Mobile data is a precious resource. It’s the one part of many of our phone contracts that’s still subject to limitations and can get pretty costly if we don’t monitor it and keep it in check. A vital way of keeping control over our mobile data is to get an idea of how much data each app is using, then find ways to curtail their data use.
There are various ways to do this – whether by blocking their ability to work in the background or by installing a “lite” version of the app in question. Here we show you how to stop apps using so much of your mobile data on Android.
Identify the Data Hogs
The first step to controlling the mobile data usage of your apps is to find out which ones are using the most data.
Go to “Settings -> Network & internet -> Mobile/Cellular network -> App data usage.”
Here you can see how much data each of your apps has used over a time period of your choice. Tap through on an individual app, and you can see how much “foreground” and “background” data a given app uses.
Tap through on an app, and if you feel it’s using too much background data, then switch the “Background data” slider to the off position.
If your phone doesn’t come with this feature, you can make use of various apps to track your data usage, too.
Android Data Saver
A more all-encompassing way of blocking background data usage across your Android apps is to use Android’s built-in data saver.
Go to “Settings -> Network & internet -> Data Saver” and switch on the “Use Data Saver” slider.
This will restrict background data usage across many of your apps, though you can always tap “Unrestricted data” to allow whichever apps you want to bypass the data-saving restrictions.
Reduce Data Usage in Chrome
You have likely noticed when looking into background data usage that Chrome (or whatever Android browser you’re using) can eat up a lot of your data.
Beyond the previous tip of blocking background data usage on Chrome, you can also switch on Chrome’s “Lite” mode by going to “Chrome menu -> Settings -> Lite mode.”
This will reduce the number of times unnecessary images loading as well as ads and other bulky page elements that load and take up a bunch of data.
Lite mode works by sending the pages you want to load to Google before forwarding them to you in a chopped-down “Lite” format. (Don’t worry, the connection to Google is encrypted.)
This technically means page loading can be a bit slower, but will also crucially use less data. Once you’ve turned Lite mode on, you can track how much data you’re saving, which is a nice touch.
Other browsers like Edge and Firefox don’t have a Data Saver feature like Chrome.
If you’re looking for a lightweight Android browser that automatically blocks large amounts of bloated data-hogging page elements and saves you data, then try Opera Mini or Brave.
Now that you know how to stop apps from using mobile data on your Android phone, do also check out some of the best Android screen recording apps. If, on the other hand, your Android data isn’t working as it should, then see our fixes for a faulty mobile data connection on Android.