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Why am I running out of data on my Android phone?

By November 18, 2019 January 10th, 2020 Tips and Tricks

The answer is “it depends”. The first thing to check is what apps you have running in the background on your Android phone. You don’t have to buy a “dumb” phone to reduce your data usage.

Check apps running in the background

You should look at games, media player apps and apps that require a constant network connection.

You can view how much data each app is using.

  • Foreground data: data the phone uses while you are actively using the app.
  • Background data: data used by the phone when the app isn’t open or active.

If any apps are using a lot of background data, you need to decide how important each app is to you. For instance, news and social media apps perform frequent checks for updates in the background.

If any of those apps have a “Sync data” option, try turning it off so it only syncs when you tap to view. You may not even miss it. You may also have an option for how frequently to sync instead, so try changing this to less frequent syncing.

If you stop receiving something important, you can reverse these settings.

How to check data usage on your Android phone

Settings Connections Data Usage Mobile data usage

data usage

If your Android phone is running out of data,

Here are 8 ways to lower your data usage.

1. Turn Data Saver on

Optimize your phone’s mobile data usage and use less data. This setting blocks background data by preventing apps from sending or receiving data in the background. It also may reduce data on apps while you are actively using them by reducing update frequency, preventing autoplay, and reducing quality of images.

Turn this on. When switched on, you may not be able to stream music or movies, download attachments to email or text messages if you aren’t connected to a good Wi-Fi signal.

show me how to turn Data Saver on

Android Data saver to stop running out of data on AndroidSettings Connections Data usage Data Saver, turn this on

You can tap on “Allow app while Data saver on” to see a list of all apps. If you enable an app, it will be able to use mobile data even when Data saver is on. You may want to enable for weather, messages, email, and maps.

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly.

2. Close apps you aren’t using

To view open apps, swipe up from bottom of the screen to view open apps.

Swipe an app up until it is off the screen to force close it.

3. Turn on Wi-Fi

To stay connected while at home, at work or in coffee shops and airports, turn on Wi-Fi. At home and often at work, you need to enter your network password. If you really need to be connected and there is no free Wi-Fi, you can turn mobile data back on, use it and then turn it back off. See Turn off mobile data.

show me how to turn on Wi-Fi

Settings Connections Wi-Fi tap the Wi-Fi network you want to join.

Secure networks will need you to enter a password. Connections that require passwords have a padlock.

Android Wi-Fi onAndroid Wi-Fi available

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly.

4. Turn off Auto Network Switch

If your Wi-Fi connection is weak or unstable, you may be prompted to switch networks. If you really need to stay connected, it’s okay to turn this on. However, this means it will continue to switch automatically and will use mobile data when you may not expect it. This is an advanced setting that you can turn off.

When off, you may not be able to stream music or movies, or download attachments to email and text messages if you aren’t connected to a good Wi-Fi signal.

Note: Picture messaging counts toward your texting package and only requires a mobile data connection to transmit or receive. This means that you will need to switch mobile data on to send or receive pictures in a text message.

show me how to turn off Auto Network Switch

Android Network Switch, turn off to stop Android phone running out of dataSettings Connections  Wi-Fi   Advanced   turn Switch to mobile data off

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly.

5. Facebook Notifications

If Facebook it gobbling up your data, there isn’t any way to change the frequency that it checks in the background using the above methods.

These are options to start reducing data usage:

  • Turn on Facebook Data Saver
  • Manage Push Notifications – Push notifications will use Wi-Fi or mobile data depending on availability and your settings.
  • Turn off background data usage

show me how to manage Facebook notifications

Facebook Data Saver

You can turn the Facebook Data Saver on. Note: This may already be turned on if you used the previous method to turn overall Data Saver on.

Open Facebook tap the Menu Settings & Privacy Data Saver, turn it on.

An option appears to Always turn off Data Saver on Wi-Fi. This means it will use Wi-Fi but won’t use mobile data so turn it on.

Android Facebook privacy settings Android Facebook data saver

facebook notificationAndroid Facebook NotificationsManage Push Notifications

Open Facebook tap the Menu icon Settings Notifications Push Notifications

You can turn off all push notifications.

 

Or you can tap into each type of notification and turn off the push notifications you want to stop such as Timeline Posts, Friend Confirmation, Place Tags

facebook notification individual settings

Turn off background data usage altogether for Facebook

Android background data FacebookSettings Apps (if Facebook doesn’t show you may have to search for it or click view all apps) Facebook Mobile data Change the “Allow background data usage” to off.

For more ways to reduce data usage with Facebook https://www.facebook.com/help/mobile-basic/656932384361200

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly and Facebook is constantly making changes to how these settings work.

6. Videos and Autoplay

Videos take a lot of data. Many times, a video will start playing even though you are not interested and have moved on down the screen. To combat this, you can switch Autoplay off.

show me how to turn off Autoplay

Facebook

Open Facebook tap the Menu icon Settings & Privacy Settings Media and Contacts Videos and Photos, turn Autoplay off

You can choose to play on Wi-Fi connections only or never autoplay videos.

facebook media and contacts facebook autoplay settings facebook autoplay

Other apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit have settings to turn off Autoplay as well. Find them through your app account or the app settings.

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly.

7. Visit social media less often

Facebook notification, Instagram, and Twitter can eat up your data, especially when you click on them and look up recent activity. Wait until you have a free Wi-Fi connection to see what’s happened to your friends.

8. Turn off mobile data

Stop using mobile data. Just turn it off in your phone’s settings. If you turn off mobile data you still receive phone calls and text. Please note that text messages with images need a mobile network to send and receive. You can turn mobile data back on if you need this functionality.

show me how to turn off mobile data

Android data usageSettings Connections Data Usage Mobile data turn off mobile data

Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.

Note: These examples are for illustration only. Your operating system may display these screens and settings differently from the examples shown. In addition, the names of the selections may not match exactly.

Griz Wireless Data Warning Notifications

Finally, Griz Wireless sends you notifications when you reach 75% and 90% of your monthly data allotment. This helps you stay in control and purchase more data before running out.

If you need help, bring your phone to the Griz Wireless office near you.

Our Customer Service Specialists can help you make these changes.

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