AndroidAppsTips & Deals

K-9 Mail is a hungry dog: How to stop it from eating up all your data

k9 usage - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I use my unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus on AT&T, but only because I want to save myself from paying the ETF (early termination fee) money. I’m stuck with the carrier until October of next year, since October 2011 is the month in which I purchased my iPhone 4S – and unfortunately re-signed my contract.

As an AT&T customer, I’m forced to use one of a limited number of capped data plans. I have the (no longer offered) 200MB per month plan, since I typically don’t use my phone for much more than checking emails when I’m away from WiFi. Unfortunately, even that task has proven to be quite a risk on my measly .2GB monthly plan – all thanks to K-9 Mail.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that I can’t give email up on the go. Of course, there seems to be a workaround for most everything, and here’s mine:

k9 workaround - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Luckily for me, Android provides a lot of customization – including a handy checkbox that restricts background data. You can find this in the Settings app and going to the Data Usage pane. Next, scroll down until you find K-9, press on it, and scroll down to the bottom of that page until you find the checkbox. Tap on it to restrict background data!

Now, this also restricts the ability for K-9 to sync automatically while you’re in a mobile network; that is, you’ll have to go into K-9 and manually hit “Check Mail.” I personally find this to be a small price to pay for less data usage, but whether this is worth it to you will depend on your data plan and what apps you use.

I’m disappointed in myself that I let K-9 use background data for so long. Hopefully this quick tip will help keep your data usage down so you can afford your monthly bills.

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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3 thoughts on “K-9 Mail is a hungry dog: How to stop it from eating up all your data

  • Avatar of Jenn K. Lee

    What do you like about K-9 over other email apps? I read in one of your comments here that you liked the unified inbox, but since that’s a feature in other apps (including the stock one), I’m curious about what else you like.

    • Avatar of Calob Horton

      My absolute favorite feature is the swiping support. I can just swipe to the right and choose multiple messages that I want to perform the same actions on. It’s much more intuitive to me than tapping on a checkbox for each message. I also really liked how instantaneous syncs were (even on EDGE) but that’s a moot point now.

  • Avatar of Gregg Moscoe

    I only used K-9 – the paid version – because one of my email providers didn’t “play nice” with the Samsung GS III’s native client. I find that, even shutting down background data access, K-9’s data use STILL dwarfs all the other apps on my phone; and even when I click on “check mail” it can take 5-10 minutes to “sync”. I wrote to the developer, but got no response. I’m trying to download all my emails from the offending email service and shift everything over to GMail or Compared to my old Blackberry email, Android is a huge pain the a** and I’m almost tempted to go back to try the new BBs.


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