How Much Data Does Netflix Use? (& What to Do About It)

We all love Netflix. But when it comes to streaming data usage—making sure Netflix doesn’t cost you an extra chunk of money is important. Netflix gives guidelines for the amount of data the Netflix app uses when you’re streaming data. If you’re on Wi-Fi, there’s no need to be concerned. But if you’re watching Netflix using your monthly data plan through your cellular carrier, you’ll want to be aware of just how much data Netflix is using. Not only that, Netflix allows you to control how much data it uses. We’ll cover how much data Netflix uses, how you can monitor that mobile data usage, and what to do so that Netflix has data usage limitations.

Related: How to Get the Most from Netflix

Table of Contents:

How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

How to Check Your Netflix Data Usage

How to Control How Much Data Netflix Uses

How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

If you have a monthly bandwidth limit on your cellular data plan, it’s important to know how much data Netflix uses. How much data Netflix uses is dependent on the quality of the video you’re streaming. According to Netflix itself,

  • For Standard Definition, Netflix uses about 1GB of streaming data per hour.

  • For High Definition, Netflix uses about 3GB of streaming data per hour.

How to Check Your Netflix Data Usage

You might be using way less or way more data watching Netflix than you realize. Luckily, you can check. On your iPhone or iPad,

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Tap Cellular.

  • Scroll down and locate Netflix.

  • If you want to make sure Netflix never uses Cellular data, toggle it off.

  • Just below the word Netflix, you’ll see a number. The screenshot example below shows I’ve used 31.0MB of data streaming Netflix on my iPhone.

How to Control How Much Data Netflix Uses

Netflix allows you to set limits for the amount of data it uses. You can do this within the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad. Doing so is an easy way to reduce the amount of bandwidth you use watching Netflix. You have different options: Off, Low, Medium, High, Automatic, and Unlimited. To make it easy to understand, think picture quality. Low will mean a rougher picture quality but it will use the least amount of data. High will be the best picture quality and use the most amount of data. Automatic or Unlimited is not what you want to select if you’re trying to control how much data Netflix uses. By selecting Automatic or Unlimited, the picture is based on the quality of your internet data connection. So if the internet is working well, it will give you a high quality picture and use a lot of your internet data. You can also choose to turn cellular data usage within Netflix off all together. To control how much data Netflix uses,

  • Open the Netflix App.

  • Tap the three horizontal bars in the upper left corner to open the main menu.

  • Scroll down and select App Settings.

  • Toggle off Set Automatically.

  • Select which option is best for you. Below Low, Medium, and High it gives you a rough estimate of how many hours of streaming Netflix will use 1GB.


Top Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds /

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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or watching anime. Her personal blog can be found at; you can also follow her on twitter @connerleecarey.