How can I control how much data Netflix uses?

Watching 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 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, 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, 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 Your Account page and click Playback settings in the Your Profile section. It can take up to 8 hours for these changes to take affect. Restricting data usage may affect video quality while watching Netflix.

Wait time: less than 1 minute