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Easy TIPS to reduce YouTube data usage

Watching YouTube videos online is one of those things that almost everyone does. Unknowingly, YouTube can actually consume quite a bit of data. This easy tips to reduce YouTube data usage will help you to reduce your data cost.

Watching videos in 360p for an hour will use only 60 megabytes of data. Watching videos in 4k for an hour might use 2.7GB of data on your plan or more if you’re watching on a higher frame rate.  

The data you’ll use depends on the picture video quality you’re watching, the lower the video quality vide, the lower amount of data you’ll use.  

Reduce YouTube data usage and save money

Take advantage of the Limit mobile data usage setting inside the app which forces YouTube to only stream HD video when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. If you’re using cellular data, videos will automatically stream in standard quality, saving you big time on data usage.

A low quality video (240p) will use around 1.6MB per minute, but a high definition HD (1080p) video will use as much as 12MB per minute

You’d want to limit the amount of data consumed by YouTube to the barest minimum if you have a limited cellular data plan. YouTube lets you control data usage on all devices you use the platform on.

Here I am giving you the 4 ways to Reduce YouTube data usage and save money both on your mobile device and PC:


YouTube offers a variety of video quality (up to 1080p), so the higher the quality you stream at, the more data the app consume off your internet bandwidth.

The default streaming quality on YouTube is predetermined by factors like the quality of your internet connection, screen size, quality of video uploaded, etc.

Whatever the default video quality is, it is recommended that you reduce it to the lowest level, where the content of the video is still very much visible.

Here’s how to do that on mobile and PC

On Mobile

  1. While watching a video, tap the three-doted menu icon at the top-right corner of the player.
  2. Tap Quality on the pane that pops up at the bottom.
  3. Select a lower quality from the list of options.

To save the most data with little compromise to visual quality on your phone, you should select the 360p resolution — consumes about 315MB of data per hour of streaming.

If you’d love to cut down on data usage, select the 240p resolution option. That quality level consumes about 225MB per hour of video streaming.

If you’re more interested in the audio aspect of a video than the visuals, you should change the quality to 144p. That is the lowest video quality level, and it reduces data consumption to the barest minimum.


The process of reducing YouTube video quality on PC is no different from how it’s done on mobile.

  1. When playing a video, tap the gear icon.
  2. Tap Quality.
  3. Select a lower resolution that produces decent visual quality.

Remember, the higher the quality, the more bandwidth YouTube consumes. You’d want to ensure you choose a low resolution that doesn’t unreasonably dampen the video quality.

I stream videos at 360p (480p sometimes) when playing videos on cellular data. When I’m only interested in the audio, I stream at 144p resolution.


On YouTube, you can choose to stream videos in high-definition quality only when you’re on Wi-Fi. That helps you limit the amount of data YouTube uses while you’re on mobile data.

Here’s how to limit data usage on the YouTube mobile app.

On the YouTube app homepage, tap the account picture at the top-right corner.

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Toggle on the ‘Limit mobile data usage’ option.


The YouTube mobile app does a thing where it automatically plays videos as you browse through the home page and subscription feed. Eventhough these playbacks are muted, they eat up your data plan.

If you are trying to cut down on YouTube data consumption, you should turn it off. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the account picture at the top-right corner of the YouTube app.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Select the ‘Muted playback in feeds’ option.
  5. Select Off to disable muted playback.

Alternatively, you can select ‘Wi-Fi only’ option, and muted videos will play only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

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YouTube plays next video automatically once you finished watching any video. As a data saving precaution, you might want to turn this off. You should disable Autoplay, so you are in full control of the videos you watch and when you want to watch them.

On Mobile

  1. Tap the account picture at the right corner of the app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select Autoplay.
  4. Uncheck the ‘Autoplay next video’ option.

You can also uncheck the Autoplay option below the video description while watching a video.


  1. Tap the gear icon at the bottom-left corner of the YouTube video player.
  2. Ensure that the Autoplay option is unchecked. If it isn’t, tap it to disable the Autoplay function.

Alternatively, on the Up Next section of the YouTube video page, tap the AutoPlay option to uncheck and disable it.

Reduce YouTube data usage and CUT DOWN ON EXCESSIVE DATA USAGE

Ensure that your streaming activities don’t take a heavy toll on your limited data plan. The tips listed above may help you moderate data usage to the minimum when steaming YouTube videos on your mobile phone or PC