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How to limit data usage on the Facebook app

How to limit data usage on the Facebook app

Facebook is one of those apps that people love to hate. Nobody likes to admit it but many of us spend an unhealthy amount of time browsing through the social network, eavesdropping on the fabulous lives of our acquaintances and scrolling past Buzzfeed quizzes and fake news. If being addicted to a social network wasn't bad enough, the Facebook app has the tendency to not only kill your battery life, but also drain your data. We've gathered a few tips on how to reduce data usage on Facebook.

How to limit data usage in the Facebook app:

Adjusting your app settings to reduce Facebook data usage

Now, this is the first step that you should undertake if you're worried that Facebook is using too much data. Coincidentally, this is also the easiest thing you can do. If you share a lot of photos and videos on Facebook, this might be the root cause of your data woes. As might be the (super annoying) video auto-playing feature. To curb this unnecessary data usage, you'll need to do the following:

  • Inside the Facebook app, tap on the hamburger menu on the right-hand side and scroll down to App Settings.
  • Tap on App Settings and you'll see a list of toggle features. Untoggle 'Upload photos in HD' and 'Upload Videos in HD'.
  • To disable the dreaded Facebook video auto-play feature, tap on Auto-play.
  • Now you can choose if, when and how videos will now auto-play in your Facebook feed.
facebook app media settings
Stop facebook videos from auto-playing on your iPhone / © AndroidPIT

Tweak your Data Usage settings in Facebook

Facebook for Android also has a built-in Data Saver mode, which in theory reduces image sizes and disables video auto-play. This setting can easily be accessed the same way as the app settings.

  • Inside the Facebook app, tap on the hamburger menu on the right-hand side and scroll down to  Settings & Privacy.
  • Tap on Data Saver to save on mobile data. You can set it to turn off automatically when you're connected to Wi-Fi.

 It's worth noting that when you turn Data Saver on, Upload photos and videos in HD settings in the app settings remain untouched. 

facebook app privacy settings
Data Saver on Facebook for Android / © AndroidPIT

Facebook Lite

Now, if you really want to save data and also live in some part of the world where your data connection is frustratingly slow, Facebook Lite is the solution for you. Facebook Lite is a slimmed-down version of the Facebook app designed to give people a better and faster experience on slow mobile networks. To read more about the ins and outs of what Facebook Lite is all about, check our article here.  

The only caveat here is that Facebook Lite is not available in all markets. This shouldn't really hinder any true Android fans as you can easily download the Facebook Lite APK (we normally recommend APK Mirror).

facebook lite screenshots
Facebook Lite looks like this / © AndroidPIT

Do you use Facebook? How do you limit the data usage? Let us know.

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  • These tips are great for saving data, I just wish there were more options to save memory use with the official Facebook app as well (I've never understood why it needs nearly a GIG of space).

    I've tried Facebook Lite, which does save a lot of space on the device, BUT greatly limits many options, especially for events (which is one of the main reasons I still use Facebook). I wasn't able to select anything on event pages in Lite, you can't even copy the address (which can be pretty important if you're trying to actually GET to the event). Just something to keep in mind, so users might know to export info from event pages on a computer ahead of time (or via mobile browser).

  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    6 months ago Link to comment

    I use Friendy instead

  • I do not am not interested in getting points and adding more data with a GAME please take me out

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 29, 2017 Link to comment

      are you referring to the points that you get when you comment on AndroidPIT? This is an integral part of our comment and community system. If you do not like this then youll have to refrain from participating in the AndroidPIT community (which would be a shame).

  • Why have you not answered the question that really is what this article is supposed to be about WHAT are you using that brings up the opinion for data saving, it's not on mine devices??

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 29, 2017 Link to comment

      its in the latest android version -> V.

  • It is really interesting to note that you can do some many things on Facebook and also remove unnecessary use of your information and control your data usage. I'm highly encourage by this piece of information. Thanks

  • I am currently using version, and there is NO data saver setting available. What version were you using for this article?

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 29, 2017 Link to comment

      im using version as well and it appears in my app. how odd

  • Mark
    • Admin
    Mar 28, 2017 Link to comment

    I am glad I do not have to worry about this one. I will never use Facebook or any other social media. Social media creates more anti social behavior than social. Hey lets all stay home and stare at a computer screen or grab some friends head out for a brew. I will take the latter, thanks.

    • JeffD 6 months ago Link to comment

      There's always one.

      How do you know what ills there are with social media if you never use them? Participating in comments is "social", by the way.

  • storm Mar 28, 2017 Link to comment

    Frankly, I do think Facebook collects more. Google provides a record you can wipe, settings on data collection and it's use, and interaction with 3rd party tools that don't collect the data at all. You can filter and remove yourself from interaction with Google in many ways.

    I can run Android completely separate from Google services and collection. I can search, or map or email or browse and never send Google anything. And if I do use Google, I can wipe it.

    Facebook requires the use of their tools, you have little if any say on what data is collected and what is done with it. Facebook builds shadow profiles on people who don't even use the service.

    • Mark
      • Admin
      Mar 28, 2017 Link to comment

      Exactly, saved me some typing.

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 28, 2017 Link to comment

      **As much as im enjoying this discussion - weve veered a little bit off topic here. This article is how to reduce the amount of data facebook uses and not if you should use facebook or not**

      I think your mixing up a few issues here:
      You can choose to use Facebook, be it the web or the app version. The personal info that you give it is as fake or as real as you want it to be, though they still monitor what and how you consume while using the network.

      If you dont want facebook to collect your data you can simply not use it. The same goes for almost any app. Thats the tradeoff.

      Now google - regardless if you use and gapps or not collects a whole host of data that you might not even be aware of. Google analytics is probably the best example. So you dont use chrome? or google search? well doesnt make a difference because +50 million websites use google analytics which tracks everything you do here. While the data is *anonymous* for the end customer, google still sees what you clicked, how far you scrolled, what internet connection you have, which phone you use, what your local carrier is etc etc.

      Of course you can obscure and hide certain things - but not everything. And its certainly too much hassle for the every day user.

      "Facebook requires the use of their tools, you have little if any say on what data is collected and what is done with it. "

      well you know what, google is collecting your data through analytics and you have no real way of giving consent or opting out. The only real thing you can do is not visit sites that use analytics.

  • storm Mar 27, 2017 Link to comment

    Facebook is spyware. Just uninstall it and save all the data and your time.

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 27, 2017 Link to comment

      feel free to elaborate on the spyware topic? what makes you think that? do you think they collect more data than google?

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