Take Control Of Your 3G Data Usage [iOS Tips]



A lot of people don’t have access to unlimited 3G data plans, so they need to keep an eye out on the amount of data they use every month. There are different tasks and apps that will use data on an iPhone or iPad, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Luckily, Apple has thought of a few ways you can limit access to 3G data by forcing apps to use Wi-Fi instead when it is available.

Turn 3G Cellular Data Off Completely

The nuclear weapon option in the war on saving data is to open the Settings app, tap General, tap Network and toggling Cellular Data to off.


Control Apple Store Access to 3G Cellular Data

Another option to consider when you want to cut back on 3G data usage is how the Apple Stores in iOS download content. You can set limits on access over 3G to music, apps or books. In addition to that, you can limit the access to content by other apps, like the New York Times app below,  if listed in the Store settings screen.

Just launch the Settings app, and tap Store. Now toggle automatic downloads for music, apps and books to off. Do the same thing for any apps listed and if you want to use another nuclear catch-all option just toggled Use Cellular Data to off.

iCloud Documents and Data

Finally, another option to consider when you want to cut back on 3G data usage is how iCloud accesses documents and data. You can prohibit access to these over a 3G cellular data connection.

Just launch the Settings app and tap iCloud, tap Documents & Data and toggle Use Cellular to off.


You now have three ways to limit how you access data over your 3G cellular data connection. Use them all or in a combination to help manage how you use your data each month.

  • Snoop

    random question, where does @mac.com email come from?  that’s way cooler than @me.com.  i want.

  • CharliK

    You can’t have. 

    mac .com emails were issues back when Mobile Me was ITools and then DotMac. They don’t do them anymore. 


  • CharliK

    One detail that David probably should have pointed out is that if you blitz off all Cellular Data use you lose Visual Voicemail as it only works over 3g. So you have to either turn it on when you get the blank badge on your phone icon or resign yourself to calling in for your messages. 

  • Snoop

    i’ve only been in the mac game for a few years now, still much to learn. 
    pretty sweet it’s been legacy’d in though. 

    back on topic, i’m thankful i’m still on unlimited data…

  • Jay

    they don’t do that anymore. I was only 3 months late when they switched to me.com. I am still pissed and me. com sucks.

  • bbrewer

    I thought any X.me.com also worked as x.Mac.com, but maybe you are right and that is only because I have used all these services, having recognized back in about 1989 that Mac has it all over Windoze.