If you’re like me and rely on a limited mobile data package to keep you online, you know what it’s like to find that something has eaten your data and now you’re left with more month than data. If thats you, then this post is a must read.

There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your data usage without leaving you with what might as well be a dumb iPhone or iPad.

This article is based on iOS 8.1 but should be relevant for most users. Pretty much everything happens in Settings with the exception of a few app specific data saving options which I’ll mention at the end of this post.

So let’s begin.

Settings >> Cellular (Mobile)

The best place to start is by disable cellular data usage for apps that you don’t want to have use your cellular data. Under Settings, you’ll find a menu option labeled Cellular or Mobile Data. Within this option, if you scroll about halfway down, you’ll find a list of all your apps , each with a switch indicating whether that app can use cellular data or not. Turn off all the apps that you don’t want using cellular data. You’ll be amazed at how many do by default.

Use Cellular Data For

For a more detailed breakdown of this topic, you can visit this article on apple.com: Managing You Data Usage…


Although most of this happens only when you’re on a wi-fi network, it’s worth checking a few settings here too. Under Settings, scroll down and select iCloud, within this  section, you’ll find an item called iCloud Drive. If iCloud Drive is turned on, select it and scroll to the bottom of the next screen. Here you’ll find the option that allows iCloud Drive to use cellular data to transfer documents and data. Turn it off if you don’t want it to do s0.

iCloud      Use Cellular Data

iTunes & App Store

Again, you’ll find this one in Settings. Here you find the ability to turn on or off Use Cellular Data for automatically downloading purchases made on other devices.

iTunes & App Store

While we’re here, let me point out that under Automatic Downloads, you’ll see Updates. If Updates is turned on, your iDevice will download iOS updates automatically as they are released by Apple.


As I mentioned briefly at the start of this article, there are a number of apps that themselves offer data savings. My favourite is Opera Mini. This little browser claims to save you up to 90% of your data and speed up your internet connection. I’m not convinced about the speed part of that claim but I can definitely vouch for the data savings although not quite 90% in my experience. Google’s Chrome browser has similar functionality but I’m more inclined to trust Opera, they’ve got years of experience at this and I’ve been very happy with them.

Well I hope this helps to stretch out your data plan. Happy surfing.