How can I control how much data Netflix uses?

Watching movies or TV shows 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. This can create headaches for Netflix members who have a monthly bandwidth or data cap on their Internet service. Below, you'll find a few 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 four data usage settings to choose from. Each estimate below is per stream:

  • 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)

To select a setting that works best for your Internet plan, navigate to the Your Account page and select Playback settings in the Your Profile section. It can take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect. Restricting data usage may effect video quality while watching Netflix.

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you are in when you set them, 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.

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