One of the biggest challenges of using an Android smartphone is the internet data usage. To get the best of your Android smartphone you need a steady internet connection as a lot of services and apps depend on the internet data to run, whether foreground or background these data-hungry apps suck up your internet data in no time.
Most internet providers are notoriously stingy with their data plans and often times we are left with limited mobile data plans. When you are on such a limited mobile data plan then you will understand how horrible and expensive it is to renew your bundle every now and then.
Even when you may not physically engage to consume your data, your Android smartphone is usually busy sucking away your limited data sometimes without your notice. In this article I want to look at how you can minimize Android data usage but before we get started it will be wise to monitor which app is consuming your data.
On your Android smartphone navigate to Settings and tap Data usage. Here you can monitor the amount of data usage on your Android smartphone and can even see which apps are consuming your data and how much data they have consumed.
Ways you can minimize Android data usage:
1. Restrict background data for apps:
So many processes on the background suck up your mobile data even without your notice. These processes check for updates, synchronize apps, data, images, contacts, backups etc. Some apps can run smoothly without using internet connection, it will be wise to restrict such apps from running in the background consuming mobile data.
To restrict apps from using mobile data go to Settings > Data usage and scroll down to reveal all the apps consuming your data, tap on the app you want to restrict its data usage and thick the “Restrict background data” checkbox.
2. Disable Automatic Update of Apps & Push content:
Often times our apps update themselves automatically and this consumes our data. By default some apps are configured to automatically update themselves. To save your data you can disable this in the Google Play Store.
Simply load the Play Store, navigate to the Menu > Settings and uncheck the auto-update apps. This will stop apps from updating automatically each time there is an update and that way your data usage will be minimized.
Another way you can minimize Android data usage is by disabling push contents. Push content is any data that’s automatically “pushed” to your phone without user interaction such as emails, social media notifications etc.
You can disable this push content per-app especially if you use Android 4.0 or higher, simply go to Settings > Data usage and just tap on an app on the menu, then tap the View App Settings button. You can also change the sync settings of apps such as Facebook and Google etc by going to Settings > Accounts and Sync.
3. Use Wi-Fi whenever possible:
A regular access to a Wi-Fi network will help you save data, so whenever you have access to Wi-Fi network connect to it and update all your apps that requires updates. So to minimize Android data usage find good Wi-Fi networks and use them from time to time especially when you have downloads or uploads to make.
4. Avoid Streaming Multimedia online:
Streaming music, video or even radio live will consume your mobile data faster than a speeding bullet. While it is cool to listen to online radios, what it not cool is the rate of consumption of mobile data. So to minimize Android data usage avoid streaming multimedia online except maybe when on a Wi-Fi network.
5. Put Off Data When not in use:
To minimize Android data usage you need to put off your mobile data whenever you don’t use it. Turn it off and only turn it on when you need it. That way you can save a lot of data and minimized the data usage.
6. Use Data Optimized Browsers:
While some mobile browsers can browse faster and even show you the desktop version of every website on your mobile phone, some others like Opera mini has been optimized to save your data. You can turn off image loading or determine the quality to load, you can decide to load mobile sites or their desktop version. So to minimize Android data usage ensure to use mobile browsers that can save your data or configure whichever browser you like to use minimal data while surfing.
7. Set Data Alerts & Limits:
If you are using Android 4.0 you can set data alerts and limits from Settings > Wireless & Network tap on Data usage, tap to tick the Set mobile data limit box and move the orange and red lines to set an alert usage amount (so you will get a warning when you are closing in on your limit), and a hard limit (which will prevent you from going over your allowance). You can also use My Data Manager to keep track of your data and set alerts up.
Conclusion: These tips will most definitely minimize Android Data usage. You may have to sacrifice some convenience to stay within your data plan’s limits. I hope you find these tips useful in minimizing your data usage.
Laura Ben says
Android is a data consumer if not watched and you have offered great wisdom there to us. People complain a lot and think that their credit or data is being consumed by the provider and they tend to change network without knowing the cause. This is not solved that way. And you find that their android device is always on with streaming music, updating and other things. This ends up draining their data and causing them to spend more on it. Hope most of them will come across this post and apply all the tips you have offered.
Nice and happy blogging, Laura.
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
Thanks Laura for such a wonderful contribution. Following the guides in this article will definitely help one minimize data usage in Android. I hope you get to share this post with your friends, you never know who you may be helping.
I used this option in KitKat, recently updated to lolipop and not able to find app wise restriction. Any idea where is it?