Why is My Android Using So Much Data?

With all of the features available on Android devices these days, it’s becoming more common for people to exceed their data cap on their wireless plan. It leaves many people wondering why their Android us using so much data. Don’t worry though. We can help you lower your data usage and get it under control with this tutorial. Just follow these steps.

1. Connect to Wi-Fi Whenever Available

WiFi logo header

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I know plenty of Android users who aren’t aware of when they are connected to a Wi-Fi network and when they aren’t. Set your Android up on your home and work Wi-Fi networks if available. Connect to available Wi-Fi networks when you’re at restaurants, bars, or any other business that supplies Wi-Fi. Doing so will prevent your Android from using so much data on your wireless plan and as a bonus will save precious battery power.

2. Check Data Usage in Settings

Android Data Usage

Check to see which apps are using data. On many newer Android devices, you can go to “Settings” > “Data Usage“, then scroll down to see which apps are using the most data. Once you’ve identified the apps that are using your data, explore the settings of each app and see if there are any settings you can disable to prevent data over your wireless provider connection. You could also uninstall the app altogether if you have no need for it.

Check Social Apps

Facebook Settings

Social media apps tend to use the most data if setup with certain configurations. The Google+ app seems to be a major data eater for many Android users these days with it’s “Auto Backup” feature that automatically uploads every photo and video you take to Google+. Facebook is another app that can tax your battery by constantly displaying notifications.

Check the “Settings” section within all your social apps and ensure that nothing is set to automatically upload your stuff, or at least set them to only upload when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Set the intervals of your apps to only sync data every few hours instead of every 15 minutes.

Limit Viewing Photos & Videos

Facebook Photos

If you’re repeatedly looking through photos and videos online, it will eat away at your monthly data allocation. Try to keep your visits to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to a minimum while on your wireless data network and save it for when you’re on Wi-Fi.

Check Data Syncing Intervals

Android Accounts

How often do you need your data to refresh on your Android? Can you live without updated data for a few hours in some instances? If your calendar, contacts, and email sync every 15 minutes, it can really drain your data. Have a look under “Settings” > “Accounts” and set your email, calendar, and contact apps to sync data every few hours or set them to only sync when connected to Wi-Fi.

Messaging

Snapchat

There are a myriad of messaging apps available these days. Snapchat and Facebook Messenger are the most commonly used messaging apps. These apps constantly are sending and receiving data back and forth. It can add up to a lot after you and a friend swap a few photos and videos back and forth a few times.

Keep messaging to a minimum while you’re not connected to Wi-Fi if you’re running into data cap issues. More importantly, disable any messaging services that you might not be using.

Disable Auto Update Apps

Google Play Auto Update Setting

This one is a big one. Make sure that the Google Play app is not set to automatically update your apps while on the wireless provider’s network. Open Google Play, then tap the menu in the upper-left corner. Select “Settings” and ensure the “Auto-update apps” setting is set to “Do not auto-update apps” or “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only“.

I hope this list helps you on your way to limiting the data use on your wireless plan. Have anything to add? Hit me up in the comments section.

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