Windows 10 Mobile “Eating Data Plans” – Here’s How to Limit Cellular Data Usage


We have seen several reports coming from Windows 10 Mobile users complaining about usage of cellular data, even when the WiFi connectivity is available. Last year, we saw similar complaints from Windows 10 desktop users, who were experiencing the new operating system eating up data plans, especially for those who only had access to 3G networks. We have previously shared with you tips to help you reduce data usage on desktop devices. Coming back to the recent reports, here is how you can monitor and limit data use on Windows 10 Mobile enabled devices.

windows 10 mobile

Limit cellular data usage on Windows 10 Mobile:

Microsoft is already aware of the issue and is trying to fix it as it works on building and stabilizing the new operating system. The problem seems to be affecting both the Insider users and those who are using the latest Lumia devices. Following suggestions have been provided by the company to reduce data usage:

The Data team is actively investigating your reports of this issue – thanks for bringing it to my attention … As some users already noted, turning off app backup and messaging sync should help reduce the data usage you’re seeing, but if it doesn’t please let us know.

Are you using Windows 10 Mobile? Is the new operating system exceeding the monthly data limits on your smartphone too? While we aren't really sure what's responsible for this data problem, in this post we will try to help you minimize your data usage when your phone is using cellular data. As a starter (like on any other operating system), you can turn off the automatic app backups as suggested by Microsoft:

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > Backup > click on More options
  • Toggle the Enable automatic backups to off

You can also turn off messaging sync to limit data usage:

  • Open Messaging app
  • Choose more (...) in the bottom > Settings
  • Toggle Sync messages between devices to off

Some users might be thinking if this problem is specific to the latest Windows 10 Mobile or not, however, Paul Thurrott says that the issue is "clear-cut" for him as he has been using Lumia 950 for a limited time every day at home, with access to WiFi. Even after that, Lumia ate up almost 1GB of cellular data over the billing period.

Because I’m an AT&T user, I can see that the exact data usage for the Lumia 950 and other handsets I use on the network. I can also examine the 950’s data usage in Data Usage (Settings, Network & Wireless, Data Usage), which provides usage for both cellular and Wi-Fi. And I’ve used almost 1 GB of cell data somehow. The biggest culprit? The vaguely-named “System.” (Which I assume includes OS updates, but it’s unclear.)

Let us know if the above settings help you reduce data usage on Windows 10 Mobile devices.

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