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Which Apps Use The Most Data? – Why You Should Track Them

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If you took your time to Google, “which apps use the most data” there’s a pretty good chance that you’re in a pickle with your wireless service company. We are not judging unlimited data plans as they are very expensive. Particularly if you are not on a family plan. In any case, even if you are on an unlimited data plan the speeds of your data can drop off after a certain limit is reached. So saving data is always a good thing. There are a few things that you need to account for when you want to reduce your overall data usage. We’re going to go over all of the tips and tricks to help you do that. Including naming the apps that may be killing your data allowance. 

There are certain apps out there that may kill off as much data as you think. For example Map apps. Overall, we’d say Google, Apple and Waze have made an effort to reduce the amount of data that they use up. These types of apps though may be one of those that you can’t kill off because you really need them! Luckily, there are ways to minimize your data usage on these apps. With other apps though like picture and video apps, the best thing that you probably will be able to do is to literally stop using them altogether. Do you need to be reducing your overall screen time? Are you losing data in the background? We’re going to help you find out right here! 

  • Which Apps Use The Most Data – Picture & Video Apps 
  • Reducing The Amount of Data That You Use On These Apps
  • Does Making Phone Calls Use Up Data?
  • What Other Types of Apps Can Be Big Data Spenders?
  • Lowering Your Screen Time Is The Best Way To Cut Down On Data Usage
  • Which Apps Use The Most Data – Tips for Data Usage When Traveling        

Which Apps Use The Most Data – Picture & Video Apps 

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When you are looking at which apps use the most data you’re probably going to want to look at what you’re doing with those apps. We’ll explain that in a bit. First off, we have to say that the apps that use up the most data are typically picture and video apps. So this puts Instagram and Youtube as the top two data users on the app list for most people. Now, we mentioned that it really depends on what you are doing with the app. The biggest data spenders tend to be picture and video apps. Some people may find though that at the end of the month or whenever they take a peek at their data usage that the app that used up the most data was the web browser.  

The answer to why this is the case is pretty simple. For the most part, you’ll find your web browser on top of the list if you are streaming videos or looking at web pages that have a lot of image files through your web browser. For example, on a recent trip we watched an NFL game through an online streaming service on the web browser. So the data usage for the phone shows that the web browser is the app that has the most data consumption for the period. It’s not the app per se that’s going to use up more data. It’s more so what you do on the app that matters. In fact you may be using less data while streaming Youtube videos than if you’re streaming them through the regular browser.  

Reducing The Amount of Data That You Use On These Apps

There are actually ways to make sure that you use up less data on these apps. We just mentioned for example that going directly through the app can be a better option. When it comes to Youtube though, the best thing that you can do to reduce the data consumption that you are putting in, is to lower the quality of the video that you’re watching. Yes, if you’re used to looking at only HD and 4K videos going back to 360 or 480 resolution may seem like a major drop off. However, through your phone most of the videos that you watch will look ok in the resolution thanks to the smaller screen. You want to click on the 3 dots that appear on the top right hand corner on Youtube to check the video quality and lower it if you have to. 

With Instagram you can also lower the quality of the pictures and videos that you see on the app. You can do this by touching the 3 lines on the top right hand corner when looking at your profile. Then you go to account, and then data usage. There you can activate an option that will limit the quality of the pictures that you see on the app. It won’t limit the quality if you’re on a steady wifi connection. Without a doubt both of these options may not be ideal long term solutions. They are, however, great data savers for when you are on a roaming plan, and you’re abroad or if you just need to make sure that you can get to the end of the month on your current data allowance.   

Does Making Phone Calls Use Up Data?

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Just naturally if you turn on your phone and make a call you shouldn’t necessarily be using up data. Of course, in this case we are talking about an actual call, not a call through an app. You shouldn’t have to worry about data usage. Unless of course, you have other apps open on your phone and those apps are using up data in the background. What you can do to make sure that this isn’t something that you have to worry about is just turn off your data usage in the background. The second option that you are going to have is to literally close all of the active apps that you have before you make a call.

Not closing your apps or limiting the data usage in the background is a well known silent killer of your plan. If you are on a plan with limited data or even worse if you’re on a roaming plan this can really end up being a major issue down the road. Since a lot of these apps can bleed data quite a bit. Both of the big data spenders, Youtube, and Instagram may actually not be big data spenders in the background. Your web browser could be what you want to look at. Those videos for example can still play in the background. That can use up a lot of data when you’re on a call.     

What Other Types of Apps Can Be Big Data Spenders?

Other than pictures and video other apps that can be massive data spenders are mobile games. In fact, these apps can use up way more data in total for some people than video and picture apps. Now, we are not saying that all games are going to use up a ton of data. This is where it can get confusing for some people. There are mobile games that need an active internet connection to be able to work. Basically anything where you’re playing live with other people is going to be a big data spender. You really do need that data to be active to be able to have the game run properly. 

There are actually some apps that you are going to be able to run without using data at all. These tend to be simpler apps where you can play a board game virtually through the app. Some of the more famous ones like Candy Crush, and all of the games from that developer and similar options need to download some levels from time to time. You can technically play then when you’re offline. You won’t have access though to whatever live event or contest they are promoting at any given time. If you do want to go live with any game, those can be really big data spenders for sure. 

Lowering Your Screen Time Is The Best Way To Cut Down On Data Usage

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This is probably the most obvious piece of advice that we’ve ever given. If you really want to lower your data usage though, the best bet that you have is to also lower the amount of time that you’re spending on your cell phone altogether. Even if you’re dealing with some background data usage during this time the most amount of data that is used up is done so when it’s the first frame. Therefore, an easy fix is to literally leave your phone to the side for at least a couple of hours during the day. Limiting screen time can be a useful technique not just for kids. Experts are now saying too much screen time too soon in their development years, and they can start having problems. 

For adults less screen time can mean less procrastinating and more time to actually do things that can bring you some type of benefit. Whether that be a personal benefit from being able to unwind with other hobbies or see friends. Maybe it’s a financial benefit. If you monitor how much time you spend on your cell phone you may be surprised to find that it’s quite a lot. What Else could you be doing with that time other than spending your data? We are in no moral position to really give out this advice. Since we have more screen time than is probably healthy. However, it is the best way to lower data consumption by far.

Which Apps Use The Most Data – Tips for Data Usage When Traveling

When you’re used to going around town with unlimited data it can be hard to wrap your brain around the fact that data may not be unlimited everywhere. This is an issue that everyone can have. We feel though that we are particularly talking to those parents whose kids have only known the unlimited data 5G age. Taking a trip abroad with 2G limited coverage can be a literal time travel experience for these young ones. So the main tip that we know works is that you want to lower your screen time in general. Instagram scrolling can be a habit for people. That is a major data killer!     

Lowering your screen time considerably is the only real tip that works. What we would say though that you have to worry about the most are apps like Instagram and Youtube. If you’re one of those people that’s on a constant video call with friends, that has to be limited as well. When you really think through it it’s very common sense based. There aren’t a lot of tricks that you can use. Essentially there are two options: either you find a way to limit your screen time through other activities to take the edge off if you will. The other option is coming home to a nasty phone bill or spending much of your travel budget on cell coverage.  

Which Apps Use The Most Data – Conclusion     

Picture and video apps are typically what’s going to kill your data allowance quickly. That may seem like a terrible arrangement for the people who spend their day scrolling through Instagram and Tiktok. There’s an argument to be made that those two apps are the biggest data spenders. Particularly for folks in a certain demographic. The young people who are in turn the biggest data spenders overall. One of the biggest problems for parents, and young people who are just now having to pay for their phone may be that they have grown up on unlimited plans. That’s not always possible. 

When you travel, or even when you have to cut the budget that you had for your local cell bill you may lose unlimited data privileges. This is where you really want to make sure you practice all of the tips and tricks that we talked about. Overall, the best thing that you can do to save data is to actually reduce the amount of time that you’re spending glued to the screen. This can be really hard to do! No matter how you look at it though it’s going to be the most effective way to cut down on your data usage!

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