Conserve Phone Data by Turning Off the Background Refresh

Tips & Tricks

Conserve Phone Data by Turning Off the Background Refresh

Between email updates, text messages, YouTube videos, and photos, you’re probably well aware of the fact that your smartphone burns through quite a bit of data every day.

However, what you may not know is that your smartphone could be burning through data for stuff you don’t need, like those apps and services that are constantly running and updating without you knowing it. While one little app probably won’t cost use very much, but those little apps can add up to a serious drain on your data.

Luckily, there’s a quick way to shut off that Background App Refresh for some or all of those apps:

To turn off Background App Refresh on your iOS:

1. Go to Settings
iOS Background Refresh Step 1

2. Tap “General”
iOS Background Refresh Step 2

3. Tap “Background App Refresh”
iOS Background Refresh Step 3

4. Turn off Background App Refresh entirely by toggling it off,
or turn off Background App Refresh by individual app via the menu beneath.
iOS Background Refresh Step 4

NOTE: iOS 8 also has an option to disable apps from using up data entirely. Just go to Settings, tap Cellular, and from there you can toggle off any apps using mobile data.

To turn off Background App Refresh on your Android:

1. From the start screen, pull down the notification bar for “Settings”
Android Background Refresh step 1

2. Tap the gear symbol
Android Background Refresh Step 2

3. Tap “Data Usage” under Wireless and Networks
Android Background Refresh step 3

4. Tap the 3 dots on the top right
Android Background Refresh step 4

5. Tap “Restrict Background Data”
Android Background Refresh step 5

6. Tap “OK” to finish
Android Background Refresh step 6

NOTE: If you’d like to disable your phone from using any data at all in the background, you can also check the “Restrict Background Data” box in the Data Usage menu. Keep in mind, checking this will also halt any notifications of messages and emails coming in until you open the app.