5 vital Android settings that save your apps, data, battery and more

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No matter what you do in Android, there are five settings that everyone should know.. These vital features range from one that limits your cellular data use to a cloud backup setting that preserves your data in case bad things happen to your handset.

Note: I tested these tips on a Nexus 5X running Android version 7.1.2. The settings on your phone may vary depending on the make and model of your handset.

Turn on Data Saver

Unless you’ve signed up for one of those pricey unlimited data plans, you’re probably keeping an eye on your mobile data use. Unfortunately, Android apps are notorious for gobbling up more than their fair share of data, particularly when they’re sitting in the background.

Turn on Data Saver Ben Patterson / IDG

Once you’ve turned on Android’s Data Saver feature, you can pick which apps (like Gmail) that can continue to use background cellular data.

That’s why you should turn on Android’s Data Saver feature immediately. With Data Saver enabled, your Android handset will restrict the background use of cellular data, thereby saving you from any unpleasant surprises on your monthly mobile bill.

Just tap Settings > Data Usage > Data Saver, then flip on the switch.

Blocking background cellular data has its downsides. For example, Data Saver will keep the Gmail from fetching new messages, Twitter won’t notify you of mentions unless you manually reload your feed, and your favorite news app won’t refresh its articles until you open it in the foreground.

Luckily, you can pick and choose which apps can continue to use background mobile data while Data Saver is enabled. On the Data Saver settings screen, tap Unrestricted data access, then flip the switches next to the apps that you want Data Saver to skip while it’s blocking background mobile data use.

Bonus tip: You’ll need to turn Data Saver off before using your Android phone as a mobile hotspot. That in itself is not a big deal, but don’t forget to turn Data Saver back on once you turn your handset’s hotspot off. I’ve made that mistake myself, and I’ve got the data overage charges to prove it.

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