Mobile Data is, like it or not, the only alternative to Wi-Fi in our heavily-dependent-on-internet lives. However, many users have limited monthly plans, and saving their data until the cap replenishes can be quite a burden considering the majority of apps depends on the connection. Luckily, there are many ways to save data on Android and we list them for you below.
Table of contents:
- Enable Data Saver
- Tweak individual apps
- Disable background data usage
- Disable auto-updates over mobile data
- Avoid streaming media on data
- Disable Mobile Data always on
5 simple ways to save mobile data on Android
If mobile data consumption poses a problem, there are definitely ways to reduce it. Enabling Data saver, disabling auto-updates over data, or simply avoiding media-streaming while not on Wi-Fi should help you substantially.
1. Enable Data Saver
The first option you should consider checking is the Data Saver. This is a built-in feature that limits the app’s background data usage and ensures that they use Wi-Fi (when available) instead. So, no refreshing or
Here’s how to enable Data Saver on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Network & Internet.
- Expand options and tap Data Saver.
- Enable Data Saver.
- From there, you can also access the list of apps with unrestricted usage access and disable them.
2. Tweak individual apps
Many apps come with data-saving options that might not make a difference in limited usage but will definitely help in the long run. Things like Lite mode on Chrome, the Less Data feature on Instagram, or Data saver on Twitter and Facebook will help reduce data consumption.
And many more apps have similar options, you just need to inspect the in-app settings. And, as we said, it isn’t much but the data cap is met fast when there are a dozen apps using 4G/LTE all the time in the background.
You can test it out yourself. Just open an app that is network-dependent and check settings. If you find any kind of data-saving mode, make sure to enable it. The performance might suffer marginally but at least you’ll save some data for later.
3. Disable background data usage
This is to great extent covered by Data Saver which, as we said, limits background data usage. However, you can also navigate to individual apps in system settings and prevent them from accessing data while not being actively used.
Another great way to keep data consumption at bay. But, instead of imposing background data usage limitations on all apps, you can just tweak only apps that are using too much data.
Here’s how to disable background data usage for individual apps on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Apps & notifications.
- Expand All apps.
- Open apps that you don’t need working in the background and select Mobile data & Wi-Fi.
- Here, you can prevent the app from using mobile data in the background or, opposite to that, allow unrestricted data usage. Your call.
4. Disable auto-updates over mobile data
Updating apps in the Play Store with data instead of Wi-Fi is a sure way to fast data depletion. So, ensuring that apps won’t auto-update over mobile data every time is one important precaution measure.
You can, of course, if there’s a dire need, update apps manually using mobile data. Although, it’s still better to wait until your Wi-Fi network is available.
Here’s how to disable app auto-updates over mobile data on the Play Store:
- Open Play Store.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner and open Settings.
- There are a few data-saving categories you should check here. Firstly, Auto-update apps. Set it to Over Wi-Fi only.
- Also, App download preference and Auto-play videos (video previews) have options to stick solely to Wi-Fi. Check those, too.
5. Avoid streaming media on data
Finally, streaming high-resolution videos and high-quality music on mobile data will deplete it rather fast. That’s why most media-streaming apps like YouTube, YouTube Music, or Spotify have options to lower the quality while on mobile data or prevent streaming completely.
You can always download content but, of course, this requires premium subscriptions to these respective services.
6. Disable Mobile Data always on
Finally, there’s an option that allows for the back-and-forth switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data if Wi-Fi disconnects or the connection is slow. A great option on paper but it will use your data, and saving data is our main goal here.
Inconveniently, this option is hidden in Developer options (where regular users rarely roam), but we’ll show you how to enable Developer options and disable the “Mobile data always on” option.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Settings.
- Choose About phone.
- Tap on the Build number 7 times to unlock Developer options. Add your pin or pattern when prompted.
- Get back to Settings and open System.
- Open Developer options.
- Scroll to Mobile data always active and disable this option.