If you have a limited or pay-as-you-go data plan, you know how quickly your bill can go up when you go over your monthly limit. What you may not realize is how much your phone’s settings can affect your data use. Changing a few simple things on your iPhone or Android device can help you stay within you monthly data limit. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Reduce Data Usage on an iPhone
To reduce data usage on an iPhone, check that:
- The “Use Cellular Data” function is disabled in the settings of iCloud and iTunes/the App store
- “Wi-Fi Assist” is disabled in your Cellular settings
- “Background App Refresh” is disabled in your General settings
- The “High Quality on Cellular” feature is disabled in your Music settings
How to Reduce Data Usage on an Android Device
Some additional ways you can reduce data usage on an Android phone include:
- Turning on Chrome’s “Data Saver” feature, which automatically compresses web pages before they load
- Enabling the “Restrict background data” function in your Data Usage settings
- Disabling the “Auto-update apps” function in your settings, or set it to update over Wi-Fi only
- Using the Data usage tool to identify which apps use the most data and disable them
General Tips to Prevent Going Over Your Data Limit
If you’ve made the above adjustments to your phone but still find yourself going over your data limit on a regular basis, it’s time to change the way you use data on the go.
Don’t Stream Audio or Video
Instead of using Spotify, YouTube or other streaming services to access media, preload your phone with all the music, videos and podcasts you need to entertain yourself while out and about.
Disable Data When Playing Games
Many games and other apps use data to download ads while you play. Check the settings of your favorite games to see if this can be turned off. If not, disabling data or cell service while you play is the best way to avoid a problem.
Turn Off Automatic Podcast Downloads
Many podcast apps will download new episodes when they become available. Instead, wait until you are connected to Wi-Fi and download manually.
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