Limit the Amount of Data Netflix Uses When Viewing from Your Phone

If you love binging Netflix content, but don’t love going over your data cap, here are some tips to limit the service’s data usage on your mobile.

The beauty of Netflix is it allows you to binge your favorite shows. Whether it’s an old TV program like Friends, or a popular Netflix Original like Stranger Things, binging shows can be addictive. This means you might want to catch all the action on your phone when you’re riding the subway or in a carpool on your way to work. However, streaming video consumes a lot of data, and if you’re on a limited plan, you want to make sure to avoid overage fees. Here’s a couple things you can do to help limit the amount of data that is being used when streaming Netflix over your cellular connection.

Set a Lower Video Quality

While everyone loves to watch their shows in the highest quality possible, HD is going to take up a lot more data than standard definition. The Netflix mobile app lets you select between three different levels of quality. The lower you’re comfortable using, the less data you’ll use. This option is available whether you have the Netflix app installed on iPhone or Android. Go to App Settings > Cellular Data Usage and turn off Automatic and set it to the “Save Data” option.

Netflix Cellular Data Usage

You can also set data usage settings online by logging into your Netflix account in your browser. Choose the account you want to change data usage for and select Account > My Profile > Playback Settings. Note that on average Standard Definition is about 1GB of data per hour and High Definition is about 3GB per hour. Also, if you’re concerned about the total amount of data Netflix uses, you will need to make the adjustment to each account.

Playback Settings Netflix

Download Shows on Wi-Fi for Offline Viewing

Your best option to save data and still watch your favorite content while on the go is to download Netflix content via Wi-Fi before leaving the house. Not everything is available to download, but a good chunk of the Netflix library is. In fact, the easiest way to get content is to check the “Available to Download” section in the app. Also, in App Settings, you want to choose the video quality of your downloads. Here you need to remember that HD quality is going to take up more space. And most importantly, make sure your content is set to download over Wi-Fi only.

How much do you use your mobile device to watch Netflix content? Leave us a comment in the section below and let us know your thoughts.

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