How can I minimise my data usage?

If you don't have an unlimited data plan – and these days most of us don't – it's important to know how much data you're using, and how to minimise data usage on your Windows Phone.

Use Data Sense

Data Sense helps you track your data usage, find out which apps are using the most data and reduce your mobile data consumption. To learn more, see Using Data Sense to manage data usage.

  • To set it up, swipe over to the App list, then tap Data Sense Data Sense icon.


In Data Sense, the Browser data savings setting will appear but will have no effect because the service that was used to compress web pages is no longer available. Regardless of what you select for this setting, web pages won't be sent to the Data Sense service and compressed.

Connect to a WiFi network

Probably the biggest way you can cut down on your mobile data usage is to connect to a WiFi network whenever possible. That way, your phone can use WiFi to send and receive data.

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


WiFi Sense can automatically connect you to nearby WiFi networks. To find WiFi Sense and change your settings if you want, tap SettingsSettings icon > WiFi > WiFi Sense. For more info, see Using WiFi Sense to get connected.

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 > Battery saver, then swipe over to Usage.

  2. Tap any apps running background tasks, then turn off Allow app to run in the background Off icon.

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 on Battery Saver On icon.

  3. Under Conserve battery life, tap the option you want to use to conserve battery.

Change email sync settings

You can choose how often your phone automatically synchronises emails, or you can sync them manually when you want to.

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

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

  3. Under Download new content (or Download new email in some accounts), choose an option. If you don't want your phone to sync emails from this account automatically, tap Manually (if this option is available). (For more info about the different email sync settings, see Synchronising your email.)

Prevent mobile data usage when WiFi connectivity is limited

If your phone is connected to WiFi and can't complete a data-intensive task like downloading an app because of limited connectivity, you can prevent your phone from finishing the operation using mobile data. (This setting may not appear on your phone, depending on how your phone is set up by the manufacturer or your mobile operator.) For more info, see Mobile network and SIM settings.

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

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

Turn off your mobile data connection

The most thorough way to make sure you aren’t using mobile data is to turn it off altogether.

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

  2. Turn off Data connection Off icon.

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