How To Save Mobile Data Usage

There was a time when we bore individual costs for calls, SMS, and mobile data – all of the options almost emptying our pockets. But when Jio plans were introduced in 2016, it rushed us into a new era of a world of unlimited communication. Soon, other telecoms such as Vodafone, Airtel, etc. jumped on this bandwagon. Fast forward to 2019, we get what is called ‘Unlimited packs,’ which has now become a norm for SIM card holders. Even though our wallets might be happy, we aren’t, as nothing ever fills the void. The dialogue of “unlimited plans” don’t extend to the data offered, which ranges from 1GB-3GB daily (depends on the plan you choose). This might not be enough for everyone.

Making video and voice calls over data was unheard of a few years ago, thanks to the still fledgling Wi-Fi. The data rates that Indian telecoms offer are much cheaper compared to the world, yet, we don’t seem to be happy with the quantity of data provided. So, the pressing question is – How much data do we actually need?

That depends on your consumption, actually. YouTube videos consume 10MBs per minute (which format do you choose), streaming music consumes 1-5MBs per minute (also depending on the bit rate). 2 minutes of WhatsApp calling consumes around 1MB, while a three-second GIF consumes over a megabyte.

So to save the extra drop of water, we’ve come up with a tutorial on how to save mobile data for extended usage. There are different methods that will allow you to squeeze in more data. Scroll down and thank us later!

How To Save Mobile Data Usage

METHOD 1: Set alerts and limits

  • If your phone has Android 4.0 or later, go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data usage/Mobile Data.
  • While the main option should be under Networks, different phones have it buried in some other menu.
  • Here you can find a record of how much data you have used for a specific period of time.How To Save Mobile Data Usage
  • If you think some apps are consuming too much data, toggle Data Saver, which saves unwanted data being consumed.
  • You can also set an alarm as well as a limit when data crosses a certain MB/GB.
  • You can choose when to start the billing cycle.
  • Once you cross the limit, you’ll get a warning which will automatically turn off your mobile data.
  • Make sure you take these warnings seriously or else be ready to pay overage charges.
  • You can also use data saver for WhatsApp calls.

METHOD 2: Use Wi-Fi

This one’s a no-brainer. Wi-Fi connection provides unlimited data, which allows you to download a few episodes on Netflix in a small amount of time. Nowadays, you can find WiFi connections everywhere – from your house to the office, train stations to supermarkets or even cafés. Wherever you go, make it a habit to check for WiFi connections, which at first may require you to agree to their terms but it’s just a one-time verification. Doing this will save you a whole lot of mobile data. Make sure you use a VPN to safely surf the net when connected to a public Wi-Fi.

METHOD 3: Use Offline Services

If the second option doesn’t work for you, this is another option to consider. Companies are cashing on a huge amount of money, thanks to offline services. With data being left out of the unlimited bandwagon, you should consider subscribing to the premium version of some apps that provide you offline usage. Spotify Premium, Amazon Prime, YouTube Music, Gaana+, Netflix, Hotstar are apt instances which allow you to download content for later viewing or listening. They charge you for a specific period of time, but it will be nothing compared to the extra charges you’d pay if you consume all your data.

Google Maps lets you download maps for a particular region for offline usage, which saves a lot of data and battery, for that matter.

  • Open Google Maps.
  • Click on the hamburger icon. It’ll expand into a menu. Tap on Offline maps.How To Save Mobile Data Usage
  • Here you will find a list of maps you’ve already downloaded for offline usage. If not, click on SELECT YOUR OWN MAP.
  • A map will open with blue squared borders, indicating the area you’ve selected.
  • Select the area for which you’ve to download an offline map.
  • Just pinch in and out till you fit the square on your desired area.
  • Tap on the Download option once you’ve successfully pinpointed your location.
  • You will see that the area’s map is being downloaded.
  • Just keep in mind, offline maps are to save data. Don’t be completely reliant on it.

METHOD 4: Disable Cellular Updates

This method is an extension of saving data but it a cardinal option. Every app that works on an internet connection gives you an option of selecting the default mode of downloading. If you want to save every megabyte, it is imperative to set this option on Use WiFi only. Some instances below:

  • Google Drive
  • Google Maps
  • Google Play Store. Also set Auto-update apps to Over Wi-Fi only.
  • Google News
  • SpotifyHow To Save Mobile Data Usage
  • YouTube

METHOD 5: Browse Carefully

If you constantly browse on your phone, use the mobile version of the site instead of a desktop version, as the latter consumes double the data. Google Chrome has a built-in data saver, which compresses webpages that saves a tiny amount of your data.

  • Open Chrome, tap on the hamburger icon, choose Settings and find Data Saver.
  • Data Saver saved nearly 60MB, which is a huge amount of data if your mobile pack in on the brink of exhaustion.
  • There’s also a new Lite mode in Chrome.

This will automatically compress pages before it’s downloaded. Opera Max is another browser that aids in data saving which is designed to dramatically reduce data consumption.

These methods will surely help you save your mobile data. While we’ve covered topics that might drastically change your data consumption, let us know in the comments below if we left out some more tips and tricks. Also, tell us which method do you already use to save the data.


Saurabh Jadhav
I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.