What Apps Are Draining My iPhone Data?

How to keep five popular apps from hogging all the data on your iPhone.

Not all apps are created equal — especially when we’re talking about data. Social media apps are notorious data hogs and can eat up more of your plan than you might realize. Fortunately, there are ways to rein them in and regain control of your data usage.


Facebook is fun and all, until videos start autoplaying. And you realize you’re not on Wi-Fi. And all those videos are eating up data! Let’s bring that to an end:

  1. Open the Facebook app and tap the Settings icon at the bottom-right corner.
  2. Tap Settings & Privacy > Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Videos and Photos, under the Media and Contacts header.
  4. Locate Autoplay, tap the option to the right, and select Never Autoplay Videos.


Video, in any form on any app, will chew through your data fast. And watching YouTube all day is almost guaranteed to max out your data plan. If you’re not on Wi-Fi, you can simply wait until you are to watch that next clip. But if you have to see it right now, your best bet is to watch YouTube at a lower-quality resolution.

  1. Open the YouTube app and play a video.
  2. Once the video begins, tap it to bring up some options icons.
  3. Tap the Menu icon in the top-right corner to bring up the video’s settings.
  4. Tap Quality and select a lower resolution.
  5. 1080p and 720p are high-definition and guaranteed to drain your data.If you’re not on Wi-Fi, it’s best to use 480p or 360p. If you can deal with pretty low resolution, go with 240p.


For quick viewing, Instagram automatically preloads videos in the background. As more and more users — and companies — share video on the app, this can create a big data problem in a hurry. To save data, disable this feature:

  1. Open Instagram and tap the Profile icon in the bottom-right corner to bring up your profile.
  2. Tap the Menu icon in the top-left corner, then tap Settings at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Cellular Data Use, then switch on Use Less Data.


Snapchat automatically preloads your snaps and stories. By enabling Travel Mode, that material will take a little longer to download, but you can still snap all you want.

  1. Open Snapchat and tap your profile pic in the top-left corner.
  2. Tap the Gear icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap Manage, about halfway down the screen.
  4. Enable Travel Mode.


If your friends and family like to share lots of photos, videos, and audio, you may want to restrict that multimedia to auto-download only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap Settings > Data and Storage Usage.
  2. Tap each section (Photos, Audio, Videos, and Documents) and choose Wi-Fi. You can also choose Never if you don’t want to download media automatically.
  3. You can also manage how much data the app consumes overall by tapping the switch next to Low Data Usage. This will decrease how much data WhatsApp eats up when you’re on cellular.

Obviously, these tips only address the biggest culprits of data hogging on five really popular apps, but hopefully they help you use less data overall.

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