Reduce Facebook Data Usage: The Ultimate Guide to Using Less Data While Scrolling Facebook


Last Updated on 2020-01-15 , 4:36 pm

If you’re a heavy Facebook user, you’ll probably wonder about this from time to time: Why Is Facebook Using So Much Data On My iPhone Or Android Phone?

The app is so heavily used that it seems that we are ALWAYS on Facebook – almost like an addict.

While Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg is happy about it, the rest of us aren’t always happy due to the fact that the app kills our battery life and our mobile data.

As heavy users of Facebook ourselves (we need it for work, you know), we have found out how to reduce data usage on Facebook in order to save us some mobile data for other stuff, like surfing Instagram!

We have broken down the list into tips for iPhone and Android phones, and some tips for both.

How To Save Data On Facebook (For iPhones):

Turn off the videos auto-play feature

This is the easiest way to reduce facebook data usage as the auto-play feature eats heavily into the data with every single video it auto-plays on Facebook. To turn it off, follow the below steps:

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  1. Open the Facebook app and tap on “More” (it is represented by 3 parallel lines at the bottom right-hand corner.)
  2. Scroll down right to the end and tap on “Settings”. A pop-up window will appear. Choose the first one named “Account Settings”.
  3. Tap on “Videos and photos”
  4. Select the corresponding choice on when and how auto-videos are played. You can choose between “On Wi-Fi connections only” or “Never auto-play videos”. Either one is fine since both choices will not use your mobile data.

Turn off the photo and video HD upload

We tend to share photos and videos on the go from the iPhone and it is easy to go beyond our mobile data limit if you are uploading them all in HD quality.

Seriously, your friends on Facebook do not need a HD quality photo or video and who knows if they actually see it right?

In order to prevent these HD quality photos and videos from increasing your Facebook data usage, turn it off! This is what you need to do.

  1. Open the Facebook app and tap on “More” (it is represented by 3 parallel lines at the bottom right-hand corner.)
  2. Scroll down right to the end and tap on “Settings”. A pop-up window will appear. Choose the first one named “Account Settings”.
  3. Tap on “Videos and photos”
  4. Turn off the HD upload feature by toggle the buttons “Upload HD” in both the video and photo sections off.

Disable background refresh for Facebook

This is the biggest culprit for major data problems. This useful little feature on iPhone helps you get the latest news by updating silently in the background.


This works wonderfully for news apps such as Straits Time, CNA, BBC or CNN.

However, Facebook uses this background refresh feature heavily because someone on your network is uploading something new almost every other second.

In order to prevent Facebook from downloading new updates everything someone posts something, follow these simple steps.

  1. Go into “Settings” on your iPhone
  2. Tap on “General”
  3. Tap on “Background App Refresh”
  4. Turn off the toggle button for Facebook (you may want to go through the rest of your apps to see which ones you can turn off to minimise data usage through background refresh.)

Disable Wi-Fi Assist

This is a nifty (and sneaky) add-on in later IOS on the iPhone.

The main purpose of the Wi-Fi Assist is to help you maintain a stable Internet connection.

Whenever you are on a network that is less than ideal, Wi-Fi Assist automatically connects your data plan to fill in the gaps during times of Wi-Fi lapse.

It is a sneaky feature that will kill your data plan every month if you leave it on, so turn it off by following these steps.

  1. Go into “Settings” on your iPhone
  2. Tap on “Mobile Data”
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and toggle “Wi-Fi Assist” off

How To Save Data On Facebook (For Android Phones):

Adjust your Facebook App settings

Similar to the iPhone, Android phones have similar features on auto-play videos and HD uploads of photos and videos. To prevent unnecessary Facebook data usage, adjust your Facebook App settings to reduce usage. You can follow the below simple steps.

  1. Open your Facebook App and tap on the “More” button located at the right top corner (it is represented by 3 parallel lines)
  2. Tap on “App Settings” and you will see a list of features with their individual toggle buttons. Turn off “Upload photos in HD” and “Upload videos in HD”
  3. Next, tap on Auto-play to enable the list of features with the individual toggle buttons
  4. Choose between “On Wi-Fi only” or “Never Auto-play Videos”

Use the Data Saver mode in Facebook

Facebook for Android has an additional Data Saver mode that is absent in iPhone. This useful Facebook low data mode reduces image sizes and disable video auto-play when it is turned on.

This is how you can access it.

  1. Open your Facebook App and tap on the “More” button located at the right top corner (it is represented by 3 parallel lines)
  2. Scroll down to “Data Saver” and tap on it
  3. You will get a toggle feature to turn “Data Saver mode” on
  4. Once you turn on “Data Saver”, you will also have the option to automatically turn it off when you are connected to Wi-Fi. Do note that this feature does not do anything to the “Upload photos and video in HD” function, so do turn them off manually by following the previous point.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found on Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Install Facebook Lite

Now, this is not for everyone. We will recommend that you use this if you really want to save data and have to contend with an extremely slow data connection.

Facebook Lite is a watered-down version of the normal Facebook app and is designed to give people a better and quicker experience on slower mobile networks.

This app is only on Android so congratulate yourself if you are an Android user.

The only problem is Facebook Lite is not available in all markets so if your country does not have it, you can consider downloading the Facebook Lite APK (Android Application Package)!


Just so you know, this is available in Singapore.

Install Mobile Data “Protect”

This is a third-party app that is recommended by Facebook to “control your mobile data and protect your personal information”.

The app can also be found in the settings menu of Facebook, named “Mobile Data” but if you click on “Install”, you will be linked to Google Play Store where you can see a host of “scary” reviews.

We wouldn’t recommend installing this app, but you should judge it for yourself.

Reducing Data Usage on Facebook on both iPhones and Androids

Monitor your data usage

This is a manual task, but one which you will gladly do as it can save you a lot of bucks. Most of the time, your service provider will inform you via SMS if you have used more than 90% of your mobile data.


But it will be too late for you to save on data by then.

Instead, you can actively monitor your data usage by making use of your service provider’s app. Install the respectively service provider app and monitor your data usage regularly.

Or you can read our article on the 10 hacks to use less data!

Switch off your data

Sounds extreme? Not so! There are plenty of places with free Wi-Fi in Singapore nowadays. If you are serious about never overshooting your data, you can turn off your data when it is “nearing the end” and instead hunt for free Wi-Fi.

Most cafes in town offer free Wi-Fi now, and some shopping malls and MRT stations also have free Wi-Fi. Hunt well and you can survive without ever overshooting your data plan again!

So now that you know how to reduce data usage on your phone, try it out for yourself! You’re welcome!

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