Basics

How can I minimize my data usage?

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

Connect to a Wi-Fi network

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

  • To turn on Wi-Fi, in the App list, tap Settings Settings icon> Wi-Fi, and then turn Wi-Fi networking to On.

Tip

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

Use Data Sense

Data Sense helps you monitor your cellular data usage, see which apps are using the most data, and find more efficient ways to use the data you have. Plus you can set it to help reduce the amount of cellular 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. Select the Reduce data use by sending URLs to the Data Sense service check box.
    • Tap Data Sense, then select the Reduce data use when browsing by sending URLs to the Data Sense service check box. (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 counting it 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 Cellular settings to change your background data settings.)

Turn off background tasks

Some apps may continue to use cellular data even when they're not 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, and then tap Background tasks.

  2. Tap any apps running background tasks that you want to block, and 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, and 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 just when you want.

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

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

  3. Tap Download new content, and 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 Wi-Fi only

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

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

  2. Tap Music + Videos, and then make sure the Only download new podcast episodes over Wi-Fi check box is selected.

Turn on airplane mode

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

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

  2. Turn Status to On.

Prevent cellular data usage when Wi-Fi connectivity is limited

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

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

  2. Tap For limited Wi-Fi connectivity, and then tap Don't use cellular 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 cellular data connection

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

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

  2. Tap Data connection, and then tap Off.

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