When I am coming out of an app such as facebook, do I just back out of it and is it still using up my data?


Yes, such internet-based applications normally use background services to stay connected with their servers and use mobile data when Wi-Fi is not available. But data usage is often very low for such background apps.

If you want to stop any data usage of any app when you are not using internet apps, you can disable mobile data temporarily. To do so, Go to Settings -> WiFi and networks -> Mobile data and uncheck the option to disable mobile data.

Also, if you are using Android 4 ICS or newer, you can disable background mobile data usage for some apps. Just go to Settings and under Wireless and Networks, click on Data Usage. Then you will see a list of apps that has used your data. Select the app you want to restrict and in newer window, scroll to bottom and check option "Restrict background data". Then, no background mobile data for that app is allowed.

  • Odd, I don't see an option to restrict background data. Nexus 7, android 4.1.1. I looked at the entry for Chrome.
    – offby1
    Sep 9 '12 at 18:21
  • @offby1 If you see that option for other apps, so it's most probably Google has disabled it for Chrome. However, I don't have 4.1 JB and maybe the option location is different in, or removed from your Android version.
    – yrajabi
    Sep 9 '12 at 19:05
  • It's also worth looking at the app's own settings, they often have an option to limit or stop their background checking and syncing. For Facebook in the Facebook app you can go to Menu -> Settings and in the General Settings section there's a "Refresh interval" settings that you can change to set how often (or if) Facebook will use your data connection while it's running in the background.
    – GAThrawn
    Sep 12 '12 at 7:49

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