In this guide, you will learn how to stop Google Play Services from using mobile data.

So I always pay for a monthly subscription for mobile data. I mean I don’t use my mobile phone for heavy downloads that use tonnes of data, so I don’t do an unlimited subscription.

I always hope my mobile data will be enough, all the way through the month but google play services don’t let me. This thing chews a lot of data. So I recently discovered a way to stop google play services from using too much of my mobile data and it’s our topic for today.

What is Google Play Services?

Google play services icon

Google Play Services is a background service in all Android devices that acts as an Application Programming Interface (API). It’s not like the rest of the applications and therefore you won’t find it listed in the applications menu, but rather it runs in the background.

But even though it’s not listed in the applications menu, it’s as important and more as the other applications. Many applications that make use of the services provided by Google are able to do this with the help of Google play services.

An example is an application like Uber that uses Google maps for navigation. So the app is able to communicate to Google maps through Google Play Services.

Google Play Services also make it possible for Google Play to communicate with installed applications so as to update them, not to mention even applications running on old Android versions.

So considering all the services provided by Google Play Services, it, in the end, consumes a lot of data. But we can not disable it because it’s very essential for the running of other applications. If you want to know more about the need for Google Play Services, Read: What is Google Play Services? And why do I need it?

Therefore am going to walk you through steps to stop Google Play Services from using background data and also disabling auto-updates for Google Play apps on mobile data.

How to stop Google Play Services from using mobile data

Turn off background data for Google Play services

To stop data usage by Google Play Services, you need to first turn off background data for Google Play Services. Follow the following steps to turn off background data for Google Play Services.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Data usage
  3. Here you will be able to see all the applications that use your mobile ordered by usage.
  4. Locate Google Play Services in the list and tap on it.
  5. Turn off the switch for Background data.
  6. After turning off background data usage, Google Play Services will stop using mobile data while running in the background.
background data settings for google play services

Turn off auto-update for Google Play applications

Secondly, you need to turn off auto-update for applications from the Google Play store. To turn off the auto-update of Google Play apps, follow the following steps.

  1. Open the Play Store application
  2. Tap on the icon in the top left corner to open the Play Store’s main menu.
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Tap on Auto-update apps and select either to update Over WiFi only or Don’t auto-update apps.
auto-update settings for google play apps

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Enock Lubowa
A technologist who writes for both the geeks and non-geeks. I am an entrepreneur and Android developer with a Computer Science background. Get in touch with me via my social handles below.