Secret or hidden dialer codes are nothing new in the world of mobile devices. Never mind Android or iOS smartphones, the Nokia phone you were using in the early 2000s was also embedded with hidden codes.
Typically beginning with an asterisk symbol, hashtag symbol, or the combination of both, secret dialer codes are a useful way to find in-depth info about your phone without having to access the internet. Beware, however, that some codes will erase some or all of your data. Or worse, they could wipe the phone’s system, rendering it unusable.
We won’t be discussing any of these “dangerous” secret codes, though. Instead, we will simply talk about a few carrier-specific codes that you can use to check your check data usage, also known as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). Unlike the usual secret codes, your carrier network needs to be able to reach your phone in order to access USSD information. You do not need internet access.
Viewing Data Usage with Different Carriers
USSD codes vary from carrier to carrier. Depending on whether you use AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other provider, the code to view your data usage is different.
If you are unfamiliar with how to enter any hidden code, simply bring up the dialer keypad as if you are about to call someone. Then, enter the desired character/number sequence.
Example on how to use a USSD code
Here’s a list of USSD codes to check data usage for some of the major US carriers. Do keep in mind that your phone’s carrier determines what code you can use. Additionally, it doesn’t matter whether you are using an Android or iOS device; the code should work on any mobile device.
- T-Mobile: #932# or #WEB#
- This code lets you view the data usage, data plan, and expiration date.
- Sprint: *4
- With this code, you can see the call minutes used, text messages, as well as data plan in English.
- AT&T: *3282# or DATA#
- This code is useful to view the remaining data and SMS balance.
- Verizon: #3282 or #DATA
- This code lets you instantly see the data usage so far.
There’s a possibility that your carrier will change the code at any point. Don’t worry, though, should that happen, they will usually inform you of the new code or redirect you after you call the old code sequence.
Other Ways to Check Data Usage
The thing about USSD codes—or secret codes in general for that matter—is that not many people find them as useful as they used to be. As technology advances, there are other ways to check information relating to your phone, including data usage that are easier and more intuitive.
For this section, let’s take a look at some of the more convenient ways to view data usage on your phone.
Use an App Provided by Your Carrier
Unlike the old days, modern smartphones are equipped with the capability to freely download and install virtually any kind of app available. In addition, they are also powerful enough to run third-party apps smoothly, giving device holders a comfortable user experience.
For this reason, it’s no wonder that the biggest players in the mobile carrier market like T-Mobile and Verizon, have their own dedicated apps. Using one of these apps, you can view data usage, data plan, account balance, and many other helpful reports.
If you want to download any of your carrier’s apps, you can visit their app download page. Otherwise, Google search with this format: “[your carrier’s name] app.” You should be able to find the appropriate app right away. Alternatively, some third-party apps like GlassWire can also be a decent option to track your data consumption.
With that said, using these apps requires the internet, meaning you might need to use your data to check for data usage—unless you are using Wi-Fi. The data used should be fairly small, but if you are still reluctant to do it, there is another way.
Open Up Your Phone’s Settings
From the Settings app on Android or iOS, you can comprehensively view your data usage. Not only can you see how much data you use in a day or month, but you can also determine which app is using the most data. Locating the culprit that’s been eating away at your data balance should be much easier using this method.
For Android phones, open Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data usage.
If you’re an iOS device user, go to Settings > Cellular or Settings > Mobile Data to reach an identical app listing. The exact steps to reach the same screen might be slightly different depending on your iOS version.
Using a secret dialer code or, more specifically, USSD code is an effective way to immediately get an idea of how much data you’ve used. That said, there are other ways to do the same thing that are more intuitive, i.e., using an app or through Settings.