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Facebook's auto-play videos eating up all your data? Here's the fix!

The Facebook app for iPhone and iPad features an auto-play feature for videos frequently causes a lot of users some data usage grief. It works by auto-loading and playing videos as you scroll through your timeline, whether or not you want it to. If you don't like this behavior, there's an easy way to turn off auto-play. It's something we'd highly recommend doing if you don't have an unlimited data plan or live with restricted Wi-Fi. And as an added bonus, it may save you a bit of battery life too!

How to stop Facebook from automatically playing videos and eating your data

  1. Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on More in the bottom navigation.
  3. Tap on Settings, it's all the way towards the bottom.
  4. Tap on Videos and Photos.
  5. Tap on Auto-play.
  6. Tap on Never Play Videos Automatically.

Facebook's auto-play videos eating up all your data? Here's the fix!

Facebook's auto-play videos eating up all your data? Here's the fix!

That's all there is to it! Facebook will no longer automatically start playing videos. Instead you'll have to tap on them in order for them to start playing, just like you used to have to! Give it a try and let us know if this helps decrease the amount of data Facebook consumes!

Originally published, August 2014. Updated, March 2015.

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

12 Comments
  • Thank you! I don't know why but I thought my only option on that was to set it to Wi-fi Only other than autoplay. To me, it's not the date it's just annoying. So glad to have that fixed.
  • Wow, thanks a ton! Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks a lot Sent from the iMore App
  • I am Facebook free thankfully but I know this has been a sore spot for some friend. Thanks!
  • Also Facebook free for years thankfully, but my wife was going through a gig of data while she slept!!! She just deleted the app and now goes to the website instead. Sent from the iMore App
  • Really? That doesn't sound right.
  • Thanks! Sent from the iMore App
  • HUGE thanks
  • I found a super short video for how you can turn it off! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB13V5Ojxqo&list=UUAlErSKX5N-mcst1yPNV6vg
  • The Facebook app alone is truly a pig, it snorts data and battery like crazy. Who thought it would be a great idea to load and silently play videos in your newsfeed, when you could easily click on them and play them right there. Anyone who doesn’t use Facebook on a regular basis is much better off without the app. I was also getting more and more ads on my newsfeed. When I noticed that my privacy settings had changed and were enabled by default recently (even though I checked everything when the new privacy policy became effective), I rage-quit my account.
  • Thanks for the tip! :) Like a few readers here, I've deleted the app to improve battery life and to save even more data usage.
  • I just turn off background app refresh, for Facebook. There you go, problem fixed. Sent from the iMore App