8 easy and effective data-saving hacks for iPhone users.
iPhones are great; they come packed with bigger screens, incredible resolution, powerful processors, superb cameras and many more features. But with greater features come greater cellular data usage. In fact, the newer versions of the iPhone consume much more mobile data than the older ones.
As utilitarian as the iPhones many features may be, you can’t possibly use all of them at the same. And even if you could, you certainly wouldn’t want to. Saving data begins with, and revolves around, preventing your iPhone from making use of it’s attractive features in every hour of the day or night.
Remember, you can control your data usage in the ways we show you below. It’s also possible to use a prepaid plan in your iPhone (they will work just as well as postpaid plans) which, if managed correctly, (just don’t keep a credit balance) means you cannot be charged more than your last recharge.
Here are 8 easy and effective tips to reduce high data usage on your iPhone.
Turn off Data Roaming
The excitement of a trip overseas can quickly turn sour after realizing you’ve quickly exhausted your data. A typical overseas trip means Map usage, high-resolution photographs and videos posted on social media apps, communicating with family and friends back home, etc. However, these routine uses of your iPhone’s data become roaming when done overseas, and roaming is a recipe for fast data loss. Although having this feature enabled may be beneficial in emergencies, it’s best to keep it turned off when it’s not needed.
Turning off data roaming will prevent your iPhone from making use of your cellular data whenever you’re outside your domestic coverage zone. Instead of roaming, you can connect to the Internet via any available Wi-Fi connection. Avoid making use of this feature around the clock and reduce your data usage by keeping it off until you really need it.
To turn off roaming: Go to Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data options. Toggle Data Roaming off.
Title: How to turn off mobile data on the iPhone?
Caption: Here’s how to to turn off mobile data on the iPhone when you’re roaming
Alt-text: Turn off mobile data on the iPhone when you’re roaming to avoid large fees
Switch off Wi-Fi Assist
Another useful iPhone feature is Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist. Whenever there’s a poor Wi-Fi connection, Wi-Fi assist automatically switches to your cellular data. Wi-Fi assist makes the switch without your permission or without any warning, and so it’s difficult to tell when your iPhone dumps your Wi-Fi connection for your cellular data. This can be especially taxing when streaming or downloading large media files or using heavy apps like Instagram.
Because Wi-Fi Assist is turned on by default, your iPhone continues to make use of it around the clock, whenever necessary, without your knowledge. To save your data, force your iPhone to stick to Wi-Fi by turning this feature off.
To turn off Wi-Fi Assist: Go to Settings > Mobile Data. Scroll down to find Wi-Fi Assist and turn it off.
Title: Disable Wi-Fi Assist on iPhone
Alt Text: Here’s how to turn off Wi-Fi Assist on iPhone
Caption: How to disable Wi-Fi Assist on iPhone?
Use the Reading List
Using cellular data to browse the Internet will obviously reduce your iPhone’s data. To avoid using your cellular data to view web pages whenever a Wi-Fi connection is unavailable, take advantage of the Safari Reading List. Safari’s Reading List allows you to download full web pages with your Wi-Fi connection for offline viewing. This will allow you to browse saved pages on your Reading List without sing your cellular data whenever a Wi-Fi connection is out of range.
To use Safari’s Reading List: Open the Safari browser > Load the web page you wish to save > Tap the Share button at the bottom navigation bar > Tap Add to Reading List.
You can also have your iPhone save web pages automatically.
To use Safari’s Reading List automatically: Got to Settings > Safari. Turn on Automatically Save Offline.
Disable Background App Refresh
Another useful iPhone feature is the Background App Refresh. This feature automatically updates apps on your iPhone whenever newer versions are available. However, this requires your iPhone to download those updates without your knowledge, and to do so with your cellular data whenever a Wi-Fi connection is unavailable. Given the frequent updates released by app developers and the amount of apps on your iPhone, Background App Refresh can be a major cellular data consumer.
To prevent unnecessary data loss due to frequent, automatic updates without your knowledge, turn off Background App Refresh.
To do this: Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Turn it off.
Mails get updated automatically by collecting new E-mails as your mail server receives them. This is another useful feature as it alerts you of new E-mails as they arrive. However, like a lot of useful iPhone features, It can be costly whenever it uses cellular data if you are on a limited broadband plan.
To avoid losing data to Mail’s automatic updates, you can disable that feature and get new messages only when you ask for them.
- To turn disable Mails: Go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Find a list of all your E-mail accounts > Tap Fetch New Data below the list > Tap on the desired account name and set it to manual. Turn Push Toggle off.
Switch off Cellular Data Usage for iCloud
, another useful feature, allows your iPhone transfer files and data. However, like most useful features, it can significantly drain your cellular data. You can prevent your iPhone from using cellular data when transferring files via iCloud. Doing so will reduce your data usage.
To turn off cellular data for iCloud: Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Turn off Use Cellular Data.
Use iMessages to Send Low Quality Images
If your iPhone’s operating system is iOS 10, you can use iMessage, Apple’s built-in instant messaging service. iMessage allows the user to send text messages and files, videos, pictures, audio, and location in Low Quality Mode. This option reduces the quality of the files being sent and the amount of cellular data being used.
To enable Low Quality Mode: Go to Settings > Messages. Turn on Low Quality Mode.
Turn off High-Quality Music Streaming
Streaming music when you are away from Wi-Fi can quickly add to your data usage. Most music and podcast apps on the iPhone give you the option to stream only when a Wi-Fi connection is available. Enabling a Wi-Fi only streaming option prevents your device from streaming media when using cellular data.
Even when streaming over cellular data, some apps allow the user to reduce the quality of the file being streamed, thereby reducing the amount of data being used.
For example, to do this with your IPhone’s Apple Music app: Go to Settings > Music. Turn off High Quality on Cellular.
To restrict streaming on the Podcast app: Go to Settings > Podcasts. Turn off Cellular Data.
Manually Configure Your Social Media Apps
According to Statista, social media apps are the most used apps on smartphones. 20% of time spent on a smartphone is spent on a social media app. Unfortunately, social media apps are also the most data-consuming apps. These apps are also prone to running in the background, using your cellular data without your knowledge.
To control your social media apps’ data usage on your iPhone, you can tweak each apps Settings making changes such as turning off the auto play option for videos. In the Facebook app, for example, you can enable a Wi-Fi-only option to prevent cellular data usage. You can also turn on the Use Less Data option in your Instagram’s Settings to cut down on data usage significantly.
Title: Time spent on mobile apps in the US in June 2017
Caption: As you can see, Social Networking and Music Downloads are likely where you can save your mobile data usage
Alt-text: Distribution of time spent on mobile apps in the US in June 2017, by category
The feature-rich iPhone requires constant connectivity for fully display its capabilities. This constant connectivity means dipping into your cellular data whenever a Wi-Fi connection is poor or non-existent. Saving your cellular data requires a little more than closing an app on your iPhone because a lot of data usage goes on in the background without your knowledge.
As a final note, you can easily turn off your cellular data whenever you’re in range of a secure Wi-Fi connection, or whenever you don’t need any Internet connection at all. Use these tips to reduce high data usage on your iPhone.