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10 Smartphone Hacks to Use Less Data

dawngeske profile picture
September 14, 2016 · 2.1k Views

Nothing can be more frightening than opening your cell phone bill each month. You are naturally concerned that you used more data than allotted, creating serious overage fees on your bill. Not only is this annoying, but it’s costly to your pocketbook. Sure, you can track your monthly data usage on your phone, but you still seem to go over even if you didn’t intend to. You can actually set up your phone to save you on data in some apps and setting features. This will stop the usage of data when you don’t even know you are using it.

These tips can reduce some of your data usage, helping you stay in line with your contract’s data limit and reducing those nasty data overage charges.

 Interested in the new iPhone 7? Check out everything Apple announced about the iPhone 7 during their live Apple event.


  1. Connect to Wi-Fi every chance you get.

    Source: verywell.com

    This is a big one. By connecting to Wi-Fi, you are not using data at all so you are free to search the internet, social media and use data-based apps at no charge. You can set your phone to automatically connect to Wi-Fi when it is present, saving you from using data when you don’t need to.

     SEE MORE: 14 Free Wi-Fi Hacks for When You Are Desperate for Internet

  2. Stop automatic video play.

    When you are viewing Facebook or Instagram, you will notice that their videos run without you having to press play. While this is a nice feature, it does use your data every time a video runs. This seems senseless for videos you are not even interested in to have to pay data charges on. Turn the automatic video play in social media apps and you will see a significant reduction in your data. You can always play the videos that you are interested in with your own command.

  3. Turn off push notifications.

    Source: tapptic.com

    Do you really need to be alerted every second about your email or from any app on your phone? These notifications are sucking data without you even realizing it. You can simply go into your settings and turn off push notifications from your email and all apps that are on your phone. This will save you from using data that you can’t even control when it’s happening.

  4. Watch out for free apps.

    While it’s nice to get an app for free, what you may not realize is that they often use more data than the premium paid for version. These free apps often run advertisements that suck your data up while you are waiting for the app to load. Look for apps that have a premium version that you can download for a small fee. While you will be paying a more for these apps upfront, they will save you money in the long run by using less data.

  5. Physically close apps when you are done with them.

    Source: techinsider.io

    You may have exited out of an app, but it may still be running in the background and using your data. You have to physically close these apps to ensure they are not running anymore. This happens most often with music apps like Pandora and Spotify and video apps like YouTube that continue to operate even though you have exited out of them. On an iPhone, hit the home button and swipe the app closed. On an Android, press the overview button and close any apps you have open by pressing the X button associated with them.

  6. Only use data-based text apps on Wi-Fi.

    While it’s fun to use text apps such as Slack and WhatsApp, they are data-based services that use data to send and receive messages. You may think you are saving on your text plan with these services, but you are actually racking up data usage. These are great to use when you are connected to Wi-Fi, but they can be detrimental to your data usage when you are not. Limit your use of these apps to just Wi-Fi connections and you will see your data usage go down.

  7. Turn off iMessage.

    Source: lifehacker.ru

    This one’s only for iPhones, but can really work to make a difference in your data bill. The iMessage feature on iPhones uses data to send text messages rather than your text plan. This is fine if you are connected to Wi-Fi, but if you aren’t it uses your data quickly. To turn off iMessages, go to Settings > Messages > iMessage.

  8. Avoid data calling apps.

    Skype is a great way to communicate with friends and family that are located internationally, but it is a data-based app that you guessed it, uses your data up. Make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi when you are making Skype calls and you won’t be using large amounts of data when you talk to those you love.

  9. Visit mobile sites.

    Source: dealsplus.com

    When you are browsing on the internet of your phone, it’s best to visit a website’s mobile site. This will use less data as the site has been optimized specifically for use with a mobile device. This will allow images and video to load faster without using as much data to see the site. If you have the choice, choose the mobile version for your internet browsing to save on your data usage over the month.

  10. Set up data limit notifications.

    Knowing when you are close to going over your data limit, can help deter your data usage. You can set notifications up on your phone to alert you when you are close to going over your allotment of data for the month. You can also turn off your data completely to ensure you don’t use it and incur extra charges on your bill. Just use Wi-Fi during the times you are near your data limit and you will be sure to avoid getting fees for data overages on your phone.


Following these hacks to save on using your phone data, can help you stay within your data plan’s limit so you will avoid getting those additional charges each month. Your cell phone bill will be lower each month and you most likely won’t even notice a difference in how you use data on your phone.


dawngeske profile picture
Dawn is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer that is a self-confessed shopaholic - always on the lookout for a great deal. She loves food, travel and binging on Netflix. She has a background in marketing and worked as editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine. Currently, she focuses her time on crafting copy that her followers love to read.