Restrict Background Data: A Guide to Save Your Mobile Data and Money

20 Nov, 2019

Restrict Background Data: A Guide to Save Your Mobile Data and Money

With frequent web browsing, streaming videos, music, hours of scrolling through social media feeds and stories — saving the limited data pack has become a hell of a task. And it matters less how frugally you use it, the data-hungry apps running in the background will scoff the data which ends up in paying exorbitant overcharges. 

However, with a few simple configurations and toggles, you’ll be able to save a lot of data blown in the background. In fact, you’ll see some leftover data at the end of the month. So in this article, we have discussed all you need to know to restrict the background data, optimize your apps and save your data pack and money.

What is Background Data?

Background data is the consumption of internet by apps that are not being used actively (in the background) or even when your phone is in standby mode. It is also known as background syncing or background App Refresh for iOS devices. 

Mobile apps use the data in the background to provide you real-time updates such as messages and social media notifications. And this results in draining the mobile data.

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What Happens When You Restrict Background Data?

So when you restrict the background data, the apps will no longer consume the internet in the background, i.e. while you are not using it. It will use the internet only when you open an app. This even means you won’t get real-time updates and notifications when the app is closed. 

You can easily restrict the background data on your Android and iOS devices in a few simple steps. Here, take a look.

How to Restrict Background Data on Android

Step 1. Go to Settings and navigate to Data Usage.

Step 2. Tap on it and you’ll find the stats about data consumed by different apps.

Step 3. Tap on the app you want to restrict background data and disable Background data.

Suggested Read: Best Android Firewall Apps for Better Internet Security on Phones

How to Restrict Background Data on iOS

Step 1.Go to Settings and tap on General.

Step 2. Navigate to Background App Refresh. Here you can turn off background app refresh for all the apps by disabling the main button or even turn it off for the individual apps. 

How to restrict background data on iOS

Suggested Read: 10 Best VPN for iPhone Enabling Better Privacy and Secure Browsing

How to Save Data on Popular Apps

Apart from restricting background data, you can even toggle some app settings to minimize data consumption. Most of the popular apps come with such settings to save data consumption. Here, check how you can save data on some most used and popular apps. 


Many times YouTube streams high definition videos based on the speed of your connection. You can save significant data just by limiting the quality of the videos on mobile data. 

  1. Open YouTube App
  2. Click on your profile at the upper-right corner
  3. Tap on Settings > General
  4. Turn on “Limit mobile data usage”

How to save data in apps - Youtube


If you do a lot of internet browsing, Chrome might be one of the top apps consuming your data. However, you can reduce the data usage by enabling the Lite mode in Chrome. It will optimize the website pages you browse resulting in the reduction of data usage. 

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Tap the vertical three-dot in the upper-right corner
  3. Tap on Settings
  4. Navigate to Lite mode and toggle it on

How to save data in apps - Chrome


Netflix comes with a couple of options to help you save your data. It also allows you to download your shows so that you can view them offline. Downloading your content over WiFi is the best way to conserve your data pack. However, when you don’t have WiFi access, you can also reduce the resolution at which videos are streamed. 

  1. Open Netflix
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu at the lower-right corner of your screen
  3. Tap on App settings 
  4. Tap on Cellular Data and enable Save Data

How to save data in apps - Netflix


Instagram preloads the videos for you for better user experience. However, it also consumes a lot of data in the background. You can always turn it off it by enabling Cellular Data Use.

  1. Open Instagram
  2. Go to your profile
  3. Tap the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner
  4. Select Settings > Account > Cellular Data Use and enable it

How to save data in apps - Instagram

Wrap Up

So these are a few things you can do to save your limited mobile data — restrict background data and optimize your app settings. These simple configurations and some watch over apps’ internet usage will help you to get through the end of the month without paying overcharges.

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