This post was last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 01:18 pm
I will walk us through some practices that will aid us to minimize mobile/cellular data usage on either Android or an iPhone(iOS device). I have more complaints about abnormal data usage from Android phone users compared to their iOS and Windows counterparts.
How to Drastically Minimize Mobile/Cellular Data Usage on any Android or iOS Device
The followings are the way and manner by which you can activate certain features that would enable you to minimize mobile/cellular data usage on either an Android phone or an iOS device.
1.How to use less Mobile Data with Data saver on Android or with Low Power Mode and iPhone
To Activate the Low Power Mode Feature on iOS 9 or Newer
Apple introduced Low Power Mode with iOS 9 to give users some extra time the phone dies.
To turn Low Power Mode on or off
- go to Settings > Battery and toggle the button on or off as shown in the picture above.
- . You can also turn Low Power Mode on and off from Control Center. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, then select Low Power Mode to add it to Control Center.
When Low Power Mode is on, your iPhone will last longer before you need to charge it
Low Power Mode reduces or affects these features:
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
- Background app refresh(You app will not update automatically)
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- iCloud Photos (temporarily paused)
Use data saver mode to Minimize Mobile/Cellular Data Usage on Android Phones
There is a way to set your phone to use less mobile data automatically on Android 7.0 and up. The method requires you to turn on data saver. This mode lets most apps and services get background data only via Wi-Fi.
Turn data saver mode on or off
- Open your device’s Settings app .
- Tap Network & internet Data usage Data saver.
- Turn Data saver on or off.
Set mobile data usage warning or limit
- Open your device’s Settings app .
- Tap Network & internet Data usage.
- Go to Mobile data usage Settings.
- Tap Data warning. If needed, first turn on Set data warning.
- Enter a number. To switch between megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), tap the Down arrow .
- Tap Set.
When your usage reaches the level you picked, you’ll get a notification.
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2. Change your Email notifications from “Push” to “Manual” or “time-based”
Well, some guys out there receive more than 70 unsolicited emails daily. If your email notification is set to push, it simply means anytime a mail arrives, it is pushed directly to your phone and your email client works round the clock to search for new emails.
- To change this to manual push on Android, goto to your email settings and change this to manual.
- As for iPhone, go to settings>Mail>>Contacts>> Calendars>>Then tap “fetch new data” and set Push to off.
3.Switch off GPS/Location Service when not in use
I urge you to turn this off whenever you are not using them. If you want to use your map or any app that requires location service, grant such app the required access to your GPS/location service and switch it off immediately after use.
Note: location service is very useful for “find my iPhone”, “find my mobile” and other server-dependent security features.
- To turn your location services off on Apple ios goto>> sett9ings>>privacy>>Location service.
- As for android goto settings,>>privacy and safety>>location then off.
4.Manage your notifications of social media apps like facebook, google hangouts, Twitter
I can’t give you a specific guide on what do to here but just remember, the more notifications that come to your phone, the more data and battery you are consuming. Simply minimize the frequency.
As for me, I only enabled events notification on Facebook as well as alerts of activities from friends. I disabled every other thing as I simply do those manually. If you are serious about minimizing mobile/cellular data usage, you may consider doing likewise.
5. Limit background data
As said earlier, you need to restrict data consumption by some applications in the background. Applications like google play store(tries to auto update by default you need to switch this off from within its settings).
Facebook, your mail apps/clients, and host of others. You can do this in two ways, either you restrict background application from within settings of an Android or you disable sync under the individual accounts on Androids.
The easiest way to save data is to tell your apps (or the Android system) to restrict background data. Background data is all that internet traffic that goes on when you’re not actually using an app. Examples of activities apps that consume mobile data in the background are email syncing, feeds updating, weather widgets and so on. This can save you a lot of data.
- to limit background data on Android, you’ll generally need to do it via the Settings menu of the app in question. In Android, take a look under Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data usage and tap on an app to find the option to Restrict app background data.
- for iOS, you can also go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to see a list of apps under Use cellular data for. Toggle off anything that isn’t essential. of simply turn off background refresh.
6. Disable Auto-Updating of Apps
Another huge drain of your data allowance comes from the occasional occurrence of Google Play app auto-updating. If you have the Play Store set to auto-update apps, this could be chewing its way through your allowance every month without you even knowing.
- To check, go to the Play Store and swipe out the left-hand navigation drawer. Tap Settings and at the top, you’ll see Auto-Update Apps. Tap this and make sure you have it set to ‘Do not auto-update apps’. To manage individual apps, go to My Apps, select an app and then tap the overflow menu to check, or un-check Auto-Update.
7. Put Your media files especially Music and Videos on your Phone’s memory or external storage
If you are in the habit of streaming your music and video before downloading them, you are losing on two fronts. Why not download them once and for all? or you can get them sent to your from friends who already have them. Then watch or listen at your leisure.
Streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, and the likes are huge data killers. If there’s a tune or album you’re constantly listening to at your leisure or on the way to work, you’ll use much fewer data by loading it onto your phone and listening to it offline, than endlessly streaming it from the web.
8. Minimize Mobile/Cellular Data Usage by Changing your Web Browser
At least three popular mobile browsers are equipped with data saving features by default. these are Chrome, Opera mini and Ucweb. Also if you use Chrome for all your web traffic, this tip alone can save you 30-35% of your mobile browser data consumption. The Data Saver option compresses web pages before loading them in your browser.
Using Data Saver does slow things down a tiny bit, but you quickly get used to it and a moment’s delay is worth it when your data lasts so much longer.
Just launch Chrome, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner, go down to Settings and then to Data Saver. Keep an eye on the graph to see your data savings grow.
Similarly, The Opera for Android/ iOS browser now has a very useful video compression option, which can save you a load of data if you’re frequently watching videos on the go. To use it, simply download the Opera browser, go to Settings > Data savings and tick the box that says Video compression. This setting not only saves your data but also means that videos are more likely to load faster.
Apart from the above, you should only browse mobile versions of websites where possible, as they tend to load faster and use fewer data. You should also avoid deleting your Internet cache (which is a common way to free up some space on your phone). By preserving your cache you won’t have to download images from frequently visited websites every time you visit them.
9. Ditch the Facebook Major for Facebook Lite App or A less Demanding one
Apart from managing your Facebook notifications, you can even do better. Android users are well aware that the Facebook app is one of the biggest consumers of data, not to mention its high resource use and battery drain. So why not replace it with something less demanding?
There are lots of alternate Facebook apps but many of those are just as hungry as the official version. Even Facebook Lite, which claims to reduce data consumption by 50%, still chews through hundreds of MB in a month.
So why not try Tinfoil for Facebook, which is simply a web app that displays the Facebook website (you can still get push notifications by using IFTTT and Pushbullet). Or you could simply create a Chrome shortcut in your web browser. Just open Facebook in Chrome, open the overflow menu and select Add to Home Screen.
10. Watch-out for Apps and Games that are Played Online or that display advertisement
When you download an app that displays ads, you should be aware that you have two inconveniences here, 1. distractions and 2. data consumption. The solution is for you to either buy the ads-free version or simply use such apps offline.
There is an exception to this. If you are using a video streaming free app like IPTV apps(e.g mobdro, sports tv..) then there is nothing you can do. However, if you are using a premium app like homelive, Xtream IPTV, best IPTV e.t.c, then you don’t need to worry about adverts.
There used to be a lot of ad blocker apps in the app stores, but this functionality is generally limited to rooted Android smartphones or jailbroken iPhones now
11. Save Pages & Read Later Offline & USE Google Maps Offline
Ucweb browser has a plugin known as “save page” you can download this on google play store and once downloaded and installed, you will be able to locate it under “tools”. This add-on allows you to save a page and read it later.
Similarly, you can use an app like Pocket (Android, iOS) to save interesting web pages and access them later anytime you like without needing an Internet connection.
Furthermore, you can also make Google Maps available for offline use. Fire up the Google Maps app when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data and select the area you want to save then tap Menu > Make available offline or go to Maps > My Places > Offline and tap New offline map before selecting the area you want. You can also review your offline maps via Maps > My Places > Offline.
luckily, you can also get directions when you’re offline. You won’t find offline turn-by-turn in Apple Maps either. You might consider getting a navigation app that does offer offline turn-by-turn directions. There are also a lot of premium options in the app stores.
12. Use Wi-Fi Wherever & Whenever Possible
I mean free Wi-Fi. if you have free wifi in your office or anywhere around you, simply off your mobile data and make use of this. Whenever you’re in the house, or at the office, there’s a good chance you can switch from your mobile data connection to Wi-Fi. Make sure you get into the habit of doing it, and you can make huge savings on the data you’re using.
It’s as simple as tapping Wi-Fi in your Settings menu. If you leave Wi-Fi turned on, and you’ve connected to a router before, then it should connect automatically when it comes into a connection range.
13. Identify and limit/Remove High Data Consuming apps
To do this on Android, go to To Settings >Data usage you can get a look at the apps which are consuming the most data both in the foreground and the background. This can be really useful for knowing which apps you should restrict. Take Gmail, for example. On my phone, it has downloaded 250 MB of emails in the background. If I felt I didn’t use the app enough to justify that much data, I could remove the app, limit how often it syncs or prevent it from downloading attachments, all of which would reduce data consumption.
A similar feature is available on iOS in the person of “background refresh” you can turn this off by going through settings>>general>>background refresh.
14. Think Twice before Uploading, Downloading or Sending Pictures or Videos
A single minute of high definition video footage captured on a modern smartphone can take up as much as 200 MB of data. Single photos can easily exceed 40 MB. Don’t even think about uploading these to Facebook, or downloading pictures and videos from friends, unless your mobile data plan can handle it.
Share photos, videos and other files via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Apps: Some file sharing apps that use wifi on android are xender, flashshare and so on. You can use this instead of sending pictures or videos to friends or family that are close by via email or social media apps. As we mentioned just receiving photos and videos can consume a lot of data. But transfers over a mobile network isn’t the only way to send files. Thanks to the magic of Bluetooth, you can quickly and easily send relatively large files to others in your vicinity without using any data at all.
Of course, proximity is one of the limitations of Bluetooth, but when the intended recipient is close by, this could be a huge data saver.
To send something via Bluetooth you must navigate to the item you wish to send and then hit the share button (looks like this) or select share from the options menu. The way to do it will depend on the item you are sending.
Next, select the Bluetooth icon. If your Bluetooth isn’t enabled, you may be prompted to enable it. Finally, you must select the destination device from a list of nearby Bluetooth-enabled gadgets. Note that the destination device must also have Bluetooth enabled, and you must know its name to find it in the list.