How to reduce mobile data usage on YouTube

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Pavel Yosifovich
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You most likely want to know how reduce mobile data consumption when watching YouTube videos on your mobile with data connection, so you won't spend so many megabytes that you can use for another time as you may need them later..

When you browse YouTube with a WiFi connection you don't have to worry, things change when you're away from home when you want to watch something on YouTube and you have no choice but to do it with your data rate, and this is where the spending problems arise.



Watch a YouTube videos involves spending megabytes, the better the quality, the higher the consumption and also the more time you will spend watching videos. However, if you have no other options, we'll show you what you can do to save a few megabytes and reduce that consumption.

Reduce the overall quality of all videos

One of the first tasks you need to undertake is lower the video quality. Watching a 1080p video won't spend as much as 480p or 720p, the higher the resolution, the more data usage you'll experience, so this is a good place to start.

You have to take into account that you will see a video with lower image quality, but it's the toll you have to pay for trying to reduce your data consumption while connected to the internet with mobile data. You can adjust this in the YouTube iOS app.

You just have to enter the application and follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture and then go to “settings”.

  1. Time Go to "Video Quality Preferences".



  1. Go to "over mobile networks". In the end, check the box «data backup» in so that saving megabytes of your rate is prioritized at the expense of video quality.

On Android this option may be different, so it's a question of entering the YouTube settings and looking for a parameter to lower the quality of the videos that are played, or even that the HD quality is reserved only for watching videos when connected with Wi-Fi.

Reduce the quality of a specific video

What the above setting does is leave the same quality for all videos you watch on YouTube, but you might be interested play a specific video with lower quality and this will also help you to reduce the consumption of more megabytes.

You can do this in the video playback window by following these steps:

  1. Open the video you're about to watch and pause it so it doesn't play. Now click on the video and click on the three dots icon that appears at the top right.

  1. In the menu that opens, click on “quality”.

  1. Time choose «advanced».

  1. Choose 144p, the lowest resolution if you plan to listen to the music of a video you won't see, although you can choose the quality that suits you at any time if you want to see the video with minimal image quality.


Turn off automatic video playback

There is also another parameter in the YouTube app for iOS that will help you reduce mobile data consumption in your rate, and that is the option to put Pause auto-playing videos after one ends, so that the next one doesn't start without your permission.


The parameter is activated as follows:

  1. Open the YouTube app, click on your profile picture and go to "settings".

  1. Once inside, go to the «autoplay» option and uncheck the box.

Video upload only on Wi-Fi

If you are a YouTube video creator and you must upload a video, it is best to do it when connected to a WiFi network, otherwise the megabytes of your mobile tariff will be reduced by the significant cost that this action entails when you do it connected by data cellular.


Therefore, the best thing is that you activate a parameter of the YouTube app so as not to distract you and not allow you to upload videos with data, so you can reduce more data, for this enter the app, click on your image, then go in configuration and finally access «uploads», there you have to mark «charge only with WiFi».

Ask YouTube to notify you for a break

Recently YouTube has been able to create a reminder to take a break from watching videos which, in addition to helping your eyesight, will also reduce mobile data consumption because from there you can decide for yourself whether to continue watching videos or rest.

It's a tool to remind you that you're watching YouTube videos with your data rate, so you can realize and stop at that moment to reduce the data. This reminder is triggered as follows:


  1. Again, once inside YouTube, click on your account picture. Now go to «your viewing time».

  1. Check the box «remind me to take a break» and put the lowest time, which is 5 minutes. While you're inside YouTube, the app will let you know when that time comes.

In any case, to avoid shocks in the bill, it is recommended that every time you can watch videos of YouTube with a WiFi connection and if this can't be the case, at least keep track of how much data you're spending in the month, although if you have a tariff with many gigabytes and use YouTube occasionally to watch videos for a short time, you shouldn't worry.


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