Reduce your data usage in Android

There is no mobile operating system with as many features and capabilities as Android. But many of these options also come with a downside: they consume data. If you have unlimited data plans, no problem. But not everyone has that. How do you limit your data consumption in Android yourself?

Also read: Reduce your data usage on your iPhone

Enable data saver

The makers of the operating system themselves are also aware that Android can consume a considerable amount of data. For that reason, Android has an option to save data since version 7.0 (Nougat), aptly named: Data Saver. The function works very simply. With data saver enabled, apps are not allowed to use your cellular connection if you're not actively using your smartphone or when the display is turned off. The advantage here is that you can indicate that certain apps have unlimited access to your data connection (which can be useful for medical apps, for example). You enable data saving via Settings / Data Usage / Data Saver.

Also read: Optimize data traffic for mobile use

Enable data limit

Don't have Android 7 but still want to prevent your smartphone from draining your entire data bundle in no time? In that case it may be interesting to enable a data limit. This simply means that you say: so much data can be used and no more than that. You can of course remove that limit, but it is a good method to set an 'alarm' so that you know that, for example, you are halfway through your data bundle. You enable the data limit by navigating to Settings / Data usage and the switch at Set mobile data limit to turn on. You can then enter exactly what that limit should be and for what period it applies.

Chrome data saver

In addition to the data saver in Android 7, it has also been possible to use data saver in Google Chrome for some time. This means that all traffic you generate through Chrome on Android is compressed through Google's servers. This can save a lot of data (easily tens of MBs per month) and especially if you surf a lot on mobile, this adds up. You enable this feature by opening Chrome and pressing Settings / Advanced / Data Saver. Flip the switch, and you'll automatically save data from now on. If you keep this feature turned on, you'll also see here how much data you've saved over time.

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