TikTok has over 500 million active daily users and a total of over 800 million downloads. The average TikTok user enjoys the app 53 minutes per day and 90% of users play with the app every single day.
TikTok is growing steadily, but how hungry it is, how much of your phone’s data does it actually use? The data usage depends on how many videos you view and upload, but rather than move to an unlimited data plan with your carrier , you can do a few things to help the data-hungry application from using so much on cellular.
The Difference Between Data and Data
We should probably mention that we’re talking about cellular data here, not how much memory the application takes up on your device. Unless you’re downloading every video you see, a simple download of the app only takes up a little over 300mb of space on your phone. This type of data is more like a storage locker, you only get so much space on your phone when you first buy it, but you don’t have to pay for any more unless you’re using a cloud source like iCloud, Samsung Cloud, or Dropbox.
Cellular data is what you pay for on your cell phone bill. If you have a ‘limited’ plan or even an unlimited plan that is subject to throttling after so much usage, you’ll want to cut out excess data usage when possible.
Think of cellular data like a water faucet, the more information coming into or leaving your phone is similar to turning your kitchen faucet up and letting and it flow. TikTok is packed full of features and watching videos is similar to turning the faucet up higher because you need more information in a short amount of time.
There are a lot of variables that impact how much TikTok is using, but a good comparison is 1GB of cellular data per 1 hour of video. If you watch TikTok videos for one hour today, you’ve used 1GB of your internet allotment provided by your cellular carrier. Do this 30 times per month, and you’d need a 31GB data plan just for TikTok (theoretically speaking of course).
Saving Cellular Data
If you spend a lot of time on TikTok, you can expect to use a lot of data, primarily if you use your cellular data to view and download the videos you like. The maximum length of a video is only 15 seconds, so it doesn’t use that much data per video, but if you view hundreds of videos every day, you can expect to use up all your high-speed data quickly. With that said, there are some things you can do to cut down on the cellular bills.
Upload and View Videos on Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi can be a life-saver for your cellular bill. It doesn’t matter which online video app you’re using, if you watch videos without Wi-Fi, the data package you got from a provider probably won’t be enough. That means that you’ll burn through your free GBs in a couple of days and every other upload or video view will increase your cellular bills.
You can prevent that from happening by cycling through your TikTok videos and channels only when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Use the app offline to record and make videos and upload them later when you hook up to a Wi-Fi network. The same goes for viewing and downloading other people’s videos. Save it for when you get home, or connect to a network at a coffee shop.
Turning Off Cellular Data
Newer smartphones are designed to pick up the fastest internet connection which is usually cellular data (depending on where you live of course). Even if you have wifi turned on, TikTok may use cellular data instead. If you’re serious about saving cellular data, you can turn off the feature for only the TikTok application.
Let’s start with our Android users. There are a few settings on your phone that you can tweak to help this data hog slow down a bit. First head to ‘Settings’ > ‘Apps’ > ‘TikTok’. Click on Mobile Data and turn off the ‘Allow Background Data Usage’ function.
Once this is done, the app will no longer use data in the background, it will only use data when you have the app open. When finished watching, uploading, or creating, make sure you close the app out completely.
You can also go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Connections’ > ‘Data Usage’ > ‘Mobile Data’ to toggle your cellular data off. No internet services will work with this turned off unless you’re in wifi so it’s not a perfect solution but it will help.
iPhone users have the option to completely ban TikTok from their cellular data. Simply go to the Settings on your phone, tap on ‘Cellular’ scroll down and toggle TikTok permissions off. Every other application on your phone will still have cellular data, except the ones you toggle off.
Limit the App Usage on Your iPhone
If you have kids, you know how much fun they have while playing around with TikTok. The app makes it impossible for children under 13 to view or upload any videos, but they can still be creative at home. There is a way you can limit how much time your kids spend using an app on an iPhone.
You can easily block TikTok from working for extended periods, to make sure that no data is coming in or out of your device. Here’s how it’s done.
- Open the “Settings” app.
- Tap “Screen Time.”
- Select the name of your iPhone, and choose between “Today” or “Last 7 Days” and select “TikTok,” to see how much time was spent using the app.
- Select TikTok and tap “Add Limit” to limit the usage of the app. You can set the limit for a day or a week in advance.
- Tap “Add” to add the time limit you chose.
If you want to limit the screen time for TikTok so your kid can’t change it, you can add a password. All you have to do is tap on the “Use Screen Time Passcode” feature and enter a 4-digit code.
Galaxy users now have the same feature, well a similar feature anyway. To enable the app timer on Android:
- Open ‘Settings’
- Tap on ‘Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls’
- Choose the wellbeing option at the top rather than parental controls
- Tap on ‘App Timers’
- Tap on ‘TikTok’
- Tap ‘No Timer’ and tap on the minutes or hour you’d like to limit your daily usage too.
Get an Unlimited Cellular Data Package
Most cellular providers have offers with unlimited Internet data usage, but they are often way more expensive than the regular plans. However, if you spend a lot of time surfing the internet, watching YouTube or TikTok videos, and so on, you could be better of getting an unlimited plan. At least, you won’t have to pay extra for the data you’ve used outside of your plan. Paying for extra megabytes at the end of the month can sometimes be very unpleasant and expensive.
Leave TikTok for Later
You can record and edit videos with TikTok any time, but leave viewing other people’s videos and uploading your own for when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. That way, you’ll make sure that your cellular bill doesn’t go over the limit, and you won’t have to worry about data usage.