My son is exceeding his data limit by downloading files when off the WiFi. I do not want to turn off all mobile data as he still needs to access his email, etc, however, he does not need to be watching YouTube videos and Netflix movies when not connected to the WiFi.

Is there a way for me to restrict data usage for specific apps to WiFi only? For example, if he opens up Google Chrome and is not connected to the WiFi, he cannot use this app. Essentially he gets a "connection not found" message.

Previous posts (Limit YouTube to Wi-Fi only) referred to the apps Onavo Count and Avast Mobile Security but when I checked them out in Google Play neither app mentioned the ability to do this.

I have restricted background data for these apps, but my understanding is that he still can use these apps over a mobile network if he opens them up.

Suggestions anyone? He has a HTC Evo. I own a Note 2.

  • Have you checked with your carrier? Some carriers allow you to limiting data usage by the device. Also some devices have a setting for limiting data usage. Have you tried that?
    – Shadow
    Sep 23, 2015 at 18:02
  • 1
    possible duplicate of Closing internet access for some apps
    – Firelord
    Sep 24, 2015 at 6:58

4 Answers 4


Check NoRoot Firewall screenshot below in playstore

Screenshot from playstore
Screenshot (click to enlarge)

As you can see from the screenshot, you can add custom filters to allow specific websites to work on Mobile data and also to restrict in WiFi too. You can restrict youtube and other data hungry apps not to work under mobile data.


Not sure if you'd want to root but a for sure solution would be an app like Macrodroid (like tasker) and AFWall (firewall) to automate this using profiles and wouldn't end up blocking when unwanted. These are all paid apps tho, rely on something like SuperSU, and they all run as device administrator with password protection to prevent changes to settings or removal. https://i.stack.imgur.com/1Zlww.jpg


On my Sprint plan, even if you use WiFi, if the data is concurrently enabled (updown arrows in status bar highlighted), then Sprint will count is as data used. The central service cannot distinguish whether you are actually using WiFi, or cellular data if the mobile data setting is enabled. It counts it as data passing into the phone regardless of source with the mobile data on.

So even if you stream Youtube or HD video through your home wifi, They do not tell you this, and some store clerks or IT help (customer service reps) don't even know it. My brother got snagged on this while streaming spotify at work.

Call them out on it and get your money back for the months you went over. They never explain this to customers and it's a big ripoff.

Be sure to turn off mobile data while connected to Wifi if so that you don't accumulate data use.

PS On a different note. Streaming music didn't work for me because I turned off background data enabled for the streaming app. The settings say turn off background data for mobile data only, but it seems to also disrupt wifi.

The distinction by apps or by carrier seems to be difficult in both cases.

  • 1
    I think when your phone has both WiFi and updown arrows highlighted, it uses cellular data over WiFi. I don't know what you refer to as central service but service providers determine the amount of data you use based on their own measurements. They can't know if you use WiFi or how much data you use through WiFi.
    – SarpSTA
    Dec 31, 2016 at 14:50

Their is an app available in google play store which do the same as you need called watchDogs Application, However, This feature is available in android phones which operating System is updated to Lollipop version 5.1.

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