Android ICS: Warn When Approaching Data Caps and Overage Fees

   Posted June 1, 2012 by Jimmy Selix in Android

With Google’s latest mobile operating system Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Data Usage monitoring has been added.  By setting up alerts and limits that trigger before the monthly data cap is reached, users can avoid expensive overage feeds.

Carriers have gone away from the unlimited, all-you-can-eat type of data plans.  Android 4.0 / ICS has introduced a new feature that lets you directly monitor your data usage from the phone and setup a warning when your getting close to your allocated bandwidth cap. You can even disable data when you reach your data limit to prevent getting charged expensive fees.

To correctly alert you will need to be sure the data cycle dates on your phone correlate correctly with the data cycle dates of your carrier.

1. On your Android 4.0 phone, go to Settings and then Data Usage.

2. The Data Usage screen will show your current data and usage cycle.

3. You can change the data usage cycle by tapping on the date range and then choose Change cycle.

4. Choose the day of the month that your data usage cycle resets and hit Ok. You will need to get this data from your carrier. Typically it can be found on your bill.

5. Back on the Data Usage screen, tap the Set mobile data limit.  You will get a note about data services being disabled on the phone once the limit is hit.

6. Finally, setup the limits and warning threshold by tapping and dragging on the red and orange bars.  Once you are set, just exit the screen.

Another example of setting the ICS data limits has been provided previously.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

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  • Jeremy

    This is helpful, but do you know if it’s possible to remove the warning without disabling or changing the data limit? I want to get future warnings correctly, it’s just that I’ve seen the warning now and don’t want to have to keep looking at it. Do I have to turn off the warnings or change them, and then reset them at the start of the next data month? I can’t find any way of just dismissing the warning in this instance.

  • caslo

    Hi, why only last 7 days data consumption is shown ?
    Its both on your screenshot and in my Sony Xperia phone (Android 4.0.4 6.1.B.0.544)
    Each day start day is incremented by one and data consumption recalculated to last 7 days only
    Is that a common bug ?

  • Selva

    Thanks, This is helpful.

  • jay

    i accidently changed my limit to 99999482mb while playing around with my phone now it freezes every time i go to the data usage settings not giving me a way to change it back, i want to change it back without resettting my phone

  • Chris C.

    Trying to change date or set limits doesn’t work unless you allow mobile data on, which OS Services and other Android / Google apps, on which background data can’t be turned off, quickly access.

    I used to be able to email on my old WinCE device all the time and use up no more than a few MB per month, a fraction of my 100MB monthly allowance.

    On Android ICS, simply turning data on with sync off, backup off and background data off, data is IMMEDIATELY consumed by the unswitchable “OS Services”, “Download Manager”, “Play Store”, “Samsung Push”, even if when NOTHING is done at all!

    I’m VERY disappointed with the Android system for being such a data hog, looking actively for an app that will allow me to switch these rogue processes off altogether.

  • Ray

    Is there a way to clear data consumption to zero? For some reason, ICS keeps accounting for, data I’ve used prior to the cycle I set… So now, even if I haven’t used data on the current cycle, the warning notification pops up… Some ppl would say, “easy, just set your limit higher”… But I want a way for the data usage to start from zero every time y change cycles…