How can I control how much data Netflix uses?

Watching Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for high-definition video. This can create headaches for Netflix members that have a monthly bandwidth or data cap on their Internet service. Below, you'll find a couple of ways to reduce the amount of data Netflix uses, without having to resort to drastic measures (like actually watching less Netflix).

Adjust your data usage settings

Adjusting the data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of bandwidth used while watching Netflix. There are 4 data usage settings to choose from:

  • Low (uses up to 0.3 GB per hour)
  • Medium (uses up to 0.7 GB per hour)
  • High (uses up to 1 GB per hour, up to 2.8 GB per hour if watching HD, or up to 4.7 GB per hour if watching 3D)
  • Auto (adjusts itself automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed)

To select a setting that works best for your Internet plan, navigate to Your Account and click Playback settings in the Your Profile section. Restricting data usage may affect video quality while watching Netflix.

Turn off the autoplay feature for TV episodes

You can reduce your data usage even more by turning off the autoplay feature of Netflix Post-Play. This prevents the next episode of a TV show from playing automatically at the end of your current episode.

To disable this feature, navigate to Your Account and click Playback Settings, then uncheck the option to Play next episode automatically.

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