With the exception of calling and texting, almost everything you do on your smartphone when you're not connected to wi-fi uses data, including watching videos on YouTube. Therefore, how much data does YouTube use? You can get the answer from MiniTool right now.

Unless you have an expensive unlimited data plan, you may have to watch how much mobile data you use each month. As the most popular video platform in the world, YouTube can easily suck up your data quota.

How much data does YouTube use? This article will show you the answer and offer some tips to reduce your YouTube data usage.

How Much Data Does YouTube Use?

YouTube's data usage depends on the quality of the video you're playing. The mobile apps provide you with multiple levels of quality, from the lowest 144p to 2160p.

Estimates of how much data each of these uses vary widely, so you need to run your own calculation to figure this out.

Note: The result is not accurate and your results may vary.

You can find recommended video bitrates for various streaming quality options in YouTube's streaming help page. You are going to use these as baselines, and of course not every video is the same.

For a video of standard quality 480p, YouTube recommends a bitrate of 500~2,000Kbps.You take the average of these two extremes and use 1,250Kbps.

1,250Kbps divided by 1,000 equals 1.25Mbps. Since a byte has eight bits, 1.25Mbps divided by 8 is about 0.156MB per second of the video. Multiply that by 60 seconds, and that means 480p videos uses about 9.375MB of data per minute on YouTube.

Multiplying 9.375MB per minute by 60 minutes means that 480p of YouTube streaming data per hour you are using is 562.5 MB.

YouTube Data Usage Per Hour: Video Quality Comparison

You can apply the same calculation to other quality options of YouTube and get the following results.

Note: YouTube also supports 60FPS of video for quality above 720p, instead of the standard 30FPS. The higher the FPS, the smoother the video, but the higher the data usage.

Video Quality

YouTube Data Usage Per Hour


No bitrate provided by YouTube.







720p at 30FPS/60FPS

1237.5MB (1.24GB)/ 1856.25MB (1.86GB)

1080p at 30FPS/60FPS


1440p (2K) at 30FPS/60FPS


2160p (4K) at 30FPS/60FPS


Tip: For reference, 480p is the standard video quality. 1080p is full HD and is common on YouTube. 4K video isn't as popular, but many channels offer 4K content.

If you really want to save data, 360p is fine, but if you go below that, you may have a hard time enjoying the video.

If you find that YouTube uses too much data, what should you do? Here is a brief introduction on how to reduce YouTube data usage. You can try to monitor video quality while watching, restrict HD to Wi-Fi only, turn off video autoplay, disable muted playback in YouTube feeds or use YouTube premium.

Read also: 4 Reasons about Why You Need a YouTube Premium

Bottom Line

How much data does YouTube use? After reading this post, now you should have known the answer and you can make informed decisions about how much to stream every month. But you still have to be careful that YouTube is drawing you in for longer than you want.

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