app, you use foreground data.

Now, the million-dollar question: What is background data?

It is such data that your apps use when you are not using any apps on-screen or the data used by an app when you are not using it.

Your device consumes it when:

  • Social media apps let you know through notifications
  • Your apps update data
  • Any app lets you know through notifications

In short, your mobile uses data even when your apps are closed.

Your mobile data package ends too early because your apps use it to show you updates and notifications.

By default, every mobile phone allows background data usage. Yet, every mobile phone allows you to restrict it and turn it off. In other words, you can restrict Android background data to save data.

What is Background App Refresh? Does Background App Refresh Use Data?

Background App Refresh is a term used for the data consumed by iOS devices, iPhones, and iPads, in the background when you are not using apps.

Background App Refresh is similar to Android background data usage or synchronization.

Does Background App Refresh increase your phone bill? Yes, it is.

Background App Refresh eats your data bundle as well as drains your battery.

Also, if your battery drains too early and your data ends before its date, it can be a sign of malware.

But don’t uninstall apps immediately after seeing these signs. Instead, check if the app if using the data without telling you about it. Your device is running too many apps in the background, and such an activity drains your data and battery.

So, take steps to turn off or restrict background data usage or background app refresh.

What is Turning Off Background Data?

Turning off means no app can use data without your permission.

It also means that your mobile apps will not refresh or download data in the background without your permission.

In short, your mobile app will only consume data when actively using it.

It also means that:

  • You’ll not get any notification from any app
  • No app will update itself automatically
  • You’re in total control of how much data you want to use without any leakage

Turning it off seems a good decision if you want to save data and budget your mobile bill.

Yet, you’ll also have to miss important notifications and updates from apps you usually enjoy.

Also, you’ll never get messages from any messaging app until you open the app. In other words, no one from your digital circle can get to you if they want your immediate response.

What is Restricting Background Data?

The answer to what restricting Background data means and how you can restrict it helps you reduce your data consumption while saving money.

Restricting this type of data is like turning it off. But it is not applied to all apps. Instead, you restrict some specific apps from using it. These apps will never show you new notifications or updates and never use your data.

When you need to see new notifications, you must open the app.

You can stop data usage on non-essential apps and save data consumption using the restricted background data feature. In other words, you can save money using this feature.

How to Stop Background Apps Using Data on Android?

Does too much data consumption by your mobile apps worry you? Then, here’s how to handle this issue on Android.

Restricting Background Data on Android

Restricting background app refresh saves data you can use for productive mobile usage. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network
  2. Press “App Data Usage” and find out each app’s precise data consumption detail.
  3. Press on the app that you want to restrict it. Next, turn it off on that app.
  4. Use this method to turn off background data on as many apps as you need.

Remember, restricting it will stop the app from sending automatic alerts. That’s why keep it off for those apps where you need continuous internet connectivity.

Turning Off Background Data on Android

You may want to be in full control of it. So, not a single bit of data can be downloaded by your apps without your permission. In such a case, it’s better to turn off background data on Android. It’s also called turning on Data Saver Mode. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open Settings > Network & Internet > Data Saver
  2. Turn on “Use Data Saver.” It’ll stop all apps from using data when you are not using them.
  3. Data Saver Mode allows three apps to use background data
  4. For that, tap on “Unrestricted Data” and allow three apps

Remember, you can only allow three essential apps to use background data.

Allowing Background Data Usage on Android

You can always turn it off if you need to. Here’s how you can do it

  • Open Settings > Network & Internet > Data Saver > Turn off “Use Data Saver”

Follow these steps to turn on background data for specific apps.

  • Open Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network > App Data Usage
  • Choose the app and turn it off.

How to Stop Background Apps Using Data on iPhone?

If too much data consumption by your apps in the background on your iPhone worries you, stop these apps from doing so. The detail is below.

Restricting Background App Refresh on iPhone

If you think your iPhone runs at a slower pace, it means that too many apps are running in the background and using data. In such a case, you might want to restrict apps from using background app refresh. So, your iPhone can speed up. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open iPhone Settings
  2. Press “General”
  3. Choose “Background App Refresh”
  4. Choose apps that you want to restrict background app refresh

Turning Off Background App Refresh on iPhone

By turning off Background App Refresh on your iPhone, you don’t have to manage apps individually. For that, iPhone supplies you with two options: turn off app data refresh or disable background apps.

iPhone allows you to background app refresh according to your internet connection choice. Using this feature, you update app data only when connecting with Wi-Fi but never when connecting with a mobile network. This way, you can save your mobile data and rely on Wi-Fi only for excessive data consumption.

Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open iPhone Settings and press “General”
  2. Press “Background App Refresh” and choose “Background App Refresh Settings”
  3. Now there are three options.
  • If you choose “Off,” it’ll restrict all apps from using background app refresh. Apps will use background app refresh when you open them.
  • Choosing “Wi-Fi” will allow all apps to use background app refresh when you connect with Wi-Fi.
  • If you choose “Wi-Fi & Mobile Data,” your apps will use background app refresh regardless of our internet connection.

Allowing Background App Refresh on iPhone

You can still turn on the background app refresh using simple steps. Remember, iPhone allows you to manage individual apps and the entire device.

Here’s how you can do it for individual apps.

  1. Open Settings > General
  2. Choose “Background App Refresh”
  3. Choose the application that you want to allow “Background App Refresh”

Here’s how you can enable background app refresh for all apps.

  1. Open Settings > General
  2. Choose “Background App Refresh”
  3. Press “Background App Refresh” again
  4. Choose “Wi-Fi & Mobile Data”

Do Apps Run in Background Use Data?

Yes, most apps that run in the background use data without telling you about it. Your device allows most apps to use data by default. An app that needs to often update itself uses data without telling you frequently such as social media apps.

So, if you want to identify apps that are using background data, you can tell them by notifications. Every app that lets you know uses it.

Most Common Apps That Use data

Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter are at the top of the list of apps that use excessive background data. Also, streaming apps like Spotify, SoundCloud, and similar apps use background data, but not as much as social media apps.

Moreover, messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, and similar apps also use it.


Apps that use your data eat your bandwidth too, and your mobile bill increases. If you want to save your data, turn off background data. Also, if you want to allow specific apps to use it, use restrict background data feature on your device.

Above all, if you want to allow apps to use it, you can always turn it off for all or some apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Background Data Be Off or On?

It really depends on you. If you want to save your mobile data bandwidth, you must turn it off or restrict it.

Remember, your device allows data usage by default. That’s why you have to turn it off or restrict using manual steps.

Which Apps Should Not Be on My Device If I want to Save my Data?

There are some apps that use excessive data and send you notifications too often. As a result, your data bundle finishes earlier than you think. Here are some top offenders.

  • UC Browser.
  • Dolphin Browser.
  • Virus Cleaner – Antivirus Free & Phone Cleaner.
  • SuperVPN Free VPN Client.
  • RT News.
  • Super Clean – Master of Cleaner.
  • Fildo Music.

How Do I Find Hidden Apps in my Device that Use it?

There are always some apps that use your data without supplying any value to you. Here’s how you can find them.

  • Press the “App Drawer” icon
  • Press the “Menu”
  • Choose “Show Hidden Apps”

When you find these hidden apps, you must remove them. It’ll help you reduce your data and battery consumption.

Which Apps Steal Your Data?

There are some apps that provide you with specific convenience, apparently. But these apps steal your data and send it to specific servers used by hackers. Here are eight names.

  • Auxiliary Message.
  • Fast Magic SMS.
  • Free CamScanner.
  • Super Message.
  • Element Scanner.
  • Go Messages.
  • Travel Wallpapers.
  • Super SMS.

Uninstall these apps immediately without having a second thought. Otherwise, your personal, private, and banking data can reach hackers.

Can You Tell If Your Phone is Monitored?

There are three signs if your phone is hacked.

  • Your device automatically reboots
  • Your device slows down

If you see all the above signs, immediately reinstall the operating system of your device.

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