While most carriers offer unlimited data with their monthly plans, there are some out there that still limit cellular data usage. With dozens of Android's best apps and services running in the background, you may run out of your monthly mobile data rather quickly. So instead of paying for expensive mobile internet every month, you can enable the data saver mode on your top budget Android phone and restrict apps from consuming data in the background. Here's how you can start conserving your data with ease.
What is Data Saver on Android?
Google introduced the Data Saver feature with the Android 7.0 release. The search giant used to offer Lite mode in Google Chrome to block images and save up to 70% of data. Since mobile data costs have reduced over time, Google removed the Lite mode in Chrome on March 29, 2022.
Data Saver mode limits how much data your installed apps can use in the background. If your phone isn't connected to Wi-Fi or frequently remains out of the Wi-Fi range, it switches to mobile data to function properly.
Some video streaming and instant messaging apps may consume abnormal data in the background. When you enable Data Saver on your Android phone, these apps can't connect to the internet in the background. You must open the app to receive updates.
Since the installed apps can't refresh in the background, an active Data Saver mode also improves your Android phone's battery life.
We use screenshots from a Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phone in the steps below. The steps may vary on Android phones from Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus.
Enable data saver mode on most Android phones
You can turn on data saver mode from the settings or access it from the quick toggles menu. Follow the steps below.
- Open Settings on your Android phone.
- Select Network and internet.
- Tap Data Saver.
- Enable the Use Data Saver toggle.2 Images
You should give unrestricted data access to essential apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, Slack, and other work apps so that you never miss a single important alert from such apps.
- Open the Data Saver menu in Android Settings (check the steps above).
- Select Unrestricted data.
- Enable unrestricted data access to relevant apps so that they function normally even in an active Data Saver mode.2 Images
You can access the Data Saver mode from the quick toggles too.
- Swipe down from the homescreen to open the notification center.
- Swipe down again to expand the quick toggles menu.
- Tap the small pencil icon in the lower-right corner.
- Find the Data Saver toggle. Hold and drag to add the Data Saver tile at the top.2 Images
- Tap the back button, and your Android phone's Data Saver mode is now a single swipe away.
Set up Data Saver mode on Samsung Galaxy phones
Samsung uses the One UI software skin on Galaxy phones. The One UI settings menu is different from the stock Android. Here are the steps to set up Data Saver mode on Samsung phones.
- Open Settings on your Samsung phone.
- Select Connections.
- Tap Data usage and select Data saver from the following menu.2 Images
- Enable the Data saver mode.
- Select Allowed to use data while Data saver is on menu.2 Images
- Make an exception for relevant apps from the following menu.
Enable ultra data saving mode on Samsung phones
Ultra data saving mode compresses data to save cellular data. It automatically blocks data access to all the apps in the background. Here's how to enable it.
- Open Data usage in Samsung Settings (check the steps above).
- Select Ultra data saving mode.
- Enable the toggle.
- Enable data compression and exclude essential apps from the same menu.
- Tap + and add up to six apps that can use cellular data in the background.2 Images
Cut back mobile data usage on Android
Among all the new features and small enhancements with Android 13, we haven't seen Google make any tweaks to the Data Saver mode. Before enabling the function, check how much cellular data your phone used in the current cycle.