I'm at home, wireless is working, wireless is enabled on my phone. Why is my phone using cell data?

What phone do you have? moto g7

What plan are you on? 1gb/month

Does your plan include data, or just talk & text?

Issue Description

I’m at home, wireless service is working, wireless is enabled on my phone. Phone was using wireless data yesterday. No change since (by me). Why is my phone using cell data today?

Trouble shooting should always begin with answering the question “what did you do last”, this is not an attempt to blame you, but to try to uncover the events leading up to the failure.

  • Things, like:
    • Just returned home in the car, where you listening to something on cell, and you didn’t have the RW app set to hand over to WiFi when available
    • It failed to connect to your WiFi, because a neighbors WiFi is interfering with your router?
  • If you could do a one finger swipe down from the top and let us know What are the Connectivity Status Notifications? – Republic Help that is shown?

Let me rephrase the question.
How do I configure my phone to switch to wifi data when it’s in range of a known access point.

Hi @timh.ejejd6,

It’s not something one configures. By design all smartphones are supposed to prefer WiFi when known (previously connected to) access points are in range. When that fails, one needs to diagnose why. My fellow Ambassador @jben is Community’s best networking diagnostician. Answering his questions would help him best help you.

Meanwhile, if you would like to restrict cell data access, you might engage Republic’s Data Freeze feature:


I recommend the “Data Freeze” setting in the Republic app. In most cases, it will prevent unwanted use of cellular data, and revert to Wi-Fi when available. If I need cellular data I just turn Data Freeze off.

That said I have one app that seems to ignore the Wi-Fi settings and use cellular data even with Data Freeze turned on, Amazon’s Cloudcam. Even when home or at my office on Wi-Fi with Data Freeze turned on, I can burn through 1GB cellular data in less than an hour if I monitor my security cameras.

The only solution I’ve found is to turn on Airplane Mode, and then turn on Wi-Fi. Then the app will use Wi-Fi as it should without burning up cellular data.

In your case, I recommend trying Data Freeze, and then monitoring your apps to see if any are still using cellular data, the way my Amazon Cloudcam app does.


There is the possibility that some app is running in the background, and when the device goes into Android Doze (which shuts off the WiFi) it will use cellular. Your method would help identify that happening.


  • Your silence could be an indication of one of the following.
  1. You tried some of the things your fellow Republic members suggested and it’s fixed!
    • If so let us know the specifics, it’s how we learn what works, so it can be passed on
  2. You figured out the problem and fixed it yourself!!
    • Post back to the community to share you success/knowledge with others
  3. You gave up and are just suffering in silence :frowning:

There are many fellow members in the community that provide help to others … why not join them?

Here’s how to adjust your settings to curb data usage from this article:

  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: Many social networking apps have the ability to auto-play videos as you scroll through your feed, which can use data quickly. If you find this happening in your favorite social app, head to the app’s settings and look for the auto-playing video option — set it to Wi-Fi only, or turn it off altogether.

App updates: It’s a good idea to keep your apps up-to-date, but letting automatic updates run wild on cellular data isn’t really necessary. On Android, open the Google Play Store, tap the three lines in the upper left corner, and head to Settings > Auto-Update Apps and choose Over Wi-Fi Only.

See which apps are using the most data. For Android software, open the Settings app and head to Network & Internet > Mobile Network > App Data Usage. (This location may vary depending on your phone — on Samsung devices, for example, you will find it under Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage.) You will see a graph of your data usage over the last month, along with the apps that have used the most data. If your billing cycle ends on a different day of the month (mine, for example, ends on the fifth), you can tap the gear icon to adjust the cycle date. You can also set an alert after a certain amount of data usage, so you aren’t caught off guard.

If the app in question doesn’t have a setting that does what you want, you may be able to limit it at the operating system level. Android users can tap on an app from the Mobile Data Usage screen to turn off background data.

Billing Cycle vs. "Current Period"
Your “current period” isn’t your current billing period. Instead, it is reporting all the data you’ve used since you last reset these settings. So if you haven’t manually reset them in a while (or ever), there is a good chance you aren’t getting useful information here. Scroll down to the very bottom, tap Reset Statistics and go about your life for another few days. Then you can come back to this screen and see which app is using the most data.

[Copied and edited from the NY Times article. The last bit here is my own advice.]

Finally, my advice for for travelers who buy a foreign SIM, you can avoid an incredibly large data swipe when Google decides to update all fifty apps one day. Don’t blow off that notification screen. It could be costly. I once unknowingly spent 18 euros simply allowing evil Google to update all my apps. Who knew? Turn off background updates as mentioned in the text above and do not forget to turn it back on, if that’s what you want, when you arrive back home after inserting your Republic SIM.

Dean in Dunedin
member since August, 2016
Moto G7 Play

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