Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android device, you’re probably using too much data—which means you’re spending too much money. We know how annoying it is to count every GB, so that’s not our advice. Instead, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you reduce your data use while still getting to enjoy everything your phone is capable of.
- Don’t buy more data than you need to start with
While your phone company is constantly on your case to purchase more expensive plans, that doesn’t mean you need to. In fact, many people are paying too much for data they don’t even use. If you really can’t bear to keep track, at the very least get a plan with rolling data.
- Set your own data limits and schedule alerts
Remembering to actually check on how much data you’re using can be a headache, but luckily, you don’t have to. You can set notifications for data usage under settings in both iOS and Android devices, though the process may vary a bit depending on the specific device. If the process is too unwieldy, check out My Data Manager in the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store. It’s free, and it helps you track data and set alerts.
- Use WiFi whenever you can
This should be obvious, but it’s so easy to forget. At home, in the office, and in many public spaces, WiFi is right there—free data! Put a WiFi toggle on your home screen for easy access and have notifications turned on if the option is there. That way you’ll be alerted whenever WiFi is available. There are also apps that can help, like WiFi Finder (free!).
- Begone, background data!
Often it’s not even your actions that are leading to data overages… it’s what’s going on in the background. Is Facebook constantly syncing? What about emails? Some things, of course, you’ll want instant notifications for. But you don’t need that for everything. Some apps can be set to check every fifteen, thirty, or sixty minutes, for example.
- Set updates for WiFi only
If you have auto app updates, and you probably do, make sure they’re set to only occur over WiFi. App updates can be an intense data drain, so don’t risk it.
- Stick to mobile websites
Mobile versions of sites can be annoying, especially if you have a large phone or tablet, but they’re generally much less of a drain on your data. There are also great browser apps, like Opera Mini, that reduce data usage by compressing data.
- Save/cache data
If you love to listen to music, watch shows, or read while you’re on the bus or otherwise out of the house, save some of your media to your phone before you leave your WiFi haven! While certain services, like YouTube, won’t let you save content yet, plenty of others will.
- Block ads
As if you needed another reason! But seriously, all of those ads that are interrupting your games are also eating up your data.