How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!


So you love spending hours of your day watching YouTube videos. But in the end, you wonder where all your data went. Should YouTube be blamed alone for the mishap? We can only give our verdict after we have an answer to the question: how much data does Youtube use? And how to track it. 

You open YouTube once, and you’ll keep coming across interesting videos one after the other. Even if there’s nothing relatable, YouTube will actually keep you hooked, and you will be asking for more. For example, the other day, at 2 am, I watched a video titled “A Day In The Life Of A Teen Mom.” And I find no explanation for why I spent a good thirty minutes on it–I’m neither a teen nor a mother.

Not just that, now you can even watch popular TV shows on Youtube. In my humble opinion, it’s more like salt to injury. Or, maybe you could also start your own YouTube channel and make videos that get tons of likes

But the bottom line is that all of these activities will eat up a good amount of your data. But the question here is, exactly how much? 

Here’s How Much Data YouTube Uses And  Ways To Track It!

It’s time we finally discover YouTube’s role in the disappearance of our data. Sure, all apps have a hand in it. But YouTube’s role might be greater. No, I’m not giving a verdict just yet. But YouTube should be held guilty for eating up data–until it is proven innocent. 

But if YouTube does turn out to be guilty–we’ll figure out preventive measures for reducing data usage by YouTube. So, make sure to read this article till the end!

Also, Read | How to Watch YouTube Videos Without YouTube? 8 Easy Options Here!

1# How Much Data Does YouTube Use?

How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!

So, here’s the answer to the most anticipated question. How much data YouTube uses depends on the quality you choose to stream your video. There are different levels of streaming qualities–all the way from the low 144p to the super high 2160p–if your device supports it. 

But here’s a rough calculation. Remember that these are not exact values, and results can vary. Understanding how much data YouTube uses is crucial in preventing data usage. 

  • When you watch something in low quality, i.e., 240p or 320p, up to 0.3GB or 300 MB of data is consumed per hour. 
  • Watching videos in SD quality, i.e., 480p, for an hour makes you lose 0.7GB or 700MB of data. 
  • In HD quality–anywhere between 720p and 2K, you can exhaust up to 3GBs of data per hour. Streaming videos in 720p will take 0.9GB, 1080p will take 1.5GB. Streaming videos in 2K–if your device supports that–will take 3GB of data per hour. 
  • Finally, if you fancy watching videos in 4K Ultra HD quality, you’ll lose 7.2GB per hour. 

2# Why Does YouTube Use So Much Data?

How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!

If those numbers were shocking, you’d be wondering why YouTube uses so much data. Well, videos are data exhaustive because they consist of thousands of pixels that change per second. This means a lot of material has to travel through the internet to reach you finally. This takes time–and data, of course. 

3# How Long Will 1GB Of Data Last On YouTube?

How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!

Now you’d want to know how long you can you cling to your 1GB data while simultaneously watching data-intensive YouTube videos. It depends on what you’re going to watch and in what quality. For example, if you decide to settle on 70 music videos back to back, your data can very well last up to 5 hours! But if you like to watch everything in high definition, then refer to the above numbers and figure out how much time your 1GB data is going to last–not long enough, in my opinion. 

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4# How To Track YouTube Data Usage?

How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!

Keeping track of your data will help you monitor where and how much of it you’re spending. Doing so will help you in cutting back your data usage as and when required. iPhone and Android users can keep track of their data using the following steps:

How To Track Your YouTube Data Usage On iPhone?

  • Open “Settings” on your iPhone.
  •  In “Settings,” go to “Cellular.” 
  • In Cellular, a list of apps will appear; from that list, find “YouTube.” 
  • Below “YouTube,” a number will appear–that’s how much data is being used 
  • If you want the app to stop using your data, move the slider to turn data usage off. 

Also, the iPhone tracks your data consumption only for the current period. So, you will have to select “Reset Statistics” for every new billing cycle. 

How To Track Your YouTube Data Usage On Android?

Android users can follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • On your Android device, go to “Settings.” 
  • Scroll down to the option titled “SIM card and mobile network.” 
  • Scroll down to locate “Data settings & Data usage” in this option. 
  • Click on it. 
  • A list of apps will be displayed with a data usage breakdown. 
  • Select “YouTube” from it. 
  • There will be two kinds of calculations–” Foreground” and “ Background.” Foreground one shows how much data was consumed while you were using the app. And as the name suggests, “Background” shows how much data was used when the app wasn’t in use. 
  • If you don’t want YouTube to use your data while the app is not in use, change the “Background data” option to “Not allowed.”

5# How To Save Data Usage On YouTube?

How Much Data Does YouTube Use? And How To Track It!

Sheesh, that was way too much data! Entertainment comes at a heavy price when you’re away from your wi-fi! Thankfully, several ways can help you save your precious data from exhausting quickly. Some of those ways mentioned below should help:

Limit Data Usage:

  • Limit how much data is being used on YouTube videos. 
  • Open YouTube. 
  • Click on your profile icon present at the top right corner of the screen. 
  • From the range of options, select “Account.”
  • Then tap on “Settings.” 
  • Go to the “Data Saving” option. 
  • From there, turn on “Data saving mode” by moving the slider. 
  • By doing this, YouTube will stream HD videos ONLY when there’s a wi-fi connection to bear the (data) expense. 

Here Are Some More Ways To Save Your Data Usage On YouTube:

  • Compromise on video quality. I know nothing beats the experience of streaming videos in 1080p–but please, think about your data. 
  • If you don’t want to change the streaming quality of each video individually, then change the default settings of your YouTube. In the “Video quality preferences” option, select “Data saver.” 
  • Turn off Autoplay to stop YouTube videos from playing unnecessarily. This option is a life savior. It will save both your data AND time. 
  • So, YouTube starts playing a few seconds of muted playback of the video you’re considering watching. If you ask me, it’s a trap. They are trying to lure you in. But be wise to YouTube’s devious schemes–disable the muted playback. But if you like this feature, like I secretly do, don’t disable it. Select the “Wi-fi only” option.

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Final Words

So, this was how much data YouTube uses and how to track it. YouTube is not completely guilty of eating up our mobile data; other apps can share the blame.  

But, I’m sure this article has turned you all into data-conscious people. Yes, I intended to do so. I hope these tips will help you spend your data mindfully and cut back the usage as and when required!

Stay tuned with us for more such helpful articles!

Cherry Sharma
Cherry Sharma
Cherry is a Vocational English student, passionate about psychology, and an advocate of mental health. She has a deep love for literature and storytelling. Writing is the only thing that makes her see a sense of the thousands of thoughts she has. On Viebly, she combines her love for the three to write interesting articles. In her free time, you can catch her making and playing stories in her head, trying some fancy DIY, tending to her plants, or reading a good book. She mostly prefers thrillers but is still a Potterhead at heart.


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