How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

Modify Netflix data usage if it's too much

Streaming services like Netflix make it easy to binge movies and TV shows, but if your internet service has a data cap, it's just as easy to use it up after a long weekend catching up on Stranger Things. But you can keep track of the data you use and even limit it. Here's what you need to know about Netflix's data usage.

How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

The amount of data Netflix uses depends on the picture quality you use. Here are the values on the highest quality setting.

  • Standard-definition streams: Uses about 1 GB per hour.
  • High-definition streams: Uses around 3 GB per hour.
  • Ultra high-definition streams: Includes 4K video; uses approximately 7 GB per hour.

How to Control How Much Data Netflix Uses on the Web

If you're worried about Netflix eating up your data, you can control the quality to use less. Here's how to do it on the web version.

If you have multiple profiles on your account, you'll have to adjust the quality settings for each of them separately.

  1. Sign in to your Netflix account and choose your profile.

  2. Click your profile image in the upper-right corner, then select Account.

    A screenshot of Netflix on the Web with the Account link highlighted
  3. Under the Profile & Parental Settings heading, select the arrow next to the profile you want to adjust.

    A screenshot of Netflix Account settings with an arrow highlighted
  4. Click Change next to Playback Settings.

    A screenshot of Netflix Account settings with the Change link next to Playback Settings highlighted
  5. Select the option you want under Data usage per screen:

    • Auto: Uses the best quality based on your internet speed.
    • Low: Limits data usage to 0.3 GB per hour.
    • Medium: Uses up to 0.7 GB per hour.
    • High: Uses 3 GB for HD and 7 GB for UHD.
    A screenshot of Netflix playback settings with the data usage options highlighted

    Use the low or medium settings to save data. The high option uses the maximum amount, and the auto gives you no control over how much data you're using.

  6. Click Save to preserve your changes.

    A screenshot of Netflix Playback Settings with the Save button highlighted

    Changes you make may take up to 8 hours to go into effect on all of your devices.

How to Control How Much Data Netflix Uses on Mobile

Your web settings will affect all of your devices. But if you download videos from the Netflix app, you can save some data with some settings in the mobile app. One setting will decrease the size of the files you save to cut down on data usage and speed up the downloads. Here's what to do.

  1. Open the Netflix app and sign in, if necessary.

  2. Tap More at the bottom of the screen.

    A screenshot of the Netflix app with the More option highlighted
  3. Tap App Settings.

    A screenshot of the Netflix app with the App Settings option highlighted
  4. Tap Video Quality.

    A screenshot of Netflix app settings with the Video Quality heading highlighted
  5. You have two options on the next screen, but they aren't very specific. Tap Standard to use less data when you download a movie or TV show.

    A screenshot of the Video Quality screen in the Netflix app with the Standard option highlighted