How to limit data usage when Internet connectivity is day by day becoming one of the most demanded services in our world. Understanding this trend, a majority of cellular carriers are making their mobile data plans expensive. In the current scenario, you can never think of having one unlimited data plan. That means you have to be careful while spending every Megabyte of data. This is going to be tough if you have a data plan of 1GB or 2GB per month. But, wouldn’t that be great if you limit data usage on Android and save some money that way?
If you say YES, you are in the right place. There are many ways you can use to limit data usage in day-to-day techy life. If you follow these, you will be able to use the same amount of data for longer duration. At the least, if you have a 1-month-valid pack, you can use it for one full month. To make things simple, we have a curated list of tips that can help you reduce Android OS using data resources.
We have listed 10 methods for data minimization. When combined, these will surely help you bring down your data usage statistics. Shall we start?
How to Limit Data Usage on Android: Tips Reduce Android OS Using Data
Table of Contents
- 1. Go Offline – As Much As You Can
- 2. Find and Remove Data-Eating Apps
- 3. Sync and Background Data are the Villains
- 4. Take Navigation Offline
- 5. Find and Make Use of Wi-Fi Hotspots
- 6. Use a Data Monitor App
- 7. Chrome Data Saver and Opera Video Compression
- 8. Stream with Care
- 9. Set Speed Limit
- 10. Store Media in Device
Before We Begin
Every Android device performs differently, according to the usage habits. For instance, if there are some apps that require more data resources, your data bill will be high. And, we bet, there are many of the so-called data eaters in Play Store. So, it is highly advised to take a look at the applications’ list before you proceed. And, if you think there are some unlabelled data usage going on, you may find the presence of malware on your phone. Nevertheless, if things are calm, you can move forward and apply these tips to save data.
1. Go Offline – As Much As You Can
Well, this might sound awkward, but this is what helps most people to limit data usage on Android device. There are several instances when we can go offline. In such situations, you can go offline and thus save some mobile data for Android OS using data.
For instance, we can take data transfer. Suppose you are sitting with your friends and want to send a music track to them. Instead of uploading it via WhatsApp or Messenger, you can try offline solutions like ShareIt and Xender. When compared to the web-based methods, these are quicker and convenient. We have seen people preferring WhatsApp to offline, just because they are used to the former one. This trend can be reversed if you want to limit data usage.
The same case is there when it comes to Games. You may miss the spirit of group gaming, but there are some cool offline Android games to kill your time. You can download these games using a Wi-Fi connection and play without the tension of data bills. When you are sitting with the group, however, you can try games that support Wi-Fi-based multi-player gaming.
In short, try to be offline in the possible instances. We are not talking about mobile data abstinence, but about a healthier digital diet.
2. Find and Remove Data-Eating Apps
You would question how to limit data usage by removing such apps? As we said, there are many apps that download unnecessary files and eat your data resources! Facebook is the best name we could come up with. Just turn on your mobile data connection and open Facebook App for Android. You will be much amazed to see the usage statistics in the end. Like Facebook, there may be other apps too, especially the ones with data processes in the background. So, you have to find these apps and remove them – if possible.
In the case of Facebook, we have better alternatives. First, you can use the Facebook web version on your Chrome. If that does not work, you can try alternative Facebook apps like Facebook Lite. If you are interested, there are third-party apps too. Personally speaking, removal of the Facebook app had helped me reduce data usage and to reduce battery drain.
You can find the monthly usage statistics in every Android device. Go there, find the culprits and uninstall them if you do not really need those apps.
3. Sync and Background Data are the Villains
Yes, you heard us right. Sync is something that runs on your Android device, without you knowing. It doesn’t matter if you are playing a game or watching a movie, Sync will be happening in the device. Sync means the synchronization of details, such as Contacts, Gmail, Google Play Books, Newsstand and almost all Google apps. This is how you are able to access all your contacts on all your Android devices.
But, from the data usage point of view, this can be a huge villain. You can’t find the actual amount of sync data unless the whole syncing process is done. So, if you had turned on mobile data, you can have heart attack. Given these situations, it makes sense to turn off Background Syncing on your phone. At the least, you can exclude unnecessary sections from the sync list. You bet, we will see a dramatic reduction in data usage, at the end of the month.
You can do the same for Background Data as well. In this case, almost all Android apps today have background data going on. You can disable these background actions to save data. You have to go to Data Usage in Settings and enable ‘Restrict Background Data’ to move on. This can have big results in the end.
4. Take Navigation Offline
With this subheading, you would be thinking how much data does Google maps use? Well, turn-by-turn Navigation is one of the most data-consuming apps in Android devices. It’s so because Google Maps will be downloading a huge amount of geographical data every time you are navigating. This can exhaust your mobile data plan in a comparatively shorter period. So, one of the simplest methods to reduce mobile data usage is to take your navigation experience into offline.
Unlike most of you think, this is pretty easy. Thankfully enough, Google Maps now have support for Offline Navigation as well as Offline Search. So, the next time you have a free Wi-Fi Hotspot connection, download the offline maps for the city you live and work-place. If you have enough bandwidth, you can download offline data for frequently visited places also. On another scenario, if you are planning a trip, you can offline save that particular city.
In Google Maps, offline areas have an expiry duration of 30 days. Don’t worry, you can update and use. And, if you need a navigation experience with better support, you can check out third-party Maps too.
5. Find and Make Use of Wi-Fi Hotspots
You should try to turn off mobile data, as soon as possible – that’s the basic policy. And, free Wi-Fi Hotspots can be one excellent method to do this. Today, most places are offering free Wi-Fi for their customers, be it your favorite restaurant or the KFC Outlet. But, you should know where these hotspots are available.
In Play Store, you can find apps that help you find Wi-Fi Hotspots. You can just search by your area and find the available hotspots nearby. You can go to one of such places and enjoy free internet. This way, you can get rid of data usage as much as possible. However, there’s a problem with these free Wi-Fi Hotspots.
There may be eavesdroppers and hackers in most Wi-Fi Hotspots. Due to open nature of the network, these people have access to your browsing. To prevent this, you can simply seek the help of a VPN Service. If this is in your hand, Hotspot is the best way to save data.
6. How to Limit Data Usage – Use a Data Monitor App
If you are running stock Android, you don’t need this. Android comes with an awesome Data Monitor app, where you can find background and foreground data consumption of apps. However, in custom-made UIs, this feature isn’t always seen. In that cases, you need to get a third-party data monitor app.
Data Monitor Apps help you have an insight to mobile data consumption and Wi-Fi too. You can know the apps that use more data. You can also know if an app is consuming data in foreground or background processes. The best part is that it can alert you if you pass a particular data threshold. For instance, you will be notified if you use more than 500MB of the actual data plan.
In short, Data Monitoring apps are a blessing for data insights as well as usage tracking. And, a better tracking always lets you save data.
7. Chrome Data Saver and Opera Video Compression
Google Chrome for Android comes with a native feature for Data Saving. If enabled, web pages will be compressed before reaching your device. This way, you can reduce the data consumption in your device. If you are using Chrome as default web browser for reading and all, this is an effective method to limit mobile data usage. This feature makes use of Google servers and top-notch compression algorithms. So, your experience will be cool enough to go.
Secondly, you can seek the help from Opera Browser. In case if you did not know, Opera has a feature ‘Video Compression’ for saving data while streaming. You can enable this option in Opera settings and the browser will optimize video quality for reducing data usage. Make sure you are using these methods, and you can cut down a notable amount of mobile data. And, of course, use Opera for video streaming.
8. How to Limit Data Usage – Stream with Care
Along with Gaming and Navigation, Streaming is the most data-consuming apps you can do on your Android smartphones. So, while streaming, you should think twice. The problem with streaming is that it goes ahead without your consent. You may want to watch only a shorter part of the full movie. But the streaming engine will download the entire content and cache it for you. This is, on the brighter side, an addition for user experience. However, when you want to reduce data, it is indeed a curse.
In most cases, try not to stream video content. Instead, you can download the content and save it in your device. So, the next time you want to rewind, you can simply open the offline-stored file. We tried this in our life and the results were no less than amazing. We were able to save GBs of data in a few months. So, if you have such a video that you watch so often, don’t hesitate to download and store it.
9. Set Speed Limit
This is another method to save your mobile data resources, regardless the purpose. You might be having the flagship 4G LTE Device with blazing speeds. You may also have a carrier that brings true 4G experience. However, when you are more conscious about data usage, you can try shifting to 3G or 2G. Yes, without higher speeds, you won’t lose much data from the package.
If you have a better way to cap speeds, you can do that too. If you have a rooted Android phone, you may be able to find a way-out for network speed management. Either way, the intention is to cut down data.
10. Store Media in Device
Last but not least, you should start storing media files in your device – instead of streaming. Nowadays, USB OTG Drives are available for extremely affordable rates. You can get an OTG of 64GB or something and store your favorite films and music there. This way, you can save a lot of data in streaming and downloading.
And, never try to download anything when you are on data connection. You can also turn off auto app updating while you are in mobile data mode. With these steps, you should see a decrease in the total mobile data consumption.
Summing Up – How to Limit Data Usage on Android
So, these are the 10 different methods to reduce mobile data usage in Android. The same can be used if you are trying to reduce data usage on mobile broadband. As we said, these methods are not specific to every user. You can customize the diet according to your habits and styles. However, in the end, you would see some better differences.
What people are saying
It’s really interesting. Obviously, we all need to save data and became more obvious after evolution of smartphones where there will be background use of internet. I liked “Find and Remove Data-Eating Apps” method. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Abhijith for sharing a such a wonderful article. Actually, I tried all the steps that you showed in the article and it really works for me and my data has been safe for a long time. Thanks, buddy:-)
This article is very helpful for me. I am very tensed about my data just because of data memory but after this post, I really feel very thank full to you for helping us.
You are right, we don’t get the unlimited data plan on our smartphones, this is the big reason to save data. Sometimes I forgot to check the data balance, it eats all my balance. From past few months, I not worrying about data cause of Reliance JIO, but they also have limited the usage to 1GB coming 1st Jan. Well, sooner or later I will use these tips. Thanks for sharing :)
Great tips for saving mobile data. These will be very helpful.
What about tips on how to limit data usage on Laptop? Any ideas?
If you are using Hotspot for Internet connectivity then still also we have to care about the smartphone as battery will be drained of the phone. For laptops, we have to care of how we can increase the internet speed for smooth conduction.
Why to go with Limit Data Usage while Jio and another network companies are providing unlimited data packs. Well this post is nice to understand how to Usage Limit Data but I don’t think “Go Offline – As Much As You Can” is not the right way to Limit Data Usage.
Hi Monika, many people do not prefer Gio as it requires a 4G phone, some may afford and some may not. The second thing is, continuous data usage may affect battery performance and that’s why we said the words. Hope you agree.
Very interesting awesome tips for android users. I like very much. This blog provides interesting and useful info.
This is very helpful! As most of the time, I forget to off the Data of my Phone and with all the Apps running in the background which really get my data consuming. Limiting the data usage is the best way to stop the background apps from consuming the data automatically. Thanks, mate.
Susan E. Schloss
Thanks for pointing out the factors, data charge is killing me ):
Lovely write-up very helpful information especially about that “data eating one”.
What I have found to be consuming most data is Apps running in the background.
Yes Karen, one of the main reasons.
Hi Abhijith. All above data usage points are worth reading and can be applied. But from my point of view, you can also add one more point to save data usage in android i.e. not to give mobile hotspots to others.
Thanks for your valuable suggestions Akash.