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.

Control Netflix data usage
Control mobile data usage

Netflix data usage options

Netflix offers four data usage settings to choose from:

  • Low - 0.3 GB per hour per device

  • Medium - SD: 0.7 GB per hour per device

  • High - Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour per device for HD, and 7 GB per hour per device for Ultra HD

  • Auto - Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed

Adjust your Netflix data usage settings

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you set them from, meaning you can have different data usage settings for each profile on your account. If you are concerned about the total amount of data that Netflix uses, be sure to repeat the steps below for each profile.

  1. From a web browser, go to your Account page.

  2. Select a profile name from Profile & Parental Controls.

  3. Select Change for Playback settings.

  4. Select your desired data usage setting.

    Restricting data usage may affect video quality.
  5. Save changes. Your changes will take effect within 8 hours.

Mobile data usage options

Netflix offers four mobile data usage settings to choose from:

  • Automatic - Netflix will select a data usage setting that balances data usage with good video quality. Currently this will allow you to watch about 4 hours per GB of data.

  • Wi-Fi Only - You will only be able to stream on the device while connected to Wi-Fi.

  • Save Data - Watch about 6 hours per GB of data.

  • Maximum Data - 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.

If you have also set your Netflix data usage, streaming on mobile devices will not exceed this setting.

Adjust your mobile data usage settings

Data setting changes you make from your mobile device apply when that device is streaming over mobile networks. To select the setting that works best for your mobile data plan:

  1. Open the Netflix app and tap More or Profile .

  2. Select App Settings.

  3. Under Video Playback, select Cellular Data Usage.

  4. Choose your preferred setting.

You won't be able to change this setting if you have pending downloads. If your preferred data setting is grayed out, cancel all pending downloads or wait for them to finish, then try again.