How to reduce your iPhone's cellular data use

How to reduceyour iPhone's cellular data use
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About four (or six, eight, or more) gigabytes of cellular data probably sounded like a lot when you first signed up for your iPhone data plan. But thanks to the latest data-hungry iOS apps and features, a GB of mobile data isn’t what it used to be.

Indeed, you’d be amazed how quickly your iPhone (or your LTE-enabled iPad, for that matter) can gobble up mobile data—particularly if you’re, say, watching HD-quality Netflix videos, streaming iTunes Match songs, using your iPhone’s personal hotspot with your laptop, or letting iOS update your apps automatically.

Stop automatic downloads from using cellular data

With the right settings enabled, iOS will automatically download any new music, apps, or iBooks purchased by any of your iCloud-connected devices. Even better, your iPhone can automatically download and install updates for all your iOS apps. 

While certainly convenient, “automatic downloads” can put a serious dent in your monthly cellular data allowance, especially if you have a lot of iOS apps installed.

Luckily, you can flip a switch to block cellular access to automatic downloads, and doing also turns off the spigot for two other data-hogging features: iTunes Radio and iTunes Match.
Just tap Settings, iTunes & App Store, then flip off the “Use Cellular Data” switch.

The only downside is that you can’t pick a choose which automatic download features can use cellular data; instead, it’s an all-or-nothing deal. In other words, if you don’t let your iPhone downloading app updates over cellular, you won’t be able to stream iTunes Match tracks on your mobile network, either.

Keep FaceTime calls short and sweet

FaceTime makes for a great way to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends, as well as a surprisingly easy way to drain your monthly cellular data allowance.  
You’ve got a couple of options when it comes to limiting FaceTime’s cellular use: either exercise a little self-discipline when it comes to non-Wi-Fi video calls, or shut off FaceTime’s cellular access completely.
If you picked option number two, tap Settings, Cellular, scroll down to the FaceTime setting (under the “Use cellular data for” heading), then flick the “off” switch. 

Easy does it with Netflix and YouTube

Whether you’re stuck at an airport or cooling your heels in a hotel room, watching a movie on Netflix over your iPhone’s speedy LTE connection can be a tempting diversion. 

But think twice before binge-watching an entire season of House of Cards over LTE. Netflix (or another video-streaming service, for that matter) can easily chomp a gig or more of data an hour for HD-quality video. Indeed, a couple of HD Netflix movies could blow through an entire month of cellular data.

So take it easy when it comes to streaming Netflix, YouTube, or other videos over cellular. Remember, even just a few minutes each day can add up.

If you simply can’t live without Netflix while you’re on the road, try dialing down your Netflix video quality to save bandwidth. Open your Netflix account in a desktop browser, visit the Your Account screen, click the “Playback Settings” screen, then pick an option: Low (think sub-DVD quality, but only a third of a gigabyte of data use per hour), Medium (0.7 GB an hour for SD-quality video), or High (3GB an hour or more for HD-plus quality). 

Turn off auto-playing videos on Facebook

A recent update of Facebook’s iOS app added an eye-popping new feature: auto-play videos, which start playing automatically as you scroll through your news feed.

It’s a nifty feature, and the default “smart auto-play” setting supposedly adjusts your auto-play video quality depending on your battery life and whether you’re on a cellular network. Still, all those auto-playing videos can add up when it comes to cellular data.

If you’d rather turn off auto-play Facebook videos, try this: Open the Facebook app on your iPhone, tap the More button in the bottom-right corner of the screen, scroll down and tap Account Settings, then tap Videos, Auto-play. Flick off the “Smart Auto-play” switch, then pick a new setting—ideally, either “Use Wi-Fi Only” or “Never Play Videos Automatically.”

Use a browser with a mobile-friendly mode

A little casual web browsing over your iPhone’s LTE connection probably won’t drain your monthly data allowance on its own. Again, though, it all adds up.
That’s why frugal iPhone users would be well served with a bandwidth-conscious mobile browser—specifically, one that “crunches” webpages into smaller chunks that consume less cellular data. 

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