How to Check FaceTime Data Usage on the iPhone

Cellular data is a great way to communicate and access online content no matter where you’re at. Limiting your iPhone’s internet capabilities to wifi is exhaustive and limits your use of the phone.

How to Check FaceTime Data Usage on the iPhone

FaceTime is an Apple feature that allows users to contact one another via video call. Personalizing your cell phone interactions more than a text or audio call, this nifty feature has been connecting people around the globe for decades.iphone facetime contact

Using Cellular Data can be complicated and result in excessive phone bills depending on your carrier and rate plan. Because FaceTime uses the internet to make these calls, it may be important that you monitor how much Cellular Data the FaceTime app is actually using during your billing cycle. Because FaceTime uses approximately 180MB per hour (3MB per minute) of your Cellular data, checking in can save you money if you’re still on a limited data plan or you’re traveling overseas.

How to Check Your Cellular Data – iPhone Settings

It is possible to check your cellular data usage using the Settings on your iPhone. If you’re trying to watch your data usage this may not be the best place to look for a few reasons:

  • You have to manually reset the statistics at the beginning of every billing cycle
  • Your carrier will bill you for the amount of data you’ve used on their end – if your phone is not calculating it properly you may run into issues with overage charges.

Follow these steps to see the FaceTime cellular data usage:

  1. Tap on Settings on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down to ‘Cellular’ and tap on it
  3. You will see a list towards the bottom with green and grey toggle switches to the right
  4. Scroll down until you see ‘FaceTime’ – Just underneath it you will see a number. Next to that number will be either KB (Kilobytes), MB (Megabytes), or GB (Gigabytes). This tells you how much data FaceTime has used since you last reset the statistics.

Resetting the Statistics

Unlike some Android phone models, Apple doesn’t allow you to set your billing cycle. It’s unlikely that this cycle runs from the first of the month to the 31st of the month so you’ll have to look on your cell phone bill to know which day your data allotment renews.

For pre-paid users, this is the day you reload funds.

If you’d like to rely on the Apple Settings to let you know how much cellular data FaceTime has used for billing purposes you’ll want to Reset Statistics on the first day of your new billing cycle every month.

To do this follow these instructions:

  1. Access the Settings and tap on Cellular just as you did before
  2. Scroll all the way down until you see ‘Reset Statistics’ in blue
  3. Tap on it and confirm

If this worked properly; the numbers below each app should reflect zeros.

If you’d like to see how much data a particular call or contact has used there’s a way to do that too!

Checking FaceTime Data Usage – Per Contact

Follow these instructions to get an itemized list of how much data each FaceTime call you’ve made has used.

facetime data usage iphone

  1. Go to the Phone app on your device, and tap the Recents tab.
  2. Scroll down on “Recents” until you find the call you made (which will be labeled with FaceTime Audio or FaceTime Video under the name of the person you called), and touch the “i” with a circle around it which should be located next to the contact information.
  3. You’ll then see the details of the call, including how much data was consumed.

If you’re using your phone for business purposes or another matter, this can be useful for keeping track of the data usage and time you’ve spent on each FaceTime call.

facetime data usage video
That could add up pretty fast!

What to Do if FaceTime is Using Cellular on Wifi

You may be at home, or at a local coffee shop when you’re making FaceTime calls. You’ve taken the time to log into the wifi connection to spare yourself from using cellular data unnecessarily. Then you get an alert from your carrier that you’ve used too much cellular data.

Even if you’re on wifi it’s important to remember that your phone is searching for the fastest internet source. This means that while your phone shows it is on wifi, it can actually jump to cellular to get faster speeds. Some users don’t even know it’s happening.

The fix is actually pretty simple and you can do this for any of the applications on your iPhone.

Following the instructions from above access Settings and click on Cellular. Remember the green and grey toggle switches we discussed earlier? Those can be switched off to keep your phone from accessing the cellular network for the internet for each application listed. Once the toggle switch is Grey – your phone will no longer access the cellular network for FaceTime calls.

Cellular Data for Billing Purposes

Most carriers offer a comprehensive unlimited data package in the U.S. so this may not be an issue for you. Unless you’re roaming on another carrier’s towers for more than 3 months, you won’t have any issues outside of throttling which is another matter.

If your cell phone carrier is throttling your data speeds after so many gigabytes used, checking your FaceTime data usage can be a useful tool for maximizing your speeds at the end of a billing cycle, but it won’t affect your bill.

If you’re traveling internationally or you’re still on a limited data plan; you’ll certainly want to spare every megabyte you can while monitoring the usage. One of the most accurate ways to monitor your cellular data usage is by logging into your carrier’s application directly onto your phone. This allows you to see what they see, and what you’ll ultimately be billed for (even if your phone has a glitch where it’s “leaking data”).

Before traveling internationally or going on a cruise you’ll want to make sure that all of the toggle switches we discussed early are Grey (turned off). International data usage can result in a bill of thousands of dollars. By turning off ‘Cellular Data’ in the settings your iPhone won’t be connecting to any international towers.

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