How to Make Instagram Use Less Data

It’s easy to use a lot of mobile data with Instagram. Whether you’re posting your own photos and videos, or just flicking through your feed, it’s all pretty data intensive, especially if you have friends who post a lot of videos.

The best way to save mobile data with Instagram is to not use it when you’re on mobile data! If that’s too much to ask, like with Facebook and Snapchat, there is a setting that will make Instagram use less data.

There are a couple of caveats though. Instagram is super vague about how this works. All they really say is with the setting on “photos and videos may take longer to load” and that Instagram no longer preloads videos (like it does normally). If you scroll through your feed on a cellular connection, you’re still going to burn through quite a lot of mobile data; it’s just that opening the app won’t use as much because Instagram preloads less of your feed. Also, there’s no way to limit data use on Wi-Fi—this only works when connected to mobile data.

Open Instagram and go to your profile. Tap the Gear icon to get to the Settings screen.

Scroll down until you see Mobile Data Use under Settings.

Select it and then toggle Use Less Data on.

Instagram will now use less mobile data. However, as I’ve stressed above, Instagram is a data hungry app. If you’re really trying to limit your mobile data use, it’s best to avoid it when you’re trying to conserve.

Harry Guinness writes occasionally when he’s not busy skiing, sailing, partying, lifting weights, or otherwise dodging responsibility. His main areas of interest are himself, gin, and crazy people with interesting stories to tell. When people won’t pay him to write ill-thought-out opinion pieces, he covers photography, technology, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter.