So you just purchased your new iPhone and you need to be able to see how much data you use throughout the month?  You’ve come to the right place. . .


First, it’s important to understand how much data you have on your plan with your wireless carrier.  You should be able to find this on your bill or on their website by logging into your user account.  Also, find out the first day of your billing period each month.

But what uses data?!

Your iPhone is connected to the Internet for most of it’s functionality.  Viewing websites, email, streaming radio or video content, and downloading apps all require the use of the Internet and therefore will use your data plan.


Once an app is on your iPhone it may also need to use data to operate.  If you don’t know whether or not an app uses data, turn airplane mode on in your settings and then see if you can access and use the app.  If you can use the app with airplane mode on, then it doesn’t need to use data.  If it won’t work without using data, you will see an error message like the one seen below.

Airplane Mode Error

The reason this happens is because airplane mode will turn off all of the connections that your iPhone has.  It turns off the ability for your phone to make or receive calls or texts as well as turns off the data connection.  While airplane mode is turned on, you can then turn on your Wi-Fi connection if needed.


To turn Airplane mode on, navigate to settings > toggle Airplane Mode to ‘ON’.


One way to save your data plan is to use Wi-Fi.  Wi-Fi will give you the same Internet connection that your iPhone needs, but it will not use your data plan.  The reason the data plan is saved is because the Wi-Fi is the path that the phone uses while it’s connected.  I would recommend to use Wi-Fi whenever available so that your data plan from your wireless carrier is saved for your use when you are without access to Wi-Fi.


Turn on Wi-Fi by navigating to Settings > Wi-Fi > toggle Wi-Fi to ‘ON’ then connect to a network.

iPhone WiFi Settings

You will find that while not connected to Wi-Fi, streaming video and radio services will use data much more quickly than checking emails and browsing the web.  Be mindful of your actions.

Check your usage!

There will be several ways that you can check your data with your wireless carrier.  Use the methods that they provide that best suit you.  There is a way to check the cellular data usage from your iPhone, however what matters is what your wireless carrier shows. (I'm not showing this to you because you shouldn't ever go off of what your phone says.  Use what your carrier says for data usage since they are the ones that are billing you).

You should be able to check your usage on the carrier’s website and probably from your iPhone as well through their app.

If you start to use more data, whether or not it is continually or just for one month, I would recommend speaking to your carrier about increasing your data plan.  In most instances, you can increase your plan for even just one month, which is usually cheaper than just paying the overage rate.

Also, the first day of your billing cycle will be the day that your data plan starts over and gives you a fresh start.  Keep this in mind.  If you are going over, you will usually need to increase your plan before your cycle ends in order to avoid overage.

I hope you found this information useful!