How to optimize the Spotify app to use less cellular data

Spotify Music App

Spotify is one of the most popular alternatives to Apple Music on the iOS platform, but like all music streaming apps, it can really take a bite out of your cellular data if you’re not careful.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to configure your Spotify premium subscription responsibly so you can use it to your liking without blowing through all of your cellular data.

If you’re always on the go, then you probably won’t have Wi-Fi around all the time, which means you’re probably going to be stuck on a cellular network when you want to listen to your music.

There are some steps capped data users can follow to mitigate data usage from the app, but worry not, as it won’t necessarily hinder the quality of your user experience.

Setting up Spotify for an ‘on the go’ lifestyle

To set Spotify up for the best efficiency on a cellular network, you are going to want to configure a few settings. Follow these steps:

1) Launch the Spotify app and tap on the Home tab.

2) Open the Music Quality cell.

3) Set the stream quality to Automatic.

4) Optionally, set the download quality to Very High.

5) Disable the Download Using Cellular option.

Spotify Music Quality Settings iPhone

Why these settings?

Spotify lets you download all of your favorite songs for offline listening. Personally, I recommend setting the download quality to Very High, which is the highest possible at 320 kbit/s. This way, you have the highest quality songs cached on your device before you even leave your Wi-Fi network at home.

We’ve set the streaming quality to automatic because this lets the app choose the best quality for you depending on your situation. If you’re on a cellular network, it’s going to optimize the streaming quality of non-cached songs to reduce data usage and prevent buffering issues. Conversely, it should stream on higher quality when you’re on Wi-Fi. Ultimately, this is what we want.

We’re also disabling the Download Using Cellular option because we only want songs to download for offline listening when we’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. This, like the setting discussed in the previous paragraph, reduces data usage. Songs you’ve already downloaded for offline use aren’t going to impact your cellular data in any way.

Try it

If you use Spotify, and you have a capped data plan, these are the settings I would recommend for you.

I used to be on a 2GB AT&T data plan, and luckily, these settings always kept me under my cap even after hours of use. I utilized Wi-Fi for my higher-quality offline downloads, and I set up Spotify to be light on the cellular data.

Granted now I have a much larger data plan and I can get away with higher quality streaming these days, I still keep the Download Using Cellular option turned off at the very least.


Will you be optimizing your Spotify app for a better cellular experience? Share how you manage in the comments below.