Don't pay for data overages

How to Prevent Your Phone from Wasting Data

by Ryan Vance

How to Conquer Debt eBook

If you ever find yourself consuming your smartphone data in the opening week of a billing month or you are in the habit of paying extra charges for additional data usage, it is time for you to start stretching your dollar. Why waste money on additional data when there are innovative ways for you to economize your data and ensure that it lasts until the end of the billing month?

The first way to minimize data usage on your smartphone is to always switch your Wi-Fi on. The importance of keeping your Wi-Fi on is that it helps you connect to wireless networks where they are available like at your office. Once you are connected to a wireless network, your cellular data will not be used.

Another way to stretch your smartphone data is to turn off mobile data when you are not using it. There are several mobile apps that run partially in the background. The technical terminology for this occurrence is referred to as "Background App Refresh." While they occur, your mobile data is being drained. The best way to checkmate this process is to switch off your mobile data when you are not browsing.

Furthermore, it is important to turn off automatic downloads if you want your smartphone data to last longer. Virtually all mobile operating systems and apps have the "automatic download updates" feature. If you don't turn this feature off in your smartphone settings, your phone data will always be drained.

The autoplay feature on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is another data graveyard you need to eliminate. The disadvantage of the autoplay feature is that it automatically plays videos that you may not be interested in and wastes your data in the process. The solution is to disable this feature in its entirety. This can be done in the settings section of each of the social media networks.

One other effective way to control data usage on your smartphone is to use data monitoring apps like "DataMonitor," "Wee Track Data," "Dataman." It should be noted that data monitoring apps won't tell you the apps on your phone that are responsible for wasting data, however, data monitoring apps can let you know how much data was used on a particular date or within a particular time frame. This valuable information can help you identify and patch the source of your smartphone's data leakage.

Related: Fixing a Broken Cell Phone

If you are using a smartphone made by Apple, then you need to beware of the app store. The app store is the data graveyard on Apple devices. This is because your smartphone will automatically download updates for individual apps you installed from the app store as soon as the updates are available. In order to fix this, go to the "Settings" section on your phone and click on "iTunes & App Store." Look for the option labeled "Use Cellular Data" and switch it off. Once this is done, the app store will only download updates when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

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Another smartphone feature that you should be careful of is the iCloud Drive. It is a data eater. Apple's iCloud Drive enables you to save documents to iCloud, which can be accessed on any iOS device connected to the internet. This feature is very convenient, but the downside is that it consumes your smartphone data rapidly. The best way to use iCloud Drive is to set it to run on Wi-Fi only.

Related: Suffocating In Your Pricey Cell Phone Contract?

If you are conscious of economizing smartphone data, then you have to set Facetime to connect to Wi-Fi only. You may be careful not to call anyone on Facetime when you are using your cellular data, but what if someone calls you? The best bet is to adjust your smartphone settings to ensure that Facetime is only enabled on Wi-Fi.

Spotify and Apple music are other smartphone data eaters you should be careful of. Select the available offline option for your favorite music tracks. This option is available on both Spotify and Apple music. This ensures that you don't play the same music tracks online over and over again, thereby wasting your smartphone data.

If you are an iPhone user, make sure you disable your Wi-Fi Assist permanently. Wi-Fi assist turns on your cellular phone data when your Wi-Fi connection is poor. The implication of this is that you may be using your cellular data when you believe you are using Wi-Fi. It is a bad way to waste data.

Reviewed February 2018

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