It's been a month now that the auto-sync option on my phone makes it upload 30 MB per day (in addition to my usual upload/download rate) and still download only a few hundreds of KB. It blew up my quota in only 10 days so I had to deactivate it. The only app that I installed at that time was the Google Doc app.

I recently reactivated the auto-sync and I unchecked the doc sync in: Settings > Account > my account, but I'm still uploading 10 spare MB per day. I only kept Gmail, contacts and calendar syncing (just as before).

My questions are:

  • Do you know what can cause this, why it changed without any visible reason ?
  • Are there third-party apps using the Android auto-sync option to enable/disable their own syncing process ?


I use 3GWatchDog Pro, and this spare MB are shown under "Android System" so it's not very helpful.

If relevant, my device is the Motorola DEFY

  • Do you have cloud backup turned on? Apr 19, 2012 at 16:06
  • I don't think so. Still, could you tell me where I can find this option ? My phone isn't in english so I'm not sure.
    – Yosko
    Apr 20, 2012 at 7:25
  • Settings -> Privacy, usually. Apr 20, 2012 at 17:51
  • Ok. Before I see your answer, I deleted the accounts that I didn't use on my phone (Facebook, LastFm, etc... everything except my main Google account), and Today everything seems fine... I'll monitor it a few days, and maybe turn off the cloud backup you mentioned, but my problem seems fixed. Thanks for the advice.
    – Yosko
    Apr 21, 2012 at 18:28

1 Answer 1



There are several applications that use the auto-sync feature from Android to regularly update their contents. In fact, according to the Google documentation, you can configure synchronization options for any of your apps.

Auto-sync is used to allow applications to synchronize data on their own schedule. This can be disabled, and accessing each application, you can manually sync its data.

Take note that automatic data synchronization is disabled if Background data is unchecked.

Some examples of accounts that can be found here are Google; DropBox; Viper; Facebook.

Configure general sync settings

To access the list of accounts currently using auto-sync, thus enabling or disabling the auto-sync for each one, you need to:

  1. Tap your device "home" button;
  2. Tap "Settings";
  3. Tap "Accounts & Sync".

    From here you can see your accounts using auto-sync, what define whether they are allowed to auto-sync or not:

    Auto-sync active indicates that some or all of an account’s information is configured to sync automatically.

    Auto-Sync disabled indicates that none of an account’s information is configured to sync automatically.

    Android Screen Shots


Depending on the accounts using auto-sync, they can send as well as receive data. As your account data grows, the data synchronization uses more KB to keep your information up to date on your device and on the host.

While synchronization doesn't transfer all the information back and forward, only transfer the "new stuff", since the last sync their may be a large amount of data to be updated on one side, thus causing a large transfer of data to take place.


  • I suppose your answear would be what most people are looking for when reading this page. But my problem was different: as I mentioned in the original post, I already checked these, and none of the accounts appearing in the auto-sync account list was causing the problem. It is only when I deleted accounts from the motoblur account manager that it stoped. Still, I wonder how an account causing these excessive upload can stop when deactivating the auto-sync if it doesn't even appear in the auto-sync account list...
    – Yosko
    Aug 9, 2012 at 13:55
  • @Yosko auto-sync is a global setting that is supposed affect all applications. But applications may not present themselves at the auto-sync list. I've got a few auto-sync apps running, and only three of them are on the auto-sync list from my device. :/
    – Zuul
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:00
  • @Yosko One can't really rely on the auto-sync list as to control apps using auto-sync. Many apps have their own auto-sync enable/disable otpions from within the application settings, and as mentioned, don't even present themselves into the global auto-sync list. (on a personal note, all apps with auto-sync capabilities should be on that global list, but this isn't enforced by Android).
    – Zuul
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:04
  • I understand that now, and I agree with you. Unlike computer, smartphones really need a way to manage all connections. Thanks.
    – Yosko
    Aug 10, 2012 at 20:05

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