Just a quick question, really.

When I'm tethering (via USB, or wireless, or whatever) my phone's apps (and there are a significant number of my apps which do this) are constantly using the phone's mobile data connection to push notifications.

My phone's mobile connection is poor at the best of times (Samsung Galaxy S3 on o2 in the North East of England), such as now, where it's constantly flicking between G, E, H, H+ and 3G.

As such, I'd like to effectively "disable" my phone for every purpose other than providing an internet connection my laptop via USB or wireless.

Is that possible?


Try Android Firewall from the Play Store. You could create a "White list" that starts off with denying all network activity for all apps, to which you'd then allow just your tethering to go through.

Then, when you want everything to go through again, just disable the firewall...Or better yet create another white list that you can switch to.

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Take a look at this article. I think what you're looking for is "Restrict Background Data." Keep the tethering app in the foreground and every other app will be starved of connectivity.

Restrict Background Data: This option prevents all apps and services from using data in the background. Apps that depend on background data won’t work how you’d expect them to – for example, Gmail won’t automatically download new messages in the background if you enable this option.


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  • Instead of just linking to another source, you should post the answer here. If that page is removed, or unavailable, it becomes a very poor answer. – Ryan Conrad Jul 26 '13 at 15:48
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    @RyanConrad, The whole article is useful. If I copied it here, that qualifies as plagiarism or a copyright violation. – mawcsco Jul 26 '13 at 15:52
  • true, but you could answer the question and link to it for further reading. I wasn't saying to copy the entire article, I was saying that you should answer the question here, not just point to an external source. I was refering to the help - Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline. – Ryan Conrad Jul 26 '13 at 19:09

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