How can I control how much data Netflix uses?

Watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video. Downloading and streaming consume a similar amount of data. If you are concerned with data caps or bandwidth limits, you can adjust your data usage settings by following the steps below.

Adjust your data usage settings

  1. Access the Your Account page from a web browser and select Playback Settings.
  2. Select your desired data usage setting (please note that each estimate below is per stream, and that restricting data usage may affect video quality):
    • Low (0.3 GB per hour)
    • Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
    • High (Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
    • Auto (Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current Internet connection speed)
  3. Select Save
    Note: It may take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect.

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you set them from, meaning you can have different data usage settings for each profile. If you are concerned about the total amount of data that Netflix uses, make sure to change this setting for each profile.

If you are interested in managing your cellular data usage on individual mobile devices, then read on.

How do I manage mobile data usage on Netflix?

You can control how much data Netflix uses when streaming on mobile networks on your iOS or Android mobile devices.

Adjust your cellular data usage settings

Adjusting the cellular data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of data used while watching Netflix. There are six data usage settings to choose from. Each estimate below is per stream:

  • Off – You will only be able to stream on the device while connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Auto – Netflix will select a data usage setting that balances data usage with good video quality. Currently this will allow you to watch about 3 hours per GB of data.
  • Low – Watch about 4 hours per GB of data.
  • Medium – Watch about 2 hours per GB of data.
  • High – Watch about 1 hour per GB of data.
  • Unlimited – Recommended only if you have an unlimited data plan. This setting will stream at the highest possible quality for your device and the content you are viewing. This may use 1 GB per 20 minutes or more depending on your device and network speeds.

To select the setting that works best for your mobile data plan:

  • While in the Netflix app, select the Menu icon. This will either appear as  in the upper left corner or  in the upper right corner.
  • Select App Settings.
  • Select Cellular Data Usage.
  • Select your preferred setting.

Data setting changes you make from your mobile device apply to that device only while streaming over mobile networks. While connected to Wi-Fi, we will attempt to stream in the highest quality possible for your connection speed and the content you’re watching.

If you have also set your data usage for all devices under Playback settings on the Your Account page, streaming on mobile devices will not exceed this setting. For more information on playback settings, visit How do I control how much data Netflix uses?

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