If you don’t have unlimited data on your cell phone plan you run the risk of exceeding your monthly allowance. You would be surprised how much data your apps use even when you aren’t actually using them. Without even realizing, your phone is sucking up data. You can easily go over your limit. If you have a plan that charges for more data when you reach that limit you can end up with a hefty bill.
You don’t want that, do you? You need to learn tips to avoid exceeding your mobile data quota. These tips take only a few steps and some of them are one time only so you don’t have to keep doing them.
Turn Off Data
The easiest way to save your data is to just not use it. Turning off data is easy on Android. Just drag down the notification bar and tap the data symbol. On iPhone, it is under “Cellular” in the settings. With data turned off completely, you aren’t using even a tiny speck of it.
Of course, this also means that you can’t do much with your phone. Make use of your wifi when not using data. With wifi you can send regular texts (not pictures), browse the Internet, and play apps. If you want to do something that requires data, like sending a picture text, turn on the data long enough to do that task and then turn it off again.
Make Use of Free Wifi
Many businesses offer free wifi to customers. Your place of work probably has free wifi for employees. It is amazing how much free wifi there is to take advantage of. Every time you visit any place that offers free wifi, connect to that wifi and then set it to always connect once that wifi is within range. That way, as you go about your day your phone will keep connecting to all the free wifi along the way.
Use a Data Manager
Data managers help you control your data usage. You can use them to see which apps use up the most data so you use them less. They will also allow you to set a limit on how much data to use per day, for example, and warns you or even turns off data when you reach that limit.
Many Android phones have a data manager included. You can find it under settings and tap on “Data Usage.” Here you can set your limit to prevent data use once you reach that number. If your Android phone doesn’t have that built in manager then you will download one. On iPhone, you need to download a data manager app.
Luckily, the best app for both Android and iPhone is My Data Manager. Easy to remember, right?
Turn Off Apps That Use Lots of Data
Some apps use more data than others. Apps that require finding your location, such as Pokemon Go or Google Maps, use lots of data. You can follow all the steps above to limit your usage, but you might notice that you are still, somehow, using data. You are being vigilant and using mostly wifi but the number is still changing. How is that possible?
It’s possible because apps often work in the background siphoning off little bits of data all day long. If when you aren’t using them at all. They are sneaky things. But you are smarter. All you have to do is turn off data usage for those apps and make it so they only work in the background when there is wifi available to use.
The steps are different for Android of iPhone.
- Open Settings. That’s the little cog wheel.
- Tap “Mobile Data.”
- Scroll down to see a list of apps that are using data for the selected time period. The default is the week you are on now.
- Tap an app to see how much data it is using. Foreground means data used with you have data usage on and are actually using the app. Background is data used when the app isn’t being used. To stop the app from using background data tap the option at the bottom that says “Disable Background Data…”
- Repeat for all apps.
- Use the drop down list to move to another week of use. There might be different apps here that you used at a different time that are still using data. Always good to check them, too.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on “Cellular.” Scroll down to the section that says “Use cellular data for.” This is a list of apps that use data.
- Decide which apps you want to turn off data for and toggle the little switch on the right. It looks green and the switch is to the left when data is on.
Set Updates For Wifi Only
One of the biggest data suckers is updates. If you phone is set to automatically update it will do so through your data as long as it is turned on. Your phone could constantly be updating and wasting data.
You can set your phone to only update through wifi. This is found in the Google Play Services settings on Android and in the iTunes settings for iPhones. This simple step is performed once and saves lots of data.
Download Instead of Stream
If you want to listen to music or watch a movie but you only have data available and no wifi then you risk using up way too much of your data in that short time. You can save your data by not streaming that music or movie. Don’t watch Netflix. Don’t use YouTube. Instead, download the music or movie to your phone. That way, when you watch it doesn’t use any data. This will take up space on your phone so it is wise to remove then when done or add more storage.
These tips to avoid exceeding your mobile data quota will allow you to use your phone to its fullest without wasting data.