- DISABLE AUTO- PLAY VIDEOS IN FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
If your friends share a lot of videos, do this immediately. In the Facebook app, tap More > scroll down to Settings > Videos and Photos > select Auto-play and slide to disable “Smart Auto-play.” Then choose “Use Wifi Only” or “Never Play Videos Automatically.”In Instagram, go to your profile > Settings (top right) > Preload videos > select “Only on Wi-Fi.”
- PLAY YOUTUBE VIDEOS AT LOW RESOLUTION
Watching YouTube videos on mobile is a gargantuan data wipe, but if you HAVE to do it, use the “three dots” menu in the top right corner to play them at a lower resolution so you won’t kiss half of your data goodbye just to watch some cute puppies. (Worth it, though.)
- SCREEN SHOT DIRECTIONS
Sure, it’s nice to know where exactly you are in your route, but accurate GPS positioning and turn-by-turn directions eat up so much data. Pull up directions in your preferred maps app, then capture the screen (hold down home + power button for iPhone). Now, end the navigation or close the app, and pull up the screenshot from Camera Roll.
- DOWNLOAD ARTICLES TO READ OFFLINE
If you get bored on the bus/subway and can’t resist a good story, use the Pocket mobile app to read longer articles without a data connection. Find the article when you’re on Wi-Fi, copy the link, open Pocket and tap the “Add” green bar at the bottom. Add as many articles as you want, then wait for the app to say “Downloading complete.” After that, read away and don’t forget to go into Airplane Mode.
- POWER DOWN SECRET DATA HOGS LIKE WAZE
The Waze app records data from your phone to help inform its traffic reports, even when you’re not navigating. Open the menu and tap the power button to shut Waze down completely.
- SAVE MAPS OFFLINE
Go to your desired destination, and press and hold to drop a pin. Tap Dropped Pin, then tap on the three dots in the upper right, and select Save offline map. You can pan and zoom to adjust the area. Once saved, name the map, and access it in Your places.
- TURN OFF BACKGROUND APP REFRESH
All of your apps can auto-refresh, meaning your phone will allow them to check for new content and download it, even if you’re not currently using the app. Turn off as many of these as possible so you’re not losing data without even realizing it.
- CELL ALREADY GONE OVER? CALL YOUR PROVIDER NOW
On most Verizon and AT&T plans, you’re charged $15 for every GB of additional data you use on top of your plan’s allowance. This is a lot! If you’ve ignored those pesky text message warnings and KNOW you’ve blasted through all your data, try calling and asking if they can ~just this once~ waive your charge. (Sometimes this works!), If you have regular trouble staying within your data limit, consider upgrading your plan. It’s worth paying more up front and having an extra, comfy data cushion instead of freaking out every time you refresh Instagram. (Changing it very soon after you’ve gone over your data might even result in you avoiding the overage fee.)
- TURN OFF CELL DATA FOR NON-ESSENTIAL APPS
Did you know you can check your data usage without logging into your cell carrier account? In Settings > Cellular, you can see how much you’ve used for the current billing period. Another handy tip is to disable cellular data for all non-essential apps. The sliders (circled here) should appear gray, instead of green.
- SYNC ALL OF YOUR SPOTIFY MUSIC
Unless you’ve marked a Spotify playlist as “available offline,” your music isn’t synced to your device. That means that every time you blast Katy Perry, it’s streaming “Roar” anew with your precious data. (This also means your playback will be choppy if you move out of your service range.) Sync ALL of your playlists when you’re connected to wifi to avoid a data bomb.