Basics

How can I minimise my data usage?

If you don't have an unlimited data plan, you may be looking for ways to reduce your mobile data usage. Here are some tips that can help you do that.

Connecting to a WiFi network

When you can, connect to a WiFi network. Your phone will try to use the WiFi network connection to send and receive data first.

  • To turn on WiFi, in the App list, tap SettingsSettings icon> WiFi, then turn WiFi networking to On.

Tip

When you're out and about, you can use the Data Sense WiFi Guide to find WiFi hotspots that are nearby. To view the guide, in WiFi settings, tap Find nearby WiFi. You can also get to it by going to the App list, then tapping MapsMaps icon > MoreMore icon > Show nearby WiFi. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)

Use Data Sense

Data Sense helps you monitor your mobile data usage, see which apps are using the most data and find more efficient ways of using the data you have. You can also set it to help reduce the amount of mobile data you use.

  • To open Data Sense, in the App list, tap Data Sense Data Sense icon.

Note

Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.

Have Internet Explorer reduce the size of webpages

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows Phone can reduce the size of webpages when you're browsing the web on your phone. This can help cut down some of your data usage. Here's what to do to make sure this feature is turned on.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon.

  2. Flick left to Applications, then do one of the following:

    • Tap Internet Explorer > Advanced settings. Tick the Reduce data use by sending URLs to the Data Sense service checkbox.
    • Tap Data Sense, then tick the Reduce data use when browsing by sending URLs to the Data Sense service checkbox. (This setting only appears if your phone has Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information on updating your phone.)

Note

  • Some mobile operators let you browse certain websites without it counting against your data limit, but that benefit may be limited on certain networks if you select this setting. When you browse other sites, Data Sense will often save you data. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense. If you don't have Data Sense on your phone, you can go to Mobile network settings to change your background data settings.)

Turn off background tasks

Some apps may continue to use mobile data even when they aren't open. You can reduce your data usage by turning off any background tasks you don't need.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, flick left to Applications, then tap Background tasks.

  2. Tap any apps running background tasks that you want to block, then tap Block.

Turn on Battery Saver

Battery Saver turns off some, but not all, of the features that require a data connection. You can turn it on whenever you want, or set it to turn on automatically when your battery is low.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Battery saver.

  2. Turn Battery Saver to On.

  3. Tap Advanced, then tap the option you want to use to conserve battery.

Change email sync settings

You can choose how often your phone automatically syncs email, or you can sync it manually when you want to.

  1. In the App list, tap the email account whose settings you want to change.

  2. Tap MoreMore icon > Settings, then tap Sync settings.

  3. Tap Download new content, then tap a time. If you don't want your phone to sync email from this account automatically, tap Manually.

Download new podcast episodes over WiFi only

You can make sure that new episodes for podcasts you subscribe to are only downloaded to your phone over a WiFi connection.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, then flick left to Applications.

  2. Tap Music + Videos, then make sure the Only download new podcast episodes over WiFi checkbox is selected.

Turn on flight mode

If you want to quickly turn off your mobile connection and other connections as well, you can turn flight mode on.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Flight mode.

  2. Turn Status to On.

Prevent mobile data usage when WiFi connectivity is limited

If your phone is connected to a WiFi network and can't complete a task because connectivity becomes limited, you can determine whether or not your phone will use mobile data to finish the task. For more info, see Mobile network settings.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Mobile network.

  2. Tap For limited WiFi connectivity, then tap Don't use mobile data.

Notes

  • This setting may not appear on your phone, depending on how your phone is set up by the manufacturer or your mobile operator.
  • To have this setting, your phone must be running Windows Phone software version 8.0.10211.204 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more info about how to update your phone.

Turn off your mobile data connection

The most thorough way to make sure you're not using mobile data is to turn it off altogether.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Mobile network.

  2. Tap Data connection, then tap Off.

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