With so many apps always running in the background, your data charges is likely to skyrocket if you are constantly connected to the internet. However, Android offers several simple ways to limit or totally stop mobile data usage. Here are some methods to reduce data usage/charge in your android smartphone.

Turn Mobile Data off

Mobile data off

This will totally block your smartphone from using mobile data.  To turn mobile data off,  Go to Settings>> Data usage >> Turn off Mobile Data. Turn mobile data back on when you want to go online like when you don’t have access to wi-fi.

Set mobile data limit

Set mobile Data limit

Android OS also allows you to set data limit. Go to settings >> Data Usage >>  Check “Set mobile data limit”. Now drag the red bar vertically top or down to set a maximum data limit and drag the orange bar to set a warning limit.

Check data usage for each app and restrict background data

Checking data usage Restrict Background Data

You can check how much data each one of your apps is using and then restrict data usage for those data hungry apps For this go to Settings >> Data Usage >> Click on “Menu”. Now If you scroll down you will see a list of apps and how much data they are using. Click on any app to see how much foreground and background data is used by it. At the bottom you can now check “Restrict background data”.

Update over wi-fi or disable auto update

Google Play Auto Update off

Turn auto updates off in Google Play Store. For this Open Google Play app >> PressMenu button and open “Settings”>> Click on “Auto-update apps” option and select “do not auto update apps” or select “auto update only on wi-fi”.  In the Settings turn on “Notifications” so that you will know when updates are available for your apps.

Disable auto sync

Android notification bar

If your auto sync is on turn it off in the settings. You can also disable auto synch via notification bar of your Android. However, you should remember to manually sync important apps (example Google contacts).

Use chrome beta to reduce browser data usage

Chrome Beta

If you extensively use your smartphone for web browsing I suggest you use Chrome beta. Chrome beta has a new feature which allows you to reduce data usage. For this Open Chrome beta >> Press Menu and select “Settings” > > Bandwidth Management > > Check “Reduce data usage”.

Cache maps in Google maps

Google Maps

The latest version of Google Maps allows you to preload maps for offline use. To save offline maps in Google simply go to the area of the map you want to save offline , then click on the search bar and on the bottom of search options you will see “ Make this map area available offline”.  Now you can navigate that area of the map without data connection.


With these methods you will be able to control or minimize unwanted data usage and thus incurr less data charge. Use those android data settings wisely and you will surely make your data usage very cost effective.


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