Turning Off Mobile Data on Android OS Version 2.3 +

UPDATE: It’s Jan 2015 and I now have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with Android version 4.4.4. Technology moves at the speed of light, and TechyMike will keep up as much a possible.

Enjoy this golden oldie blog entry.  🙂 


I cannot afford unlimited data.  Remember: Starving blogger.

My two year smartphone contract with AT&T recently passed on my old Android HTC phone, so Lori and I went to Best Buy to get a new smartphone (hopefully one with front and back cameras that I can test video conferencing apps).

What I got was an amazingly great phone from Motorola.  An Atrix 2 running Android 2.3.6 (after it upgraded on me).  I LOVE IT!!!!   BUT…..the data usage was through the roof!  In only a few days, I had racked up 30 Meg of data usage….shit.  And I could not figure out how to turn mobile data off…..arrrrghhh (the old version of the Android OS was easy…..but, this new version sucks (I think this is on purpose so the carriers can make more money).

Well here is what I found out after days of searching, trying, and almost getting to the point of getting an iPhone. 😉

My Old Android Phone

First, the old version of Android was easy to turn OFF mobile data.

Long hold the power button and you see this screen:

Just hit the “Mobile Network” screen option to turn it OFF.  Now the only time you use data is when you are at a WiFi site.

The NEW Android Versions (2.3 and above?)

I had a hard time finding this.

My Google searches were useless (dealing mostly with battery life which I don’t give a damn about), and not really getting to the point, which is:  I need to turn OFF mobile data on a new Android OS phone.

I can’t believe I am still the only one who pushes the envelope on all kinds of stuff…..I am 60 years old for crying out loud…where is the curiosity in you young folk???

Anyway…..here is how you turn off “mobile data” with these new fangled Android phones.  Mine happens to be Android 2.3.6 running on my really cool Motorola Atrix 2 smartphone.  Yes..I looooove my Atrix 2….it is AWESOME!!! (Did I say that already?)  🙂

Go into your “Settings” menu and you see something like this:

Why battery and data management are in the same menu option is beyond me….but, hey software people have minds of their own….

Click on the “Battery & data manager” option and you will see:

Data Delivery Options….click on that and you will see….

Data enabled with it CHECKED as a default……carrier greed.

Note to Software Developers:  This SHOULD be UNCHECKED as a default.

Un-check that, and let the corporations know you care about saving money.

NOW you will not be using data unless you are near a WiFi…..which is free.


  • Ahh this is brilliant… I`ve been shocked that the enable data option disappeared from where it was on android 2.2 (wireless and networks… etc) but now that u mention it, im starting to think they hid it in the battery manager on purpose. thanks a bunch for posting this! (ps: google searching this is no longer useless lol )


  • You have no idea how perfectly you timed this comment. THANK YOU! 🙂


  • Can you still send and receive MMS with this off?


  • I have to turn it on to get pictures! Arrrghhh… Then I turn it off again. Sometimes, I forget.


  • Thanks Mike 🙂 Those rat bastards won’t be billing me for going over the data limit again! btw. Atrix 2 is AWESOME!


  • You are funny! Glad I could help! 🙂


  • Thank you SO MUCH for this post!!!
    We got the Atrix 2 yeserday for our son and got the cheapest data package becasue it was required. The plan all along was to turn off 4G and allow use of WiFi only but unlike the Samsung Infuse, which our daughter has, the option to turn this off was not on the same menu. Even though I have been a SW developer for 30years I would have h never suspected mobile network control would have been located in the battery and power menu!!


  • No problem. I am steadily getting more and more views on that post. You would have figured it out, us techy old timers don’t give up easily 🙂


  • Thanks a lot for this post, it is really helpfull


  • Thanks. Good to know for when we go on vacation in Canada. I want to keep my cell phone active for emergency calls, but didn’t want to be charged for data. Because of your post, I now know how to set it to only get data when we hit hotspots.


  • Thanks for the fun post… and for avoiding my Android 2.3 smartphone a flight to the trash can.


  • thanks so much. i use galaxy note 2 and because of your post i started searching to also find how to disable data access over a mobile network. thankfully i got it….with android 4.1, check at: settings——–more settings——-mobile networks———uncheck mobile data!!!


  • I have the new alcatel one touch 983 smartphone with android OS 2.3.7, I turned off my data settings but some apps (preinstalled) turn it on again, tried many ways to stop this but to no avail, any ideas?


  • No idea. I would try to delete that app or get a new phone that is more customer friendly. Altcatel….hmmm, they want it turned on! More money for them. 🙂