How to watch YouTube videos with less data

How to watch YouTube videos with less data


Most times we all resolve to Youtube to watch our favorite movies, comedy, guides or maybe series in seasons and episodes. Youtube as we all know is the largest video storage.
Due to the large resolutions of videos on YouTube, our data tends to run low or exhausted in a faster rate. Satisfying as it may be to watch crispy HD video on mobile, that comes at a cost. Like any video streaming service, launching the YouTube app and watching content while on a mobile network can be punitive if you never planned for it.
Below are some steps on how to watch YouTube videos with less data:

1: Use Chrome Lite Mode

When you use Lite mode, some of your web traffic may go through Google servers before being downloaded to your device. If the page is loading slowly, Google servers may simplify it so that less data gets downloaded to your device. Most of the time, your pages will look and work the same.

How to Turn on Lite mode

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app Chrome.
  • At the top right, tap More More and then Settings.
  • Under 'Advanced', tap Lite mode.
  • Turn on Lite mode.
If you’re on a Youtube page that is simplified, you can go back to the original page without changing your settings. To see the original YouTube page, at the top, tap Lite and then Load original page.

2: Lower the video resolution

If you are on mobile data, more of your data bundles will be used up if you are watching HD video throughout. My workaround is usually setting 480p as the default resolution for the YouTube apps on my phones. That sounds unfair when you remember that a device like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and its inviting Infinity Display has a pixel-packed Quad HD panel on the ready but hey, I don’t want to burn 4GB data just watching a former FBI director testifying thousands of miles away in front of his country’s Senate committee.

How to do it: just click the 3 dots on the upper right side of the video, click the Quality menu and choose the desired video resolution. The lower the better.

3: Use YouTube Go

YouTube Go, which started rolling out this year and was a key highlight of Google I/O 2017 as one of the features of Android Go, is a God-send. It is an alternative YouTube application built from the ground up with only one focus: to help users save on data while still not missing out on all the fun that YouTube offers
YouTube Go with it's nice and plain interface has only two tabs: Home and Downloads. The former is where all videos are listed, in no particular order, while the latter is where any downloaded videos are shown. From here, users can select any downloaded clips and share them with friends who have installed YouTube Go and are nearby, thus eliminating the need for such friends having to download/save the same videos using their critical mobile data, hence saving it.

4: Save video offline for viewing later

I remember back in 2013 when I attended the Google Africa Communities Summit and was blown away when we were shown the then upcoming feature, YouTube offline viewing. The feature was to be implemented in several countries Google had picked where network connectivity issues were high. As it turned out to be a few years later when the feature went live for most people in emerging markets, Kenya was one of those countries.

As such, when using the standard YouTube app to view a video, one gets to see this small button (see screenshot below) that when clicked, eligible* videos get saved to a device’s internal or external storage (one can change in the app settings). *Some videos, like music, cannot be saved offline.

Being able to save videos and viewing them at one’s convenience later when offline is a great thing as it allows users to save as much as they can when on free Wi-Fi for watching later without incurring an extra expense. They just need to make sure they get what they need and not more since the saved videos expire after 2 days. The good news is that even after expiry, the videos are automatically saved again when one is on Wi-Fi.
Precious Effiang

Hi, My Name Is Precious Effiang, Head Publicist of MyGuideOut. You can contact me via WhatsApp +2349028299653

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