How to use less cellular data in the Facebook app

By , Nov 22, 2016

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Many people rely on Facebook every day to keep in touch with their friends and family, but its popularity across the mobile devide market consequently also means it’s one of the world’s biggest cellular data hogs.

Fortunately, there are ways you can mitigate your cellular data usage while using the Facebook app thanks to some flexible settings, and in this piece we’ll show you how.

Limiting cellular data usage from Facebook

Facebook knows you’re most likely going to use their app on your smartphone or tablet, so they’ve built in some features to help reduce data usage.

Preventing videos from auto playing

One of the ways you can limit cellular data usage is to prevent videos in your news feed from auto playing. To do that, follow these steps:

1) Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Tap on the Menu tab and then open the Settings cell.

Facebook Limit Data Usage 1

3) In the pop-up prompt, tap on the blue Account Settings option.

4) Open the Videos and Photos cell.

5) Tap on the Autoplay cell.

Facebook Limit Data Usage 2

6) Select either the Never Autoplay Videos or On Wi-Fi Connections Only option.

Never Autoplay Videos is the more restrictive option, but is preferred. This will keep Facebook from loading videos in your news feed automatically, hence data savings. Limiting this feature to Wi-Fi only will also save data, but most people hate things that auto play because they get annoyed by it. Personally, I choose never to auto play videos, but you can choose either one you want.

Limiting photo and video upload quality

Another thing you can do to limit cellular data usage while using Facebook is to limit the quality of the photos and videos you upload to share with your friends. To do that, follow these steps:

1) Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Tap on the Menu tab and then open the Settings cell.

Facebook Limit Data Usage 1

3) In the pop-up prompt, tap on the blue Account Settings option.

4) Open the Videos and Photos cell.

5) Toggle off the Upload HD option under the Video Settings section.

Facebook Limit Data Usage 3

6) Toggle off the Upload HD option under the Photo Settings section.

Now whenever you upload photos or videos to your Facebook profile, they’ll be uploaded in a standard quality rather than in high definition, which will significantly reduce the amount of data you use when you upload things while abroad.

You could go a step further even, and just not upload anything while you’re on a cellular network to begin with. Just wait until you get home or can reach a location with a public hotspot and connect to Wi-Fi before doing it. If you do use a public hotspot, we recommend using a VPN for your to protect your privacy.

Killing Facebook data completely

You can also kill all of Facebook’s cellular data communications entirely by following these simple steps:

1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Open the Cellular preferences pane.

Limit Facebook Cellular Data Completely

3) Turn off the Facebook toggle switch.

With this toggle switch turned off, Facebook won’t be able to use your cellular data until you turn it back on again. Consequently, you can’t load your news feed and Facebook won’t be able to send you any notifications without a Wi-Fi connection.

This is the ultimate kill switch to save data when Facebook seems to be eating a lot of it, but it won’t be the solution for everyone. This will be most useful to those who are traveling abroad and want to prevent data roaming charges.

Also read:

Are you limiting the cellular data Facebook uses on your iPhone or iPad? Share in the comments!

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  • Favna

    Nice article once again iDB!

  • malhal

    My solution was to delete the Facebook app, too much suggested news that makes the blood boil, too much ranting by friends. Instagram seems a much happier place.

  • J™

    What is the story about this book call face book?