How Much Data Does YouTube TV Use?

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We have all been in that situation that we can’t stop watching videos on YouTube and before you know it, you’ve spent up to 2 hours on the app. Unless you have unlimited data to watch hundreds of YouTube videos, you’d probably have to keep an eye on your mobile data.

The amount of data YouTube TV used depends on the quality of the videos and length.

We’ll talk about how much data YouTube uses, compare its consumption and tips on reducing the data usage on your devices. 

YouTube Data Usage  

Data consumption has many factors when being connected to the internet through your mobile device, but for the YouTube app, data usage depends on the level of the video quality. The app offers from as high as 1080p to as low as 144p. 

YouTube has 8 different video quality settings, which could be found below your screen in the Settings icon. They include:

  • 2160p
  • 1440p
  • 1080p
  • 720p
  • 480p
  • 360p
  • 240p
  • 144p

In other words, the key thing to remember when trying to check your data usage on YouTube is the higher the video quality, the higher the data consumption, the lower the quality of the video is, the lesser the data consumption. Low-quality videos would have more pixilation compared to high-quality videos.

How Much Data Does a YouTube Video Use?

To avoid exceeding your monthly bill allowance, here is a table that shows how much data is being used when watching a YouTube video. 

These results are estimates only- data usage on the app can be identified on your mobile device: 

Video Quality144p240p360p480p720p1080p1440p/2160p
Per Minute1.3MB3.3MB5MB8.3MB25MB50MB1.5GB
Per Hour80MB200MB300MB500MB1.5GB3GB3GB

If you aren’t connected to the Wi-Fi and you’re watching YouTube, you’re probably using your mobile data. You can check exactly how much data you are using in your phone settings and why YouTube takes so much data. We’ll go into more details on it. 

Why Does YouTube Use So Much Data?

YouTube uses data when there isn’t any Wi-Fi connection and the main reason why data consumes on YouTube is because transmitting videos is a heavy process. Video is made up of several pixels that change per second, meaning a large amount of information is passed through the internet server before it reaches its destination-in this case your phone.

This isn’t limited to watching YouTube. It also includes downloaded videos from YouTube and other videos from other sites. Let’s check out how to monitor your data usage and reduce it.

How to Track Your Data Usage on YouTube?

No one wants to receive a message that they have used up all their available data. Luckily you can check how much data you have used up:

For Android

Here’s how to track your data usage for YouTube on Android:

  • Open Settings and tap on Network & Internet.
  • Under Network & Internet tap on Mobile network.
  • In the Mobile network, you would see how much data you’ve used in the current cycle. 
  • To see the apps’ data usage breakdown, tap on App data.
  • Foreground shows how much data has been used up when the app was open or active.
  • Background shows the amount of data being consumed when the app is not active or open.

You can toggle the Background data off, so data won’t be used when the app is deactivated. YouTube can still use up a lot of data even if you enabled Data Saver Mode. 

If you’d like to learn more about Youtube’s data usage, check out this article.


Here’s how to track your data usage for YouTube on IOS:

  • Open Settings and tap on Cellular.
  • Scroll down and find YouTube. The number below is the data that’s been used up.

The iPhone only tracks the current period, it doesn’t update automatically. For you to update, you would need to go to reset statistics to start a new data period. 

If you want to completely stop YouTube from using your data, you could switch it off from the cellular settings.

How to Reduce YouTube Data usage?

The YouTube app has taken so much data on your phone you aren’t able to use other apps, well you could easily reduce it from consuming much data. The easiest way to reduce your YouTube data usage is by watching YouTube when you’re connected to the Wi-Fi or use the opportunity to download as many videos so you can watch them offline. But, you can’t resist watching your favorite YouTuber when you’re on the bus. Luckily, there are other options.  

Here are the steps to change your YouTube quality:

  • On the top-right of the video tap the three dots, which is the Menu.
  • Tap Quality to change your video’s quality settings.

You can reduce your YouTube data usage by reducing the video quality. The app gives you a quality that depends on your network connection. So if you have a good connection speed, then the YouTube app would automatically make your video quality to either 480p (Standard) or even 1080p (HD). 

To fix this, you could go on the YouTube settings and switch on the “Play HD only on Wi-Fi”. This would only make you watch YouTube videos of low quality. 


Now that you know how much YouTube takes up, you can decide on how you stream every month. By changing your video quality low and using HD quality when on Wi-Fi, you can watch YouTube videos without stressing on your mobile data.

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