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7 Clever Ways to Save Mobile Data

Smartphones have now become a necessity and not a luxury anymore. Besides making calls and sending text messages, a Smartphone enable you to surf the internet and social media platforms, check emails, listen to music, watch videos, play games, read the news, and more. However, using these mobile apps uses too much mobile data to run, while some are constantly pushing new versions for you to update.

Let’s walk through 7 ways on how you can reduce your data usage and still do what you want with your Smartphone:

1) Restrict Auto-play on Facebook…

When going through the Facebook newsfeed, you’ll most likely come across videos. Letting these videos auto-play will consume a lot of your mobile data, play loud noises, and even make your system run slower. Luckily, you can turn off the auto-play option for Facebook videos.

Login to Facebook, click the menu (☰) in the upper-right corner of the screen, go to Settings and privacy, tap Settings, go to Media, and then turn off Video Auto-play. You can also change video quality, choose videos that you want to watch, as well as choose the videos to auto-play when on Wi-Fi.

2) Use Data Saver Options on Twitter and Instagram…

All mobile apps use data, but some, like Instagram and Twitter, use more. If you have these two apps on your phone, you need to turn on the data saver feature to reduce data usage.

On the Twitter app, go to Settings and Privacy, Data Usage, and then turn on Data Saver. On Instagram, go to Settings, Account, Mobile Data Use, then click Data Saver.

3) Limit Mobile Data Usage on YouTube…

When you’re connected to high-speed internet, YouTube will automatically play all videos in High Definition (HD). HD videos consume more data than standard definition (SD). You can change the default resolution of videos by going to the Settings page.

Once you open the YouTube app, select Settings, then Video Quality Preferences. Under Video Quality on Mobile Networks, choose the Data Saver option. That way, your videos will play in SD quality when you use mobile data and HD quality when connected to Wi-Fi.

4) Instead of Streaming Music on Spotify, Download Playlists…

As much as you want to cut down on your cellular data usage, it doesn’t mean you’ve to stop listening to your favourite music. While streaming music on Spotify can deplete your mobile data fast, you can download the playlists of the songs you love or the new album you’ve heard about through Wi-Fi. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to listen to the songs without the internet.

5) Lower Your Spotify Music Quality…

The music quality on Spotify is set to “Automatic.” In other words, the quality of the music you watch will entirely depend on the strength of your network connection. That means you’ll end up using a lot of data to stream music with high internet speed.

However, you can still comfortably stream your music and use less mobile data. And here’s how to do that: On the Settings option, go to Music Quality and change from Automatic to Normal. It’s possible that you will not even notice the change in quality, especially when using headphones. If you want to cut down on your data usage further, switch the quality to Low.

6) Use Google Maps Offline…

We often find ourselves going to unfamiliar places and using Google Maps to find our way around. To prevent this app from using much of your mobile data, you can download the area you want to visit beforehand and travel there without using more data.

On the Google Maps app, click Settings, Offline Maps, and then Select Your Own Map. Drag the area you want and download it. You’ll be able to access it and search for the relevant directions minus internet connection. However, this method will use part of your device’s storage. So, delete it when you’re done to free up space.

7) Use Wi-Fi Whenever Possible…

This is perhaps the most appropriate way to reduce your mobile data usage. Connect to Wi-Fi in the office, public transport, restaurants, shops, and at home if you can. However, you might not want to use public Wi-Fi to access sensitive apps such as your bank to prevent hacking and other forms of cyber-attacks. Using safe Wi-Fi enables you to browse, download heavy files, stream videos, attend virtual meetings, among other things, without worrying about data usage.

Bonus Tips and Tricks on ways to cut down on your mobile data usage:

  • Turn off mobile data when not required
  • Set up data usage limit on your phone settings
  • Download large files when you’re on Wi-Fi
  • Disable all automatic apps update
  • Turn off push notifications for apps that you don’t need notification
  • Set longer update interval for home screen widgets that are frequently updated

Whether you use a monthly data plan or pay as you go, implementing the above measures to reduce your data usage can help avoid hitting your data cap or incurring data overage charges.