6 ways to reduce data usage on your phone right now


Written by: Circles.Life

Last updated: 1 January 2024

Did you know that the smallest data plan offered by most telcos in Singapore is merely 10GB?

According to Hrushikesh Mahananda, telecom research Analyst at GlobalData, the average monthly data usage will increase from 9.4GB in 2022 to 23.6GB in 2027.

So, as we use more and more data in our everyday lives, this means higher phone bills than ever before. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save data and keep those bills manageable.

Elevate your on-the-go activities without the data limit stress! Opt for our 200GB data plan and stay connected, worry-free!

What causes high data usage on a mobile phone?

Streaming movies, music, and games are some of the main causes of high data usage on your smartphone, alongside downloading and uploading files, and updating apps. Another big contributor is video calling on apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Zoom.

How much data do you need? Use our data usage calculator to find out how much mobile data you need each month.

How do I stop my phone from using so much data?

From closing down background apps to auto-connecting to WiFi there are plenty of ways to keep your data usage in check.

1. Use WiFi as often as possible

One of the easiest way to reduce data usage on your phone is to connect to WiFi whenever you can. It’s easy to forget to do this manually, so set up ‘auto connect’ at the places where you spend the most time — at home, the office, and your favourite cafe.

A word of caution here though: If you’re on an unsecured public WiFi network, make sure you don’t use banking apps or transact online to keep your personal & financial information secure and avoid being a scam victim!

Read more: Must-know mobile security tips

2. Turn off data fetching and close background apps

If you’re wondering why your data is being used so fast, it could be because your phone is using data in the background that you don’t even know about. That’s right; your phone could be in another room, away from you, and still be using data.

Background data helps keep apps up-to-date and running correctly, even when you’re not using them. Your email does it too; constantly searching for new mail and pulling it through so it’s ready when you launch your mail app next.

As well as impacting data usage, this can also impact battery life. Not good, huh? Especially when apps can just as easily update on WiFi. The good news is that it’s easy to turn off data fetching and close background apps to keep your data plan healthy.

How to turn off background apps on Android:
Settings → Connections → Data usage → Data saver

How to turn off background apps on iPhone:
Settings → General → Background App Refresh

In terms of what you should turn off to use less data, this will be based on how you use your phone and what apps are important to you.

3. Don’t download movies or music without a WiFi connection (and avoid streaming if you can)

While it’s tempting to download your favourite tunes or the latest episode of your favourite drama series, without WiFi, this will chew through your data faster than a puppy gnawing on your favourite sneaker.

Make sure your settings in apps like Netflix, Spotify, Binge and Stan are set to not download on cellular data, and get all your downloading done when you’re connected to WiFi instead. You should avoid streaming these services too, as this eats up data before you know it. Best practice is to always download what you need via WiFi connection so you can watch and listen guilt-free.

4. Avoid playing mobile games without a WiFi connection

If you’re set on being one of the elusive players to reach level 1,000 on Fortnite, it might be tempting to keep gaming whilst you’re on data connection instead of WiFi.

But, with the standard hour of gaming using around 40MB and 300MB per hour, it’s not a smart move if your data plan isn’t up to scratch. Keep your data-powered gaming to the minimum and connect to WiFi instead.

Or, lock in our epic 1TB 5G plan to play as many games as you like without ever worrying about data usage.

5. Use a data monitoring app

If you’re wondering what causes high data use on a cell phone, a data monitoring app is a great way to find out. These apps measure how much data your phone is using, and what apps/functions are using the most.

Of course, we recommend the Circles Life app, but there are also plenty of other third-party apps to choose from, including Check Internet Data Usage on Android and Data Manager on iPhone. Remember to download them on WiFi not data.

If you’re not keen to download an app to measure your data, Android and iPhone also have in-built data monitoring options, though the interface is not as user-friendly as many of the custom-made apps.

How to check your data on Android:
Settings → Connections → Data usage → Mobile Data Usage

How to check your data usage on iPhone:
Settings → Mobile

This will give you a breakdown of all the apps you’ve used in this billing period and how much cellular data they’ve used (note: the process might be slightly different depending on your phone or operating system so type in ‘data’ in the search bar within settings if you get stuck).

Read more: How much is 10GB of data and how long does it last in Singapore?

6. Download Google Maps and use offline

If you rely on Google Maps to get you from A to B, you could be using as much as 3MB of data for every five minutes. By downloading the relevant map/s before you hit the road, you could save significantly on data. The only downside of this is that you won’t be getting any real-time traffic updates along the way.

How to download offline Google Maps on iPhone:
• Make sure you’re connected to WiFi
• Open the Google Maps app
• Click your profile picture on the top right-hand side
• Click ‘offline maps’
• Click ‘select your own map’ and choose the area you want
• Download the map and you’re good to go

How to download offline Google Maps on Android:
• Make sure you’re connected to WiFi
• Open the Google Maps app
• Click your profile picture on the top right-hand side
• Click ‘offline maps’
• Click ‘select your own map’ and choose the area you want
• Download the map and you’re good to go

Get the data you need

Here at Circles.Life, our plans (200GB and 300GB) offer so much data that you’ll never have to worry about running out again. Explore our plans now!





Published 2023-10-03

Written by Circles.Life


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