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mapmanx's profile

New Member


3 Messages

Friday, August 12th, 2022 2:00 PM

High Mobile Data Usage

I've been nearing my data limit for the month (4GB) over the last 3-4 days. AT&T sends me a text every morning that I am anywhere from 500-800MB of usage closer to, and then beyond, my limit. Both my phone data usage menu and AT&T's data usage logs do not show anything more than 200MB of data usage per day in this same time frame. 

I'm incredibly frustrated - I've stopped using most of my heavy-usage apps a month ago to try and see if I could improve my data usage, but it's been to no avail. I don't understand this discrepancy. 

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Community Support


229.7K Messages

2 years ago

Hello @mapmanx, we are here to help you manage and understand your data usage.


The data posted at 3 hour intervals does not indicate you were using data at that time. Cell towers record when apps open and close only. Apps left open all day, on and off mobile data, will record mobile data use, but will not report until the app is closed or phone is turned off.

So use reported at those hours has accumulated during the previous 12-24 hours and is reported because you turned the phone off or closed the app.


Be aware of what uses the most data

Here are some activities that tend to use a lot of data:
  • High-definition video streaming (900MB per hour)
  • Video conferencing, like FaceTime® and Skype® (480MB per hour)
  • Standard-definition video streaming (240MB per hour)
  • Online interactive gaming (60MB per hour)
  • Music streaming (30MB per hour)
  • Downloading and viewing movies or other large data files

Use less data

Use Wi-Fi whenever you can

Connecting your devices to a Wi-Fi network helps you use less wireless data. If your device can't connect to Wi-Fi, it automatically switches back to cellular data.

Did you know? Some apps on your device use wireless data even when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Explore our interactive device tutorials on how to:

Get account management tips

Turn off data for specific devices

Have an AT&T unlimited, AT&T 4GBSM, or AT&T Mobile Share® plan? Disable data use for each device to help prevent data overages for that bill period. Find out how to turn data off or on for each device.

Don't have one of those plans? You may be able to disable data use by contacting us.


Learn more Ways to Manage Wireless Usage here.


Let us know if this helps!


Mellira, AT&T Community Specialist

New Member


14 Messages

1 year ago

Also - check your phone for an app exhibiting malware-like behavior. In addition to the battery being killed, a huge spike in data traffic is a classic tip-off of malware / spyware activity.

It happened to me. The SO's phone ate up the entire Mobile Share plan in the first 5 days of the billing cycle.

Once discovered, I turned the data off for that device but it was just closing the corral gate after the horses were already gone. So I set the alarm for midnight tonight when the billing cycle restarts, to turn the data off again and (Edited per community guidelines) this in the bud.

I found the prime suspect. It was a Solitare app gobbling 165 megabytes every 3 hours. Went into app permissions and denied it data. Checked the phone's global network settings and it was set to use wifi when available. Walked through the other apps and shut down mobile data for everything that looked like it had no legitimate need for it.

We will see what happens. I'll check her phone tonight and see if that Solitaire game or something else either elevated its privileges or social engineered her into giving it permission to use mobile data.

We need administrative tools that work like a circuit breaker that trips automatically if data usage rate exceeds a safety preset, and then sends immediate notifications long before the data plan is fully exhausted. This permits the power user to be far more proactive in reining in rogue apps.


New Member


14 Messages

1 year ago

An update: Final casualty report, 470 megabytes yesterday until shutdown of mobile data for that device took effect.

The rogue app was unceremoniously uninstalled and reviewed on Google Play as exhibiting malware-like behavior.

That is when I stumbled on a feature bug in her phone which contributed to the "perfect storm" of wasted mobile data.

On the Samsung Galaxy A12 (and likely others), even during a brief upstream home internet outage of a minute or less, it switches from wifi to mobile data and stays there, despite configuration to the contrary. You have to manually reconnect every single time wifi connectivity is restored, to reset the "no internet available" flag for the wifi connection.

Caveat emptor on new devices. My old Galaxy S5 does automatically reconnect to wifi following an internet outage, and seamlessly switches between networks as needed.

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