How much data does TikTok use?

Pictured:TikTok app on an iPhone
// Don't Tik too much Tok without reading our guide first.
Alex Kidman
Nov 27, 2023
bullet4 min read

Published on November 26, 2023

TikTok is insanely popular – but it can burn through an insane amount of data. Here’s how much it uses, how to keep track of it, and the best mobile plans for satisfying your TikTok addiction.

TikTok’s popularity really cannot be overstated, and a huge part of that popularity is that it’s just so very easy to start scrolling through videos on TikTok… just one more… maybe another one… and another… and before you know it hours have passed in the blink of an eye.

That points to just how entertaining TikTok can be, but there’s a potential trap here. If you’re having your TikTok binges on the go – which is very easy to do – you’re chewing through your mobile data allowance doing so. If you’ve ever wondered why your mobile data doesn’t seem to go as far as you might like, TikTok could well be the culprit. How much data are we talking about, though? In this guide we’ll walk you through how much data you’re likely to use, and the best ways to manage it – as well as your best value plans to feed your TikTok viewing habits.

TikTok Mobile Data Usage

There is just a touch of variability to TikTok data usage – not surprisingly you’ll burn through less data if you spend less time on TikTok – but broadly speaking, on default settings, an hour of TikTok will burn through around 840MB of data – or to put it another way, about 14MB of data per minute of usage. There is some variability here depending on precise video factors, and it’s well worth bearing in mind that most smartphones will also be running other tasks that may add to your hourly data load while you’re busy binging TikTok too.

What that means on a monthly basis is that if you’re only spending an hour a day on TikTok, over an average 30-day month, you’ll get through just over 25GB of data. Of course, if your TikTok usage habits run higher than that, you could be using quite a bit more.

One of the easiest ways to temper your TikTok data bill is to switch to its Data Saving mode. This will involve a slight drop in video quality, and also some slight delays in video load times, but as long as you’ve got both tolerance and patience for that, you’ll slice down your hourly data usage to around 360MB – or just 6MB per minute of viewing time.

How to check TikTok mobile usage on your iPhone

If you want to get precise about your usage and you’ve got an Apple iPhone, it’s easy to see exactly how much data the app has slurped up while you’ve been having fun.

The process for checking TikTok data usage is the same as for any other app.

  1. Open up the Settings App
  2. Select “Mobile”
  3. Scroll down to the section labelled “Mobile Data” and find TikTok. The number underneath the app name is the total data it has used in the current period

The trick here on an iPhone is that it just counts data usage on an ongoing basis, so the number you’ll see is the total quantity of data that TikTok has used, not the amount it’s used this month. If you scroll right down to the bottom of the same page as the Mobile Data stats, you’ll see just how long that period has been. If you want to track monthly usage, you have to do a little manual tweaking here by tapping on “Reset Statistics”, and then checking back in a month to see your precise usage. 

TikTok Tip

Set a monthly calendar reminder to reset your usage statistics on iPhone so you can see exactly what’s using your mobile plan data on a rolling basis.

How to check TikTok mobile usage on your Android phone

For Android users, the precise steps will vary by phone manufacturer and Android version, so we can only give generalised advice here. It’s not that dissimilar to the iPhone experience, however.

  1. Open Setting
  2. Open Apps
  3. Select TikTok
  4. Under “Usage” you should see your data usage for the app.

How to save on data usage while using TikTok

So now that you know how much data TikTok is using, the smart thing to do if you want to save data – and therefore money – is to minimise just how much data it uses.

Now, you could go nuclear and uninstall TikTok, give your phone to a passing stranger and go and live in a remote outback cave like a hermit – but that’s going to be a lonely existence, and without a phone you’re not going to be able to upload all your vital best hermit TikTok tips either.

The smarter play if you’re struggling to keep enough data from month to month is to run with a mix of mobile usage in Data Saving mode and, when you can, using WiFi rather than mobile data.

The vast majority of home NBN plans have unlimited data usage, so if you’re using TikTok at home, there’s no impact on your monthly data usage at all.

You can extend this to using sources such as public Wi-Fi (or perhaps work Wi-Fi, but maybe only during your lunch break unless you don’t like being employed much), but for public Wi-Fi it would be smart to match that up with a VPN to keep your browsing habits private to just you.

Good mobile plans for frequent TikTok users

There’s nothing specific in any mobile phone plans offered in Australia that makes them TikTok centric – to date nobody’s offered “free” TikTok on a given plan – so what you want to look for in a TikTok suitable plan is a nice high data quota.

Here’s a selection of top-value month-to-month postpaid plans with at least 50GB of data, giving you a comfortable quota of at least 2 hours of average TikTok viewing per day most months:

The other way to control your TikTok usage and spending habit would be to match them up with a prepaid mobile plan. Here your TikTok adventures will stop flat once your data quota is used – but that could be beneficial if you do want to cut down on the amount of your life you’re dedicating to one of the Internet’s most addictive apps. Here’s a range of prepaid plans with at least 30GB per recharge:

Alex Kidman
Written by
Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is some kind of word-generating AI from the future that somehow worked out how to sneak back in time to 1998 to start its journalism career. Across that time, including editorial stints at ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, PC Mag and Finder, as well as contributions to every major tech masthead, nobody has quite managed to figure out this deeply held secret. Let’s keep it between us, OK?

Related Articles

Screenshot from the 2022 movie Elvis featuring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley dancing in front of backup singers
Where’s that Elvis movie streaming?
You know the one... the guy with the hair... what's it called?
Oppenheimer still with fast forward overlay
Good news, Oppenheimer will likely be shorter on Binge
Now I become rest, observer of films.
laptop for internet plans
Best internet plans in Australia this month (February 2024)
If you're looking for Australia's best internet plans, then stop looking.
Lenovo transparent laptop
This laptop is eye-candy for early adopters
A different sort of eye-catching laptop.