Do you use too much data? If low data caps and high overage rates are getting you down, then our experts at Search 4 Roots are here to help.

Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways to lower your data usage.

7) Download Google Maps Offline for Your City

If you frequently use Google Maps for navigation around your city, then you’ve probably noticed that it sucks up a lot of data. That’s why you should take advantage of the ability to download Google Maps offline.

To download Google Maps offline, open the app and zoom out to the area you want to download (like zoom out until you see the entire outline of your city). Or, just search for your city.

Then, at the bottom, tap the bar that has the name of the place you searched and click Download.

If you have trouble following those steps, then Google has a good support article here.

Amazingly, you can’t always download maps offline because of – no kidding – contractual obligations. In other words, your carrier wants you to pay data overage fees so much that it actually disables this function.

google maps

In any case, offline maps take up 50mb to 100mb of room on your storage device but can save you from hundreds of megabytes in data charges.

6) Take Advantage of Chrome’s Ability to Compress Pages

All of the things you see on the internet can be compressed to use significantly less data. By activating one setting on Chrome, you can save 30 to 35% of your mobile browser data consumption.

To activate Chrome’s Data Saver, launch Chrome and tap the three dots in the top right hand corner of the screen, then go to Settings > Data Saver.

One fun thing about this setting is that you can go back again and again to see how much data you’ve saved. If you ever find a page gets messed up after activating Data Saver, then just open an incognito browser (Data Saver doesn’t work in this mode).

5) Uninstall Facebook

Uninstalling Facebook is the Android equivalent of going for a run every morning. It helps your body and improves your health in so many ways.

Uninstalling Facebook is a great way to reduce data consumption, improve battery usage, and minimize bloat on your device. In fact, you won’t even miss it: because it’s easy to setup a Facebook bookmark in Chrome and add it as a shortcut to your homepage. Just like that, you have basically a Facebook app while saving enormous data and battery.

4) Turn on Airplane Mode Before Playing Games

If you play a lot of games, and don’t necessarily want to be bothered while playing those games, then turning on airplane mode is a great way to reduce data consumption during gameplay.

Your Android games suck up data in the form of advertisement bandwidth. Many games are kind enough to only display ads when you’re on Wi-Fi, but others don’t play so nicely.

3) Set a Data Limit

If your data limit is 2GB, then I recommend setting up a data usage alert at 1.5GB. That lets you know that you’ve used a significant amount of data, and maybe you should stop watching 200+ second Snapchat stories when you’re at a bar without Wi-Fi. Then, setup a hard limit at 2GB to restrict your data usage and avoid overage charges.

To add a data limit, go to Settings > Data Usage and activate a cellular data limit.

2) Restrict Background Data

Android has a nifty ability to restrict background data usage so your apps always use only a small amount of data.

restrict background data

To activate that feature, go to Settings > Data Usage > Restrict Background Data. It won’t save an enormous amount of data, and it may restrict your ability to receive app notifications instantly, but it’s a great way to shave 5 to 10% off your data consumption.

1) Download Music Onto your Phone

Whether you use Google Play Music or another app, music playback can have an enormous impact on data consumption. I don’t know about you, but Google Play is always the biggest offender when it comes to data consumption every month.

Transfer music onto your phone. Download your running playlist, gym playlist, or studying playlist offline.

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