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Data Usage FAQs

About data usage

  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) uses your monthly data allowance.

    Check the notification bar on your device to see if you're connected to the Verizon Wireless network. If you see 5G Ultra Wideband, 5G Nationwide, 4G (LTE), 3G or 1X, this means you're connected to our network.

    When you're connected to our network and access the internet, watch a video, check your email, play games, use apps (e.g., Facebook®, Twitter®, Maps etc.) and more, you use your monthly data allowance. Background tasks, such as syncing or location services, may also use your 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. Connecting to Wi-Fi networks you know and trust 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 current and previous data usage charges on my Verizon Wireless bill?

    You can get a quick summary of your daily charges on the Bill Overview page in My Verizon. Choose View activity usage.

    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.

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

Troubleshooting and Data Management

  1. How can I check my data usage?

    You can get insight into your data usage by checking your device usage in My Verizon.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. How can I get more data?

    If you need more data every month, you can change your plan in My Verizon any time.

    Or, if you need more data just for the current billing period, you can get a Data Boost, which is an additional amount of high-speed data for a set price. What you can use the extra data for depends on your plan type:

    • Shared data plans – Each Data Boost adds 1 GB of 4G LTE speed data for general device use, including mobile hotspot. At the end of the billing period, any unused portion of your Data Boost is added to your pool of Carryover Data.
    • Unlimited plans – Each 5 GB Data Boost only lets 4G LTE speed resume for a line’s mobile hotspot use. The Data Boost expires at the end of your current bill period. 
      • Just Kids and Start Unlimited plans aren't eligible to get a Data Boost. 

    Visit our Data Boost FAQs for more information.

    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.

  8. 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.

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

    Please refer to the following pages for more information: