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Data Usage FAQs

General Information

  1. What types of data use counts against my data allowance?

    Any data that's used while your device is connected to the Verizon Wireless network (with the exception of FreeBee sponsored data) will use your monthly data allowance. Refer to the notification bar on your device to determine if you're currently connected to the Verizon Wireless network. If you see 4G (LTE), 3G or 1X, this means you're connected to our network.

    This includes when you access the internet, watch a video, check your email, play games, use apps (e.g., Facebook®, Twitter®, Maps etc.) and more. Background tasks, such as syncing or location services, may also use data. Data usage is billed based on the amount of data sent and received (megabytes or gigabytes), and it can be charged per-use or as part of a data package.

    Connect to Wi-Fi to use less data

    When you're connected to Wi-Fi you won't be charged for any data you use because you aren't using the Verizon Wireless network. We recommend you connect to Wi-Fi networks you know and trust whenever they're available. This is a great way to manage how much data you use and avoid extra charges.

  2. Does using Bluetooth count as data usage?

    No, using Bluetooth doesn't count as data usage. However, if you're using an app that accesses data while using Bluetooth, you'll use data through the app. For example, if you're listening to music on the Pandora app with wireless Bluetooth speakers, you'll be using data to access the app.

    If you're concerned about data overages, consider choosing an unlimited plan. Learn more about our unlimited options.

  3. What uses the most data on my devices?

    Some device activities can consume large amounts of data:

    • Streaming audio or video using apps such as Pandora®, Spotify®, Netflix® and YouTube™
    • Using social media or websites with lots of pictures/updates such as Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram® or Pinterest®
    • HD Video Calling
    • Downloading music/MP3s
    • Backing up content with cloud storage and/or file sharing tools such as Verizon Cloud, Dropbox™, or Google Drive
    • Using your device as a Mobile Hotspot and allowing other devices to access the internet from it

  4. What is indirect or background data usage?

    Indirect data usage occurs in the background, during tasks performed automatically by your device. Some examples of indirect data usage are:

    • Automatic backups of pictures or videos
    • Software updates
    • App content refreshes
    • Syncing and location services

    Note: You can adjust these functions in your device Settings.

  5. How much data do I need each month?

    Many things you do on a mobile device require data, like accessing the internet, streaming music and using GPS. While each task can vary in the amount of data it uses (due to file size), here's a general idea of how much data an average person with certain usage habits may use each month:

    Usage Habits Average Monthly Data Usage
    You mostly talk and text, but use social media occasionally Less than 2 GB
    You stream music, upload photos on social media and browse the internet 3 – 4 GB
    You stream video and are always online 6 – 8 GB

    These numbers are approximate and don't represent your personal data usage. Visit My Usage to see your personal data usage.

    If you select a data plan based on this chart, and find you use more or less than expected, you can change your plan any time in My Verizon or the My Verizon app to better fit your usage needs.

    If you're concerned about overages, consider an unlimited data plan.

  6. Where can I see the data usage charges on my Verizon Wireless bill?

    You can get a quick summary of your daily charges on the Device Usage Details page in My Verizon.

    You'll see the line's data usage details for your most recent bill. You can also view the minute and message usage for the line using the Select an activity dropdown.

    Note: If you want to see usage history for a different bill cycle, tap or click on the Date dropdown in the top right corner of the page, and select the bill cycle you want.

Troubleshooting and Data Management

  1. How can I check my data usage with the Data Utilization tool?

    You can get additional insight into your data usage by using our Data Utilization tool in My Verizon* or the My Verizon app*. Here's how it works:

    • The Data Utilization tool uses 12 categories to show a visual estimation of how your devices use data on the Verizon network.
    • The categories are intended to provide a general understanding of how your devices are using data.
    • It doesn't list specific websites visited or app activity.
    • Most of the primary categories also have a secondary level that gives additional detail about the primary category.

    *Not available on unlimited plans.

    To use the Data Utilization tool:

    1. Go to the Data Utilization page in My Verizon.
    2. Select Continue.
    3. Data usage info will display for all mobile numbers on your account. To view data usage info for a specific device on your account, select the device you want to view.
    4. The Data Utilization tool will display the percentage of your data usage for each category.

    You can see additional ways to monitor your data, minutes and messaging usage on our Tools for Monitoring Usage page.

  2. How can I see my data usage for a previous bill cycle online?

    You can see your previous data usage in the My Verizon app or through the My Usage page in My Verizon.

    In the My Verizon app:

    1. Open the My Verizon app on your device.
    2. Tap the 3-line menu icon in the upper left corner.
    3. Tap Data Hub.
    4. Tap History in the navigation bar.
    5. Tap the billing cycle you’d like to view. The app shows data usage for the last 3 billing cycles.

    You can also see your previous usage through the My Usage page in My Verizon.

    1. Sign in to the My Usage page in My Verizon.
    2. Click View previous usage.
    3. Scroll down to the My Bill section, then select a previous billing cycle from the dropdown menu.
    4. Under the Get the details section, select Data, talk and text activity.

    You can view data usage, talk minutes or total number of text messages per line for the past 18 billing cycles.

  3. Can I set up a data usage text or email message alert in My Verizon?

    Yes, you can have alerts sent to your phone or email, such as:

    • Notifications about your minutes, text or data usage
    • Confirmations of payments

    My Verizon text message alerts don't count against your text message limit, if you have one.

    *Usage alerts won't be sent for unlimited allowances.

    Account owners automatically receive text and email alerts. If you share an account with others, all account members will receive at least a text alert.

    To create or change a My Verizon alert, read "Can I receive alerts about my minutes, text messaging or data usage?" in our My Verizon Alerts & Notifications FAQs.

  4. What's the difference between a data alert and a Verizon Smart Family™ data alert?

    A key feature of Verizon Smart Family is the ability to determine the amount of data each device uses within a bill cycle.

    Smart Family alerts reflect data usage based on the amount of data you assign to a specific device. For example, you could limit a device to 1 GB and receive Smart Family alerts based on that 1 GB amount. Account Owners can set and adjust Smart Family data usage allowances in My Verizon or the Verizon Smart Family app.

    Visit our Verizon Smart Family FAQs for more information about how to access and use Smart Family.

  5. Why are my data alerts sometimes not what I expect?

    The alerts about your data allowance might reflect a partial allowance or be prorated based on certain transactions. Some of these transactions include:

    • A plan change or a feature change that wasn't backdated or future dated
    • Transferring service for another device to your account
    • Bill cycle date change
    • Mobile number change
    • Suspending or reactivating a line

    You can check your prorated allowance on the My Usage page in My Verizon.

    Your allowance will only be prorated in the same bill cycle as the transaction, and you'll have a full data allowance in the next bill cycle.

  6. How can I check my data usage when using internet devices like a Jetpack®?

    You can verify your data usage anytime on the My Usage page in My Verizon.

    Note: My Verizon alerts aren't available for internet devices such as a Jetpack.

  7. How do I minimize the data usage on internet devices such as Jetpack devices?

    There are several ways to minimize the data usage on internet devices:

    • Use Wi-Fi when available.
    • When using Wi-Fi, make sure your data is disabled.
    • Power down or disconnect internet devices when not in use.
    • Make sure smart devices like printers and home security components are disconnected when not in use.
    • Prevent unauthorized use with password-protected security.

    Go to the Device Support page for your device to find the User Guide for set up instructions.

  8. How can I get more data?

    With most plans, you can increase your data allowance anytime in My Verizon (see steps below).

    You can also:

    • Get a Data Boost, which is an additional amount of high-speed data for a set price. Refer to our Data Boost FAQs for more information.
    • Switch to mix and match unlimited data options for each line on your account.*

    If you have a prepaid account, see our How to Use My Verizon for Prepaid page for steps to change your plan or purchase a Data Boost.

    To change your data allowance:

    1. Go to the Change Your Plan page in My Verizon.
    2. Tap or click Modify my current plan or Modify this plan.

      Note: You can also tap or click Explore unlimited to switch to an unlimited data plan.
    3. Select the new data allowance you want, and tap or click Continue.

      Note: If you have multiple devices on your account, you may be prompted to select an option for each device. If you want to mix and match unlimited plans, you'll need to select the unlimited option you want for each line on your account, even if you want to keep the same plan you currently have on one line. This is only required the first time you set up your mix and match account.
    4. If prompted, select the date you want the plan change to start, and tap or click Continue.
    5. Review your plan changes, and tap or click Confirm.

    You've successfully changed your data allowance.

    *4G LTE only. During times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic (only after 22 GB/line per month on Beyond Unlimited, or 75 GB/line per month on Above Unlimited). Not available for machine-to-machine services. Mobile hotspot/tethering reduced to speeds up to 600 Kbps (only after 15 GB/month on Beyond Unlimited, or 20 GB/month on Above Unlimited); domestic data roaming at 2G speeds; int'l data reduced to 2G speeds after 0.5 GB/day (on Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited). If more than 50% of your talk, text or data usage in a 60-day period is in Canada or Mexico, use of those services in those countries may be removed or limited. Video streaming is HD (SD on phones on Go Unlimited plan). Auto Pay (checks, home banking, or debit cards only) & paper-free billing req'd.

  9. In what order are different types of data used on my account?

    The order in which your data is used depends on which plan you have.

    • If you have a shared data plan - The different types of data on your account are used in this order:
      1. Bonus Data – If you qualify for any type of Bonus Data, it's used first each month.
      2. Monthly data allowance – The monthly data allowance that’s included in your plan is used next.
      3. Carryover Data – If you have data carried over from the previous month, it's used after your entire monthly data allowance is gone.
      4. Data Boost – If you purchase a Data Boost, it's used after your Carryover Data is gone.
      5. Data Gifts – Any data gifts you redeem during the month are used after all other data types are gone.
    • Prepaid plans – With the exception of Data Boosts, all data on your account is combined into a single data pool each month (e.g., your monthly allowance, Carryover Data, etc.). Data Boosts that you purchase are kept separate and are only used after all other data is gone.
    • All other plans – Different data types on your account are used in this order:
      1. Bonus Data – If you qualify for any type of Bonus Data, it's used first each month.
      2. Data Gifts – Any data gifts you redeem during the month are used before your monthly data allowance.
      3. Monthly data allowance – The monthly data allowance that’s included in your plan is used last.

  10. Where can I learn more about Carryover Data, Safety Mode and Data Boosts?

    Please refer to the following pages for more information: