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How much data does TikTok use?

By Mint Fox

Originally published February 13, 2023

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Last Updated January 5, 2024

Mint Fox showing a sign that says How much data does TikTok use?

It’s 1:27 AM. You went to bed two hours ago because you have an early meeting tomorrow, but then…you opened TikTok. “Just one more,” you whisper to yourself. But then you get a storytime, with a part 2. It’s almost like your FYP (For You Page) heard you and said “You’ll go to sleep when I say it’s okay.” We’ve all been there (Right? Please say we’ve all done this). 

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular video sharing apps. It’s a constant stream of heartwarming, hilarious and very entertaining content uploaded by millions of brilliant and unique artists and content creators. It’s very easy to watch TikTok for hours on end — and if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, it’s no biggie. But if you’re only using mobile data when scrolling through TikTok, your data allotment may end up almost as exhausted as you. Fortunately, we have some insider tips for you, so you won’t breeze through all your GB watching TikTok.

How much data TikTok uses

So how much data does TikTok use? On average, TikTok uses approximately 840MB (or just under 1GB) of data every hour.* This is when TikTok is in its default data usage mode. So if you do the math (or if we do), that means you can use 4GB of data in less than five hours just watching TikTok. You know as well as we do that five hours on TikTok is pretty easy to reach in a month (or even a day if we’re being honest). And while it might feel like it sometimes, TikTok isn’t the only thing you’re doing with your phone. Streaming music, watching YouTube, surfing the web, Google Maps and Netflix all require data, too. 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.

The good news is, if you have access to Wi-Fi, there’s a strong chance you aren’t using much of your mobile data. You can actually see exactly how much data TikTok is using on your device by checking in your Settings menu and following just a few steps:

How to check TikTok data usage on iPhone

  • From Settings, select Cellular
  • Scroll down to TikTok and select it
    • “Current Period” doesn’t automatically reset each month, so scroll to the bottom of the Cellular menu and select “Reset Statistics” to refresh this

   How to check TikTok data usage on Android

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

How to reduce TikTok’s data usage

There are essentially two ways to save data when using TikTok on your phone: use Wi-Fi to upload and watch videos or modify TikTok’s data usage settings. Let’s start with Wi-Fi.

Option 1 is to use TikTok over Wi-Fi with phone displaying the Wi-Fi sign.

1. How to use TikTok over Wi-Fi

The easiest way to use less of your data is to do most data-heavy things while connected to Wi-Fi, and TikTok data is no different. When you’re using the Internet via Wi-Fi, it isn’t pulling from your mobile data allotment. So only watching TikTok when connected to Wi-Fi is the easiest way to avoid draining your mobile data. And if you’re a content creator yourself, you definitely want to keep your uploads via mobile data to a minimum. Recording and editing in the app doesn’t eat as much data, but uploading, especially in HD, will drain your GB faster than you can say “Stitch this and tell me how awesome Mint Mobile’s blog writer is.”

Option 2 enable data saver with phone showing the data saving sign.

2. How to enable Data Saver in TikTok

If you’re more of an active audience member who’s not uploading your own dance challenges, TikTok has a Data Saver feature you can enable that will apply only when watching videos via cellular data. Data Saver drops the video resolution on TikTok and takes just a bit longer to download clips. 

  • Open the TikTok app on your phone and tap on your profile icon (bottom right corner) 
  • From your profile, tap on the menu button (three lines in the top right corner) and select “Settings and privacy” from the menu that pops up at the bottom 
  • Scroll down and select “Data Saver” from the Cache & Cellular section 
  • Enable Data Saver and TikTok will go from using about 840MB every hour to using about 360MB every hour
Option 3 switch to mint and save with the mint mobile sign displayed on a phone screen.

3. Switch to a carrier that will help you easily manage your data (so you only pay for the GB you need)

We figured since you’re here reading our blog about data, we might as well explain why you should consider Mint Mobile for your premium wireless needs. Here we believe in total transparency, which is why we tell everyone that, contrary to popular belief, an Unlimited data plan isn’t your only option. So in addition to giving you tips on how to easily manage your data usage, we may also recommend switching to a lower-priced phone plan based on your usage habits. You read that right: we’ll tell you to pay us less if you aren’t using all your high-speed data. But to be fair, our Unlimited Plan** is only $30/month, so you could just stick with that and still be saving plenty over the other guys. 

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*https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Guides/How-much-data-does-TikTok-use

**Data speeds reduced during network congestion or after monthly allotment of 5G and/or 4G LTE access. Certain data-intensive activities including online gaming, file downloads/uploads, and video streaming, may be limited and/or inaccessible on network after 40GB on Unlimited Plan. Videos stream at ~480p.

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