How to Reduce data usage in Android

In this article, I will highlight a few tips on how to reduce data usage, that can inherently cut down the cost of data on your mobile phone.

As apps are becoming more data hungry especially with new updates, cost of data is becoming more expensive and less lasting. Depending on what type of data plans you buy, you may not feel the heavy cost as much as others do.

However, the average Nigerian can testify to how annoying it is to buy data too often, and have it not last as it should, despite the hard economy.

Therefore, it is important to know some of the ways in which we can reduce money expenditure on data resources.

1. Check the app that takes the most data.

The first step to cutting down data usage is by knowing what uses the most data. You can check for the data sucking apps on your phone to figure out how to cut down those expenses.

To do this, open your phone settings app and go to  connections.

Click on data usage.

Data usage in connections setting


Next, click on mobile data usage to see the ranking.Data rankings for apps in settings

Knowing the apps that use the most data can help you to be wary of how much time you spend in those apps.

2. Disable background data usage

Some apps use data while in the background. That is, when the app is not currently in use but is using data resources from your mobile network in order to refresh pages, load ads, etc.

This explains why some apps, especially games, will display ads even after you have switched off your mobile data connection.

To prevent apps from using data in the background, go to settings and click on Connections.

Click on data usage and turn it on.

3. Cut down data usage by switching.

Another way you can reduce data usage on your phone is by swapping apps for their counterparts with similar functions but with lesser data usage. Example, instead of using Facebook, you can use Facebook lite which does the exact same thing while using less data.

It is also wise to save data on apps like YouTube by downloading the videos you want to watch, rather than streaming them online. When you stream videos, it’s rather likely that you’ll spend more data due to ads that will be displayed on those videos. Downloading them however, will save you more data in the long run. Plus, you’ll have the flexibility of watching it whenever you want, even when offline.

4. Turn off auto update

This is one of the worst ways your data can finish because it often happens without your knowledge and even apps you barely use will be automatically updated.

To turn off auto update in android, go to google play store.

Go to settings under your account.

Click on network preferences and tap auto update apps.

You can choose to auto update apps over Wifi only, or disable it completely.

5. Utilize cheap data bonuses (night plan)

If you are a night owl like me, then this is probably good for you.

Rather than streaming videos online and downloading your favorite movies using your main data bundle, take advantage of the cheap browsing from 11pm till 6am.

I usually do this when they are things I want to do that are heavy data consuming, like downloading several movies at once or updating all my apps.

To activate night plan data bundles, simply dial *406# for MTN and *312# for Airtel. (Airtel night bundles start at 12am till 5am)

You do not need to worry about using you main data while on night plan because your network service provider will automatically take from the one that is to expire first.

These are all my tips. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated.

Stay Safe, Stay Happy.


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2 thoughts on “How to Reduce data usage in Android”

  1. Very insightful. But I think I need something extreme, like an app that electrocutes me any time am about to watch a stupid data consuming video

    1. that would force you to stop right. You can download an app that freezes your data connection once you exceed a limit, I think there should be something like that on Google play store, but then it can have consequences

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