How to minimize data usage on your smartphone in Nigeria

Written by Robin Okwanma

Data consumption is a big deal in Nigeria today. People complain of consuming over 10gb of data in less that 3 days without carrying out heavy tasks like downloads or streaming. The truth is, most people don’t know the rate at which their mobile devices consume data “behind the scenes”.


First of all let me debunk these myths; We all know the four major mobile networks in Nigeria are MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9mobile. Sometimes you hear people say, data from this network lasts longer than the other, it’s not true, they are all the same. You also hear people say things like this type of data lasts longer than this(both being the same size and network). It is also not true. It does not matter if you buy SME data, Direct Data, or you’re sent the data from someone else. The way your internet data plans lasts always depend on how you use them.

NB- Cheats or illegal data does not apply to the above statement. MTN has the right to wipe any illegally gotten data or even airtime on your sim. You can even get banned/blocked or arrested.

What Consumes Data on My Phone?

You think you’re using your phone for only social media and you don’t download movies or large apps, and thus your data should last right? You might be surprised to find out the other unknown things that consume your data. Here are a list of the most popular apps that consume mobile data on smartphones in Nigeria today;

  • Chrome
  • Opera
  • News apps
  • Facebook
  • Whatsapp
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Audiomack/Boomplay
  • Hotspot connections
  • Netflix

Now take a good look at your phone, how many of the above apps are there? Still not convinced? or you don’t even have those apps, then follow the steps below to see a detailed analysis of your data consumption.

  1.  Go to settings
  2. Click on Data Usage
  3.  Locate an click cellular data usage

The options may be slightly different based on the android version you’re using, you should see an image like this;


Once you take the above steps, you will see all the data consuming apps on your phone from highest to the lowest. From the above image the highest consuming app of the month was chrome followed by boomplay…etc

How do I minimize data usage

As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter if you’re using MTN, Glo Airtel or 9mobile. You can minimize data usage no matter the kind of data you buy by following the steps below.

  1. Restrict Background Data: Limit data usage for apps that you don’t use actively.
  2. Secure Your Hotspot: Protect your hotspot with a strong password to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Use Lite Versions: Opt for “lite” versions of social media apps, which are designed to use less data.
  4. Control Auto-Play and Auto-Download: Disable auto-play for videos and auto-download for media in apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram.
  5. Stop Automatic App Updates: Turn off auto-updates in the Google Play Store or set it to update over Wi-Fi only.
  6. Manage Computer Connections: If you connect your phone’s hotspot to a computer, ensure that automatic updates are disabled on the computer.
  7. Turn Off Data When Not in Use: Switch off your mobile data when you’re not using it to prevent background data usage.
  8. Download Instead of Stream: Whenever possible, download videos instead of streaming them to save data.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce your data consumption, making your data plan last longer.

If you take all the steps above and constantly observe your data usage, your data consumption will be surely minimized. Future posts will be made on how to carry out the above steps so stay tuned.

Where can I get cheap data?

Do you need a legit site to buy cheap data bundles on all networks? We have just the site for you, rush now to cyber data hub and get the cheapest data plans in the market. You can get MTN 1gb as low as 250/gb if you register as an end user and 235/gb if you register/upgrade to reseller(N2000 one time naira fee involved).



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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.