WhatsApp is a great instant messaging platform and is one of the most popular options for people across the world. But if you use WhatsApp while on a cellular connection and with a limited data plan, you should cap down the app’s data usage. Otherwise, you could hit the ceiling fast before the month is over.
Thankfully, WhatsApp has some key features that can help you reduce the app’s data usage. In this article, we’ll show you three ways you can leverage to reduce WhatsApp data usage.
How Much Data Does WhatsApp Use?
WhatsApp enables you to communicate with friends and family in a variety of ways. You can make audio and video calls, send texts, and send audio messages. Group calls are also supported, which comes in handy if you need a little friend group chat.
But how much data does WhatsApp use in all of these instances? Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, hasn’t explicitly revealed how much data the messaging app uses.
Our estimates place WhatsApp’s data usage during video calls at about 5MB per minute on 4G, 3.75MB on 3G, and 3MB on 2G. Meanwhile, our estimates place WhatsApp data usage at about 280KB per minute for numbers in the same country and 330KB for numbers in different countries for voice calls. But these are not official numbers in any way.
You can read more about this in our guide on everything to know about WhatsApp video calling.
So how can you monitor your own data usage? You can check your WhatsApp data usage inside the app. Head over to the settings section, select Storage and data, and then Network usage.
How to Reduce Data Usage on WhatsApp
You can reduce WhatsApp data in three different ways. One is by reducing the data usage while on WhatsApp calls. Another is by disabling media auto-downloads. Finally, disabling chat backups will also help.
1. Activate “Use Less Data During WhatsApp Calls”
WhatsApp has a dedicated feature for reducing audio and video call data usage.
Here’s how you can enable this feature inside the app…
On Android, follow these steps:
- Tap the three-dot menu on the top left.
- Select Settings.
- Tap Storage and data and toggle on Use less data for calls.
On iPhone, use these steps:
- Go to the Settings tab on the lower right.
- Select Storage and data.
- Enable Use Less Data for Calls.
2. Disable Media Auto-downloads
If you receive lots of media files via WhatsApp, your data consumption will probably be pretty high.
Here’s how to disable media auto-download on WhatsApp for Android:
- Hit the three-dot menu on the top left and select Settings.
- Tap Storage and data.
- Next, you will see a Media auto-download section. Here, you can choose what type of media files automatically download while on mobile data, Wi-Fi, and roaming.
- Tap When using mobile data.
- To reduce data usage, de-select Videos and any other type of media you don’t want to auto-download. Keep in mind that even if you de-select audio, WhatsApp voice messages will continue downloading automatically.
- Once you’re done, tap OK.
For iPhone, you can do the same by following these steps:
- Tap the Settings tab at the bottom right.
- Select Storage and Data.
- Under Media Auto-download, tap a media type and select if it should auto-download while connected on Wi-Fi, both Wi-Fi and Cellular or Never. Here, choose Wi-Fi or Never. The latter gives you the power to download media files only when you want to, regardless of what you’re using to connect to the internet. This can also save you storage on your device.
3. Disable WhatsApp Chat Backup
WhatsApp chat backups also consume your data. While backing up your WhatsApp messages and media files is important, don’t let it be a burden to your monthly phone bill.
Here’s how to disable WhatsApp chat backups…
- Navigate to Settings
- Select Chats > Chat backup.
- Under Google Drive settings, tap Backup to Google Drive and select Never. If you don’t want to disable backups completely but still want to take control of these backups by yourself, select Only when I tap “Back up”.
- Go to the Settings tab.
- Tap Chats > Chat Backup.
- Hit Auto Backup and tap Off.
Save Data While Using WhatsApp
Using WhatsApp has become essential to many, with the application being a major communication channel with friends and family, and even work. If you’re not home or don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you can save data usage on WhatsApp by using the three tips provided above.
Once you’re set, you should also check out other WhatsApp tips and tricks to use the app like a pro.
Here are several useful WhatsApp Web tips and tricks, whether you’re a beginner or experienced WhatsApp Web user!
About The Author