Your Reading List & recommendations

6 tips to make the most of your mobile data

Using your smartphone to search the web, navigate, or communicate with colleagues across the world needs mobile data. And to help you make the most of your data, here are our top 6 tips to help you make yours go further.

1. Turn off auto-app updates for apps and software

Updating apps or your phone’s software can be a serious data drainer – so it’s best to only do these when you’re using wifi.

If you’re using an Android phone, click on the Google Play store, tap the three lines in the top left-hand corner, scroll down to settings, and select Auto-update apps. Here you can choose to only update your applications over wifi.

If you’re using an iPhone, tap settings, scroll down to iTunes and App Store, and under Automatic Downloads make sure you turn the updates off.


2. Activate data meter in the settings

To stay on top of how much data you use each day, and to get alerts from your phone if you go over a certain amount, activate the phone’s data meter.

For Android smartphones, go into your settings, scroll down to More and click through to see your data usage. You can click on the data graph to set a daily limit and will be alerted by your smartphone if you reach it.

For iPhone users, tap into Settings, then tap into Mobile Data, and you’ll see your total mobile data usage. You’ll want to reset this counter every billing cycle so you can stay on top of your monthly use – reset by scrolling to the bottom of the page and hit Reset Statistics.


3. Turn off video auto-play

Auto-play on Facebook videos can use a whole lot of data for something which you didn’t even want to watch – so, it’s best to turn auto-play off.

On an Android phone, click into Facebook, press the icon with three lines in the top right hand corner of the screen, scroll down to App Settings, and under Auto-play you can choose between WiFi Auto-play only, or turn if off altogether.

For iPhone users, open Facebook press the icon with three lines at the bottom right of the screen, scroll down to Settings, choose Account Settings, click Videos and Photos, select Auto-play, and choose between Wifi only or off altogether.


4. Turn off location services when you’re not using them

Leaving your location services turn on means your phone’s GPS is in constant use and this can use a lot of data without you realising. To save data, turn off your location services, and turn them back on when you need them.

On an Android phone, tap into Settings, scroll down to Location, and turn the setting off.

For an iPhone, tap into Settings, scroll down to Privacy, tap into Location Services, and turn them off.


5. Turn off background data

Many apps on your phone quietly run in the background – they may not cause you any nuisance but they could be chewing up a lot of your data. So, why not restrict an application to only using data when you’re in it?

For Android, tap into Settings, find data usage and tap through, touch the three dots in the top right hand corner and select Restrict background data.

For an iPhone, select Settings, scroll down to General, select Background App Refresh, and ensure the toggle is turned off.


6. Use wifi

Of course you don’t need to use mobile data if you have access to a wifi connection or hotspot at home, work or when traveling around. You can access O2 Wifi at over 13,000 hotspots across the UK, including high street favourites like McDonalds, Costa and Caffè Nero, as well as the London Underground. You can download the O2 Wifi App to find hotspots around you. And once you’ve used one, so long as you leave your wifi on, you should connect automatically whenever you’re in range.


Travelling abroad? See our top tips to save your roaming data

Get great deals on the latest smartphones and tablets in the O2 Business shop



All articles


Public sector

Safe & secure


Tech advice

Work smarter