How to Save Data on Smartphone While Traveling

Knowing how to save data on smartphone helps especially when you have a limited amount of data to use. For instance, when you are using prepaid SIM cards or rental pocket wi-fi while traveling, you may want to control the data usage to avoid the speed getting reduced, or the network being terminated due to reaching the data usage limit of your plan.

So here are some of the things you can try to avoid using unnecessary data.

1. Make the best use of free wi-fi

The easiest way to control the data usage is to limit the cellular network usage and instead use free wi-fi, especially when you want to do things that use a lot of data.

Things better done over wi-fi:

– Upload/download photos and videos
– Stream videos
– Video chat
– Online game

CDJapan Rental has a great deal on pocket wifi, with a range of flexible plans starting at ¥187/day. Japan Pocket Wifi Rental

While we recommend taking the advantage of free wi-fi, we also want to remind you that free public wi-fi is not safe. We recommend you only use free wi-fi that requires Log-in/Password, and to keep your smartphone’s wi-fi setting off when not in use. Don’t enter sensitive personal information when you are using free wi-fi, and instead do that using cellular network or wi-fi at home.


2. Find out what apps use more data than others

Before changing the settings of your apps or device, you may want check what apps are consuming more data than others on your device.

How to check the data usage of apps:

Settings > Data usage > Cellular data usage

Settings > Cellular > Scroll down to Use Cellular Data For:

If there is any app that you think is not necessary but is consuming too much data, consider deleting it. If the apps consuming a lot of data were actually the ones you need, check if there’s any option to save data in the app and also try to use less when on cellular network.


3. Change the Apps settings


For the popular apps listed here, there are ways to save data as below.

Google Map
Download the map, so that you can check offline
Menu > Offline maps > Select your own map > Download

Your page in the Instagram app
Options > Settings > Cellular Data Use > Use Less Data

Your page in the Facebook app
More > Settings > Account Settings > Videos and Photos > Autoplay > Choose either “On Wi-fi Connections Only” or “Never Autoplay Videos”

Your page in the Twitter app
Settings and privacy > General > Data usage > Video > Video autoplay > Choose either “Wi-Fi only” or “Never”
Settings and privacy > General > Data usage > Video > High-quality video > Choose either “Wi-Fi only” or “Never”

Your page in the Snapchat app > Settings > Manage Preferences > Travel Mode > On

We don’t recommend you watch videos if you want to save data but if you need to, adjust the data usage settings to reduce the amount of data used while watching Youtube and Netflix.

Your page in the Youtube app
Settings > General > Limit mobile data usage > On
Settings > General > Uploads > Only when on Wi-Fi

Your page in the Netflix app > Menu > App Settings > Cellular Data Usage >Select your preferred setting


4. Change the device settings

You can control the auto updates of apps and background data by changing the settings on your smartphone.

A. Allow auto updates of apps over Wi-Fi only

Play Store > Settings > Auto-update apps > Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only

Settings > iTunes & App Store > Turn off “Mobile data” or “Use Cellular Data”

B. Restrict background data

To change the setting for specific apps
Settings > Apps > Choose the Apps > Data usage > Turn off background data

To change the setting for all apps
Settings > Data Usage > Data Saver > On

To change the setting for all apps
Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Off

To change the setting for specific apps
Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Turn off the switch only of the apps you want to disable


5. Messaging apps: Don’t send too many photos/videos

Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, and Facebook Messenger work with data only SIM. If you use them just to exchange text messages, the apps only use little data.

However, to send photos and videos, or to video chat, they use some data. Try to control what you do with the messaging apps when you are using cellular data.


6. Use browsers that have data saver feature

There are browsers that have an option to save data.

Open Chrome browser > Settings > Data Saver > On

Opera Mini
Open Opera Mini > Settings > Select the mode suitable for your usage


There are many things you can do to save data. We hope you found some practical tips you can try!

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GetAround Japan is your number one travel guide, providing the latest information on visiting and living in Japan, with tips on what to eat, things to do, and places to stay. Whether you're planning for a trip far in the future, or already in Japan in need of some fresh ideas, our archive of posts will help you find the best way to fill your time and get the most out of your travel experience. We provide you updates on serious policies that affect visitors and foreign residents while also keeping things light and fun with articles on quirky trends and pop culture. How do we know how to provide visitors the information they need? Our affiliate company CDJapan Rental provides WIFI and Sim Card rentals to thousands of visitors to Japan every year. In other words, we are constantly in touch with and listening to the voices of our customers, and infuse our blog with the information they ask us for. For inquiries, contact us here Company Information CDJapan Rental (Neowing Corporation) 1-10-15-3F Nihonbashi Horidome Chuo, Tokyo 103-0012, Japan
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