How to Turn On Low Data Mode on Your iPhone

Cut down on data usage by pausing updates and syncing

What to Know

  • Settings Wi-Fi > tap the Info icon next to your connected network. Turn on the toggle for Low Data Mode.
  • Settings > Cellular or Mobile Data. Choose Cellular/Mobile Data Options > Data Mode, > turn on Low Data Mode.

This article explains what happens when you use Low Data Mode and how to turn it on for both Wi-Fi and mobile data usage. Low Data Mode is available on iPhones running iOS 13 or later.

How Do I Turn On Low Data Mode?

Here’s how to turn on Low Data Mode on your iPhone for Wi-Fi and Mobile Data.

Turn on Low Data Mode for Wi-Fi

  1. Open your Settings and select Wi-Fi.

  2. Tap the Info icon to the right of your connected network.

  3. Turn on the toggle for Low Data Mode.

    Steps to turn on Low Data Mode for Wi-Fi data on an iPhone.

Turn on Low Data Mode for Mobile Data

  1. Open your Settings and select Cellular or Mobile Data depending on your plan.

  2. Tap Cellular Data Options or Mobile Data Options. If you have a Dual SIM, select a number instead.

    Steps to turn on Low Data Mode for cellular/mobile data on an iPhone.
  3. For 5G data, select Data Mode and turn on Low Data Mode.

    For 4G, LTE, or a Dual SIM, turn on Low Data Mode.

    Final steps to turn on Low Data Mode for cellular/mobile data on an iPhone.

If you own an iPhone 13, you might also look into the Smart Data Mode feature on your device.

What Is Low Data Mode?

Although data usage reduction can vary by app, there are some commonalities when you use Low Data Mode on your iPhone.

  • The Background App Refresh setting is off.
  • The Automatic settings for Downloads and Backups are off.
  • Streaming quality for things like music or video may diminish.
  • Apps may stop using network data if you aren’t currently and actively using them.

App-Specific Changes

You’ll also experience differences in how some iOS apps and services work when you turn on Low Data Mode.

  • App Store: Automatic updates, downloads, and video auto-play are off.
  • FaceTime: The bitrate is configured for lower bandwidth.
  • iCloud: Updates are paused, and automatic backups and updates for iCloud Photos are off.
  • Music: Automatic downloads and high-quality streaming are off.
  • News: Advanced retrieval of articles is off.
  • Podcasts: Episodes only download over Wi-Fi, and feed updates are limited.

Should I Use Low Data Mode?

If you have a service plan that limits your data usage rather than one with unlimited data or are traveling or in a location with low data speeds, such as some rural areas, using Low Data Mode can help reduce usage.

To see how much mobile data you’re using, open your Settings and select either Cellular or Mobile Data, depending on your service plan.

Examples of cellular data usage on an iPhone.

You can view how much mobile data you’re using in the current period, how much the System Services use, and how much each app uses. 

  • How do I turn off low data mode?

    If you find that low data mode on your iPhone is on and you don't want it to be, you can turn it off. For Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Info and tap the switch next to Low Data Mode. For cellular, go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data > Data Options > Data Mode and tap the Low Data Mode switch to off.

  • How do I turn off low data mode on iPad?

    Despite iOS and iPadOS technically being different operating systems, the instructions for turning low data mode on and off are the same. However, if your iPad doesn't have a data plan, you won't have cellular options.

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