Did you know that there are most likely apps on your device that are Google Drive-enabled, and those apps sync their data to your Google Drive account? In certain cases (such as multimedia), that data sync could take a sizable chunk out of your data plan (if you have your device setup to allow syncing over any network).

There’s a very easy way around that… one every Android user (that doesn’t have an unlimited data plan) should be making use of. To do this, you must limit Drive-enabled apps to Wi-Fi sync only. This means that any time you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network, the syncing of data to Google Drive will be held back. The second you return to a Wi-Fi network, the syncing will begin.

How do you pull off this feat of magic? Actually, it’s quite simple. Let me show you how.

Tucked with your app drawer, you’ll find a launcher labeled Google Settings. This is actually an app that you should become very familiar with. Within that app, tap on Data Management. In that section, there’s only one option: Update Drive-enabled app files (Figure A).

Figure A

Enabling Wi-Fi only Drive-enabled app sync on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Tap that entry, and you’ll see two options:

  • Over Wi-Fi or Cellular
  • Over Wi-Fi only

Make sure to tap Over Wi-Fi only, and you’re good to go.

Now, if you’re on the go and you update a bit of data that must be sync’d immediately, go back into that setting and switch it to Over Wi-Fi or Cellular. Allow that data to sync, and then switch it back.

This is a very simple way to help save precious data on your cellular plan. I highly recommend setting this to Over Wi-Fi only to prevent your device from sending you over your data limits.

Have you suffered from data overages on your smartphone? If so, how did you resolve the issue? Let us know in the discussion thread below.