Often times, our lives and technology mold together seamlessly. The faster we receive information, the quicker we can consume it, and then move on. We’re bombarded with a constant stream of notifications and updates on the daily. Normally, this can be a very pleasant and rewarding experience, but it can shock you in a way that may not cross your mind. We will be focusing on Android and iOS today.

Background syncing and notifications do provide value, but it can be harmful… to your wallets. One moment you are running on a full tank of gigabytes, and the next you are on empty. Frustrating to say the least!

This doesn't only apply to pay-as-you-go services, like Karma. If you are tied to a data contract, this can hurt you as well. If you are not careful, overage charges can quickly stack up as high as the Empire State Building (that’s pretty high).

So how do you set up your devices in order to better manage background action? It's fairly simple.

Let's look at iOS first.

On iOS, you can navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. You will see an option that says Fetch New Data. Click over and be sure that the Push option is off. Then, scroll down and select to fetch new data Manually.

This will prevent your phone from using data to download updates in the background. In order to update an app or your email, you have to open it and do it yourself. This allows for a greater level of control over your data usage.

Next, you can navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. In here, you can easily prevent all of your apps from refreshing in the background and using location services. This can save you a lot of data and headaches. You can also turn off specific apps separately, if you'd like to utilize that option.

Taking these steps will easily prevent any unwanted data from being used. It will even give you some peace of mind. No more interruptions every 5 seconds, because someone posted on Facebook or you have a new Tinder match (they can wait).

Let's move on to Android.

The process is slightly different, and hidden. To prevent your devices from auto-syncing data, go to your Settings > Data Usage.

Then, click the three verticle dots (the overflow menu) on the top right. Most of you will see the "Auto-sync data" option already checked. Go ahead and uncheck that.

(Also, if you click the "Mobile hotspots" option on this page, you can designate which WiFi signals are coming from a mobile hotspot. This will restrict any apps from using background data while connected to this signal on Android. Very neat!)

Next, this message will show up. It will simply warn you of what you are doing.

If you want to make sure all your apps use data via manual refresh and prevent any background usage, click Ok! You are then good to go. (Please take note, this also prevents any push notifcations. So if you do not mind this, then you have nothing to worry about.)

Alternatively, you can individually select which apps you do not want updating and sending you push notifications. Go to Settings > Apps then select which apps you want to prevent from updating. Once you click on an app, it will give you the option to turn off notifications. Simply uncheck the box.

Also, you will notice, that Android gives you specifics on data usage per app. This can be helpful in determining which apps might be hogging your allowance. Adjust accordingly!

Good job. You are well on your way to cutting down your data usage, saving money, and also saving some battery. Give yourself a pat-on-the-back for being more responsible. Just think of how uninterrupted your days will be now. More time to be productive. More time to stop and think. Good luck!

Be on the look out for more data saving tips from us.


About Dave Ford

That guy who knows more about sports than technology