How to 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.

Control Netflix data usage
Control mobile data usage

Netflix data usage options

Netflix offers 4 data usage settings:

  • 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

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, repeat the steps below for each profile.

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

  2. From Profile & Parental Controls, select a profile.

  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 has 4 mobile data usage settings:

  • Automatic: Netflix selects a setting that balances data usage with good video quality. You can watch about 4 hours per GB of data.

  • Wi-Fi Only: Streams only when the device is connected to Wi-Fi.

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

  • Maximum Data: Recommended only for unlimited data plans. Streams 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.