It can be confusing to know which features on your phone might be using cellular data. One thing you can be sure of, the list will always include using email, social media, third party apps or GPS, browsing and downloading from the Internet, or streaming music or video.
As a reminder, I always encourage you to connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible. A Wi-Fi connection lets you connect to the Internet without using any cellular data at all. While connected to Wi-Fi, you can also download videos, TV shows, or movies to your phone or SD card to watch anytime at your convenience, with no data required.
You can easily check which specific apps or features are using your data, and how much, by going to the Settings menu on your smartphone and following the steps shown below.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Cellular.
- Then, scroll to the section which shows a list of your apps. Your data usage will be marked next to each app name.
On Android phones:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Connections.
- Then, tap Data Usage.
- Finally, tap Mobile Data Usage. Scroll down to see a list of your apps. The amount of data each has used will be displayed next to them.
Once you’ve determined which apps are your biggest data consumers, you have several options to control them. First, simply delete any apps you haven’t use for a while, or ones that are duplicating tasks performed by others. You can also turn data access off completely for specific apps. For iPhone users, tap the slider next to the app you want to turn off; on Android phones, turn on the “Data Saver” setting.
Another option is to turn off “background data,” the process by which your apps are updating or performing other maintenance tasks when you’re not directly using them. To do this, follow the same steps listed above for checking your data usage. Then, for all the third-party apps you’ve installed, toggle to allow or restrict background data usage for ones you don’t use often.
Once you’ve grown familiar with identifying what’s using the most cellular data, and by being diligent about connecting to Wi-Fi, you can surf, search, and stream with total confidence. You may even discover that you can save money by switching to a smaller data plan. Remember, with Consumer Cellular, there’s never a fee to change your plan! Add that to the data tips above, and you’ll always have exactly what you need.