How to reduce Mobile Phone Data usage to avoid wastage

Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by admin

Do you want to learn how to reduce  Mobile Data Consumption and the  activities that  use up data most Or you want to know how to use a phone to manage data usage to avoid Data wastage?

Are you aware Without your Knowledge Most smartphones are configured to automatically search for, and download software updates, app synching, uploads, updates, etc.

Your data is therefore consumed by your phone without your knowledge when there are software upgrades and updates to apps on your device. To stop this from happening, you have to disable automatic updates .

The faster the speeds, the more data bundles will be utilised. Logically, the faster the speed, the quicker you can complete a task such as downloading or uploading a file. That means that you’re able to do more, and consume more data, in the same amount of time if you have fast speeds. You naturally do more and probably use higher quality streaming.


What is Internet Data Usage?

Internet data is a service provided by telecom service operators to the end users to enable them access the internet. The speed of the access and the nature of activities which the consumer can carry out often depends on the nature of the technology in use.

4G is in LTE, LTE-A mode or their equivalent (using packet switched) technology. Each of this technologies provides different speeds and protocols for using internet. Newer generations of phones are usually designed to be backward-compatible, so a 4G phone can communicate through a 3G or even 2G network.

What does G stand for?

“G” stands for “GENERATION”. While you connected to internet, the speed of your internet is depends upon the signal strength that has been shown in alphabets like 2G, 3G, and 4G etc. right next to the signal bar on your mobile phone’s home screen.


What is Mobile Data?

Mobile data is internet content accessed by, or delivered to your phone over a wireless/cellular (i.e. mobile) connection. When you purchase mobile data plans, you are entitled to a certain amount of data over a fixed period of time. You can also access the internet through Wi-Fi connections depending on whether you have access to that particular Wi-Fi network.

With mobile data however, you can use the internet as long as your phone can detect your network’s data signals, and you have an active data plan on that
network. Therefore, the mobile data is what allows your phone to get online when you are away from Wi-Fi.

How to disable Android devices update

To disable your phone update, kindly follow the steps below.

Android devices

go to Google Playstore app
go to “settings”
go to “auto-update apps”
select “Don’t auto-update apps”

iOS devices

go to “settings” app in iOS
go to “General”
go to “automatic downloads”
toggle the switch position to “OFF” position to disable updates

How to save your phone data

Enable data saver (Android)

go to “settings”
go to “network & internet”
go to “data usage”
go to “data saver” & activate use of “data saver”

Enable data saver (iOS)

go to “settings” app in iOS
go to “General”
go to “background app refresh”
toggle the switch position to “OFF” position to disable background app refresh

Set data limit (Android)

go to “settings”
go to “network & internet”
go to “data usage”
go to “data warning and limit”
go to “set data limit”
set preferred data limit usage e.g. 5GB


What causes Data consumption/Usage/Depletion?

Your data is used whenever your phone connects to the internet. The following activities are the most common usage that reduce your data:

1. send and receiving emails,
2.Downloading and uploading files (pictures, documents, videos, etc) the larger the file, the more the data consumption,

3. Browsing the internet – the more pictures, videos or graphics on the websites, the more the data usage,

4.Instant Messaging – like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, etc
5.Streaming music/ videos on YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and other channels,
6.Games – games use a lot more data than most people imagine due to intense graphics and algorithms that power them,
7.Social media applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
8. Video-chatting and conferencing applications like Zoom, Skye, WhatsApp Video, etc


What activities use up data most?

The most common example of mobile activities (inclusive of uploads and downloads) as you will notice from the answer to question 6 above that use large (plenty) of data are as follows;

1. Downloading and watching videos online especially on sites Like Netflix and YouTube.
2. Sending and receiving emails with large attachments
3.Software updates and virus definition updates
4.Going on Social Media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok etc.
5. Playing Games on a website or via a download app
6. Remote security cameras
7. Data sent between sites on Virtual Private Network (VPN).
8. Mobile App online Notifications from social media, social marketing sites etc.


How can I use my phone to manage my data usage to avoid Data wastage?

Your smartphone’s default settings are typically configured to get the best possible experience, which comes at the cost of your data usage. You can change those settings to manage your data usage in the following ways:

1. By Manually Capping Mobile Data: To do this, Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage > Billing Cycle
2. By Manually setting Data Saver
3.Activate data saver: Locate “Data Usage” on your device and activate “Data Saver”. This will help cut down your data usage by preventing apps from using data in the background.

4.Disable auto-update on your App store
5. Disable multimedia auto-download on your social media apps
6.Turn off your data when it’s not in use.
7. Stop Apps from automatically Synching: to do this,
8. Go to Setting > Apps & notifications > Select App > Select Disable Background Data

9.Don’t Stream it, Download It
10. It is advisable to download video or audio content to save data than to stream it.
11. Set data alert notifications on your mobile phone.
12. Avoid multiple configuration of the same email address on your mobile phone. For instance, do not configure your gmail address on your email app as well as gmail app at the same time on the same mobile phone.


How do I Limit Data Usage on Apps

A. You Tube:

• Open the YouTube App.
• Tap on the profile icon at the top right corner
• Select Settings.
• Click on General.
• Turn on “Limit Mobile Data Usage”.
• Play Store (Android):
• Go to the Google Play store.
• Click on Menu & go to Settings.
• Click on Auto-update apps.
• Select “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only”.
• You also have the option to choose “Do not auto-update apps

B. IOS (Apple: I-Phone) :

• Go to settings on the I-phone
• Click on iTunes and App Store
• Got to Mobile Data Option
• Turn off ‘Automatic Updates’
• Or you can turn off the apps that you don’t want automatic updates.
• You can also click on App downloads and select the preferred option in regards to app downloads.

C. Instagram:

• Open Instagram options.
• Go to Accounts.
• Go to Settings.
• Select Cellular Data Use.
• Then tick Use Less Data

D. Instagram:

• Open Instagram options.
• Go to Settings.
• Go to Accounts.
• Select Mobile data use.
• Then tick Data Saver.

E. WhatsApp – Deactivate Auto-download

• Go to the “settings” section in your WhatsApp APP.
• Click on “Data and Storage Usage”.
• Select Media Auto Download option.
• Deselect all options under “When Using Mobile Data”.
• You can also enable low data usage for WhatsApp Calls

F. Facebook – Switch Off Auto Play

• Go to your Facebook option icon (the three horizontal bars at the top right corner).
• Click on App Settings (Under help & settings).
• Click on AutoPlay.
• Select never auto play videos.
• In addition, you can activate the “Data Saver” option.
• Navigate to the option icon.
• Then go to settings & Privacy.
• Select Data Saver.
• Toggle the data saver on.


Why does my data disappear even when I am not online?

Data consumption can occur on your account with or without your knowledge.

With your Knowledge: Data is consumed when you open web pages, when you browse, while downloading/uploading files, streaming videos or doing any of the other activities mentioned above.

Without your Knowledge: Most smartphones are configured to automatically search for, and download software updates, app synching, uploads, updates, etc. Your data is therefore consumed by your phone without your knowledge when there are software upgrades and updates to apps on your device. To stop this from happening, you have to disable automatic updates as demonstrated in Question 11 above.


Why is it that monthly subscription do not last a whole month?

The monthly subscription usually comes with a data size or value and once the value is exhausted before the month, the consumer would be unable to access the internet. So, what it means is that the data can be used over a within one month but can be finished before one month, depending on how you use it.

Why does my data drop significantly while watching Videos?

Video naturally uses more data. However, if you are downloading, select medium resolution to manage as their sizes are significantly lower than high definition videos. Also live streaming video uses more data. Therefore it is preferable to download the video on your local device and watch afterwards.

How to monitor and limit data usage on an Android phone



If you have Android 8.0 or later, your phone should come equipped with Data Saver mode, which kicks in when you’re not on Wi-Fi and ensures that apps and services that are not being actively used won’t be able to stream data in the background.
It’s very easy to turn Data Saver mode on and off. To do this,

.Go to Settings
.Go to “Network & internet” > “Data usage”
.Select “Data Saver.” Toggle “Use Data Saver” on.

There may be specific apps that you want to allow to use background data, even when Data Saver mode is on. For example, you may want to get Twitter notifications no matter where you are. To do this,

.Go to the “Data Saver” page (see above)
.Tap on “Unrestricted data”
.Scroll down to any apps that you want to enable for background data use even .when Data Saver mode is on. Toggle them on.



.You can set your phone to issue a warning if you’re nearing your data limit before the end of your monthly billing cycle. You can even set a limit beyond .which your phone won’t use any data. To do this,
.Go to Settings
.Go to “Network & internet” > “Data usage” >
.“Data warning & limit”
.Tap on “App data usage cycle.” This will let you set the day that your account .starts its monthly cycle.
.Back up and toggle “Set data warning” on. You can then enter the data limit — say, 4GB — that you want for your phone.

Meet Ogbeide Frank, popularly known as perere, a blogger who loves writing about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies

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