How To Force Apps To Use WiFi Only On Android

It’s possible to force some Android apps to only use Wi-Fi while other apps use the mobile data connection. You might want to do this if you have an app that uses a lot of data, but isn’t required to run all the time or be constantly available. An example of this is updating apps; You don’t need to install app updates as soon as they come out, it’s fine to leave it until you get home and can update your apps over the Wi-Fi connection. Here’s how to make an Android app only use Wi-Fi (In this example, I will show how to set Android to only update apps over Wi-Fi):

  1. Click on Settings
  2. Click on Data Usage
  3. Select the app you want to only use Wi-Fi (to stop apps updating over 3G / 4G and only use Wi-Fi, select the Google Play app)
  4. Scroll down and click on Restrict background data -> OK

This will stop the app from using 3G / 4G and only access the internet over the Wi-Fi connection.

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How To Force Apps To Use WiFi Only On Android, 5.7 out of 10 based on 29 ratings

7 thoughts on “How To Force Apps To Use WiFi Only On Android

  1. What version of Android? I don’t have a “Data Usage” under Settings.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Hi G,

      Forcing apps to useWi-Fi only in this way works on Android 4 / Icecream Sandwich. If you find another way to do it on a different version of Android, please share 🙂

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  2. Hi, check out:

    Tell Google Play to only update Apps over WiFi.


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  3. So far NONE of the suggestions I found on Google is giving me what I actually want.

    What I (and other people giving you 1 stars for this) want is an app that has the PRIMARY FUNCTION of restricting BOTH background and FOREGROUND processes of any app, when my data is TURNED ON.

    Yes Onavo Count is very useful, but I heard that I can only restrict the app only if I breach my data limit for the month (?). That is a rather #mildlyinfuriating feature if its true as I just started a new month.

    … And yes, it would be wise to assume that we have been trawling the net for a solution to this biting issue for quite some time now and we certainly know that restricting the background process obviously does not restrict the foreground process. Foreground processes use up way more data than background processes (at least for me and other people who are in the same situation as me).

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
    • Whoa, so much hate – I’m just sharing what I’ve found useful to me. This article does exactly what the title suggests – Forces Android apps to use WiFi only.

      If you want more granular control over your apps access to the internet (above what Google offer with the current version of Android) and can’t find this functionality in a current app, then it sounds like you might have found a niche market for a new app – perhaps you might consider investing some money in having it developed or petition Google to improve their level of control in future versions of Android?

      Otherwise, if you do find the app that does what you are trying to achieve, please reply back to share it with others 🙂

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      Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
  4. This is the only time i consider apple has implemented this feature very clearly and simply.

    The problem we are facing occurs when you are watching you tube videos and wifi connection is sketchy so your phone/tablet automatically switches to celluar data mode and start using this data without our knowledge. This data usage would certainly be called as foreground usage and our frustrations is how to stop it. The solution i want would just stop my data usage and tell that wifi not available or cellular data usage is not allowed on this application.

    Why is this not standard feature in android hen it is in iphone since ages now.

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