These days, mobile carriers have realized that users need more data than unlimited minutes and texts. As a result, they have introduced flexible unlimited data plans to enable smartphone users to have the best mobile browsing experience. While this makes the situation better than a few years ago, there are many things to do online, increasing the risk of paying unexpected charges, insufficient data or speed throttling. Moreover, apps and websites have become more data-hungry with regular updates and improved graphical media to load. This makes it hard to control your data usage on your Android device.
Related: Reduce cellular data usage in iPhone.
Switch your mobile data on/off may help but it can be inconveniencing yet ineffective. Fortunately, you can adjust some of the system and app settings to ensure that you are not using too much data. Here are a few tips to reduce cellular data usage in Android phone.
How to Check your Cellular Data Usage in your Android Device
To start controlling how much data you use on your device, you need to start by checking your data usage for per a billing cycle (mostly 1 month).
- Open your phone’s “Settings” app and under the “Wireless & Network” section, choose “Data Usage”.
- This will open the data usage page showing how much data your phone has uploaded and downloaded within a specified period.
- To view the graph, tap the “Mobile data usage” option. You see a graph at the top showing your data usage for a 30-day billing cycle.
- Below the graph, you will see how much data each app uses so you can easily identify data-intensive apps.
How to Reduce Cellular Data Usage in Android Phone
There are various ways of controlling data usage on your device, ranging from setting data limits to using alternative methods to connect to the internet.
Minimize Data Usage with Data Saver Mode
If your phone has the Android 8.0 or a later version, you can switch to “Data Saver” mode to reduce cellular data usage. The mode configures most of the apps and system services to use background data only when connected to Wi-Fi.
- To turn on the data save mode, open the device settings and navigate to “Wireless & network > Data Usage” and then tap the “Data Saver” settings.
- Touch to enable/disable the toggle switch at the top of the data save screen.
Setting Data Usage Limit and Warning
You can adjust the Android settings to turn off mobile data when you reach a certain data limit. This can be helpful when you want to avoid exceeding a given usage level without your knowledge.
- To set your monthly data limit, go to the “Data usage” page and tap “Billing Cycle”.
- Tap the “Set data limit” switch and then “Ok” on the resulting prompt to confirm.
- Another pop-up dialogue will appear allowing you to type your limit. To switch between GB and MB, tap the down-facing arrow and select your preferred unit and then tap the “Set” button.
- You may also set a data usage warning to notify you when your device reaches a specified data usage level.
- To set a data usage-warning, tap “Data warning” on the “Billing Cycle” page and enter the usage warning level in MB or GB.
- Tap “Set” to save changes. You will get an alert message when your data usage hits the set level.
Restrict App Background Data
Some apps consume data silently in the background even when not in use. This helps to keep the app up to date without user intervention. You can control background data for the culprit apps.
- To restrict an app from using background data, go to the “Mobile data usage” page and scroll down to the apps usage section.
- Pick the app you want to restrict and tap it to view the usage details. Tap the “Background data” switch to disable/ enable the option.
More Tips for Reducing Cellular Data Usage on Your Android Phone
There are more ways of controlling your device mobile data usage.
Using Wi-Fi Whenever Available
One of the best practice that can lower cellular data usage is to connect via Wi-Fi whenever possible whether at work, home or other public places. Make it a habit to check whether you have access to Wi-Fi and take advantage of the resource.
Disable Play Store App Auto-Update over Cellular Data
- Open Google Play Store app and navigate through “Menu > Settings” and select “Auto-update apps” under the general settings.
- Select the “Over Wi-Fi only” option and tap “Done”.
Using Data Saver in Chrome
- Open the Chrome Android browser, navigate customize menu at the upper-right corner of the screen and go to “Settings.”
- Scroll down to find “Data saver,” open the option and tap the switch at the top of the page to enable data saver mode.
If your mobile data usage is too high, you can try the above options to reduce data consumption and save money. However, it is important to access your mobile data usage rate and subscribe to a plan that is sufficient for your online activities. These tips are only to help you minimize cellular data wastage.