How to Stop Using Airtime as Data on Airtel Nigeria

How to Stop Using Airtime as Data on Airtel Nigeria

If your Airtel Nigeria airtime is being deducted when you browse the internet, it’s likely because you’ve run out of your existing data plan and the “Pay As You Go” (PAYU) service is activated. This blog post will guide you through disabling PAYU and other solutions to prevent airtime from being used as data.

Methods to Prevent Airtime Usage for Data

Here are the main ways to stop your Airtel airtime balance from being depleted for internet usage:

1. Disable PAYU

  • Dial *400# and follow the prompts to deactivate the PAYU service. This is the primary solution for most cases.

2. Manage Your Data

  • Regularly check your data balance by dialing *140#. This helps you stay on top of usage and prevents unexpected depletion of your data bundle.
  • Enable data usage warnings or set limits on your smartphone to be alerted when you’re approaching your data plan’s limit.

3. Data Purchase Settings

  • When purchasing a data plan, select the “Stop my data” option when prompted. This ensures your data stops automatically when it’s exhausted instead of switching to PAYU.

4. Disable Background Data

  • Turn off background data on your smartphone to restrict apps from using data when you aren’t actively using them. You can find this option in your phone’s settings.

5. Customer Support:

  • Contact Airtel Nigeria customer support (dial 111 or 121) to request the deactivation of PAYU and discuss any further concerns about your data usage.

Important Points

  • When your data plan runs out, avoid browsing until you’ve either reactivated PAYU intentionally or purchased a new data bundle.
  • It’s a good habit to have a small data plan active to prevent complete internet disconnection in case your main data plan expires.


By understanding how to stop using airtime as data on Airtel Nigeria, you can stay in control of your expenses and avoid unwanted airtime deductions. Use the above methods and tips to ensure your airtime is used solely for its intended purposes – calls and SMS.

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