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How much data does Instagram use?

By Mint Fox

Originally published August 10, 2023

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Last Updated January 5, 2024

How much data does Instagram use?

Let’s be honest — you were probably checking Instagram before you started reading this blog. And you’re going to check it again shortly after. Can’t say we’re surprised. Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has become one of the most popular apps of all-time with over 2 billion global monthly active users.* With its seemingly endless stream of memes, Reels, infographics, art and selfies, Instagram is a fun & easy way to pass the time, keep up with friends or learn a new pasta recipe. But how much data does Instagram use? Well it all depends on how you use Instagram.  

In this article

Does Instagram use a lot of data? 

Scrolling through Instagram doesn’t use an absurd amount of data, but with the increase in video content, it definitely uses more than it used to. Tests have shown Instagram using about 64 MB of data every ten minutes, and it’s estimated that the average person will use 400 MB** to 600 MB*** in an hour, depending on the content in their feed. This is just while you’re scrolling Instagram, of course. Your Instagram data usage will go up a bit more when you upload your own posts, especially high-definition videos. Uploading a photo takes about 2 to 4 MB*** and uploading a video takes approximately 8 MB*** of your mobile data. So with some quick number crunchin’ this means uploading about 300-400 photos or 125 videos would eat up 1 GB of data.

Sign that says 4 ways to reduce your Instagram data usage

How to reduce data usage on Instagram

The good news is, reducing your Instagram data usage is pretty easy. There are features on your phone and within Instagram itself that can help you keep more of your mobile data as you double tap to your heart’s desire.

1. Use Instagram’s built in data saver

By default, Instagram preloads videos so they start playing immediately in your feed. Enabling the data saver will stop this from happening over cellular data. 

  1. From the Instagram app, go to your profile (your icon in the bottom right corner)
  2. Tap the three lines in the top right corner
  3. Select “Settings and privacy”
  4. Scroll down and select “Data usage and media quality”
  5. Select “Use less cellular data” (iPhone) or toggle “Data Saver” on (Android)

2. Disable high-quality uploads

This feature is already off by default, but you may have toggled it on in the past. When it’s enabled, Instagram will always upload your photos & videos at the highest possible quality, regardless of network conditions, which can eat up a lot of data if you’re not on Wi-Fi.  

  1. From the Instagram app, go to your profile (your icon in the bottom right corner)
  2. Tap the three lines in the top right corner
  3. Select “Settings and privacy”
  4. Scroll down and select “Data usage and media quality”
  5. Toggle “Upload at highest quality” off

3. Deactivate the “Save original photos” feature

If you use Instagram’s feed camera to capture photos & videos right in the app, it may be saving all of them to your phone’s camera roll too. Disabling this feature can save you some data as well as some phone memory.

  1. From the Instagram app, go to your profile (your icon in the bottom right corner)
  2. Tap the three lines in the top right corner
  3. Select “Settings and privacy”
  4. Scroll down and select “Archiving and downloading”
  5. Toggle “Save original photos” off

4. Use Instagram when connected to Wi-Fi

When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your apps won’t pull from your mobile data, so we recommend connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible. Scrolling through Instagram while you’re out and about is to be expected, but if you can at least wait until connected to Wi-Fi to upload your own posts, you’ll see a difference in your Instagram data usage.

Mint Fox spying to track his instagram data usage

How to check Instagram data usage

So now, as long as you know exactly how many stories you’ve uploaded and how many posts you’ve scrolled past this month, you know exactly how much data you’ve used on Instagram. What’s that? You don’t know those exact numbers off the top of your head? Well, fortunately for you (and the rest of us, because same), your phone will show you how much data Instagram has used in just a few clicks.

Checking Instagram data usage on iPhone

  1. From Settings, select “Cellular”
  2. Scroll until you see “Instagram” and select it
    • “Current Period” doesn’t automatically reset each month, so scroll to the bottom of the Cellular menu to see when you did your last reset and select “Reset Statistics” to refresh this
      • For example, if your last reset was 60 days ago, the data usage you see will be for the last 60 days (so approximately double what you use in one month)

Checking Instagram data usage on Android

  1. From Settings, select “Apps”
  2. Select “Instagram”
  3. Under “Usage” you’ll see the amount of mobile data Instagram is using on your phone
    • These steps may vary slightly from phone to phone, so check your user manual for help locating this information 

Now you know how to track your Instagram data usage and keep it to a minimum. Keep in mind, while Instagram may be the app you open most often, you’re probably doing other things on your phone that use data too. Streaming music, watching YouTube, surfing the web, Google Maps and Netflix all require data as well. How much? Well, feel free to take a peek at our other blog all about MB, GB, and how much data those other activities use.


With that, we’ll let you get back to double tapping your friends’ selfies, swiping through carousels of memes and posting your most unhinged content to your Close Friends list. Just be sure to follow @mintmobile while you’re there. We’ll see you in the comments.

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*https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/

**https://www.guidingtech.com/how-much-data-does-instagram-use/

***https://www.techadvisor.com/article/812725/how-much-data-does-instagram-use.html

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