iPhone settings screen showing Low Data mode for a Wi-Fi network on iOS 13
Khamosh Pathak

Running out of data on your limited mobile plan? Want to stretch out the data for the last couple of days of the month? Try the new Low Data Mode to reduce data usage on your iPhone.

How Low Data Mode Works

Low data Mode in iOS 13 and beyond shuts off all background communication. It stops Background App Refresh for apps and requests apps to postpone all non-urgent sync tasks until you’re connected to a network that doesn’t have Low data mode enabled.

It also pauses all background sync tasks. So when Low Data Mode is enabled, the Photos app won’t back up your photos.

You won’t see much of a difference using your iPhone on a day-to-day basis, but all the background processes that you usually don’t have control over will be paused. If needed, you can manually resume a syncing task.

This is just one of the little useful features that Apple added in the iOS 13 update. To know about the best features in this update, take a look at our best iOS 13 features list.

RELATED: The Best New Features in iOS 13

Enable Low Data Mode for Cellular Data

To enable Low Data Mode on your cellular data connection, open the iPhone’s Settings app, and select the “Cellular” option.

Tap on Cellular option in Settings app

From here, tap on “Cellular Data Options.”

Tap on Cellular Data Options in Settings

Tap on the toggle next to “Low Data Mode” to turn on the feature.

Tap on Low Data Mode toggle to enable Low Data mode

Enable Low Data Mode for Wi-Fi Networks

Low Data Mode also works for Wi-Fi networks, but not in an all-or-nothing nature. You can go through and enable the feature for specific Wi-Fi networks that might include low data caps.

Open the Settings app and tap on “Wi-Fi.”

Tap on Wi-Fi option in Settings page

Here, find the Wi-Fi network you want to enable the feature on and tap on the “i” button next to it.

Tap on the I button next to Wi-Fi name to find the options

From this screen, tap on the toggle next to “Low Data Mode” to enable it.

Tap on the toggle to enable Low Data mode for Wi-Fi


You can also enable low data mode in specific apps and services. For example, Instagram has an option for a low data mode. To save data usage in streaming apps, you can reduce the video or audio streaming quality.

You can also manually disable Background App Refresh and auto-downloads for apps to reduce data usage on your iPhone.

RELATED: How to Monitor (and Reduce) Your Data Usage on the iPhone

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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