When it comes to Instagram automatically playing videos we can’t stop it, but users can at least take a few steps to prevent it from using their mobile data. If you’re one of the many smartphone users that is constantly concerned about data usage, auto playing videos on Facebook and Instagram can be a nightmare.
These days both social networks are filled with videos that pre-load, and play on their own. This drains your data plan provided by your carrier of choice. We can’t turn it off on Instagram, and they’ve even changed the original option to set it for WiFi only. Below are some instructions to fix this.
Instead of just automatically playing videos as you scroll down your Instagram, the app pre-loads them, so they’re ready as you scroll. It’s a nice feature, but one that can quickly use up a 1 or 2GB data plan for consumers. With that in mind, read on to learn how to disable Instagram from loading videos when you’re on a mobile connection to save your data.
In the early days of Instagram adding video back in 2013 there was an option to disable the videos from automatically playing, but then they introduced advertisements into our feeds. This came along with fewer settings in the app, and they took away the ability for users to disable these videos. They want as many views as possible, so there’s now no way to stop them completely as Facebook offers.
The same options are available for Android and iOS, which we’ll explain below. In early 2015 a new settings menu appeared where we could choose for the video to only pre-load and auto-play on WiFi, but that too has now been removed. As a result, there is only one confusing setting to stop videos from loading on their own, and below is how to enable it.
More details can be found from Instagram themselves, but just follow the few steps outlined below and you’ll be all set. Users will simply need to open the Instagram app and tap the Portrait button on the bottom left; this takes you to “Your Profile.” From here you’ll go into settings and change how videos act on your device. First is Android, then iOS instructions.
On Android head into your Instagram profile and tap the three dots at the top right, this is the menu button. Once in settings or options scroll down to “Cellular Data Use” and select this. It used to be “Videos,” but that option has been removed.
Instagram doesn’t give users too many settings or choices. Under the Cellular Data Use tab select “Use Less Data” instead of it being set to “Default.” This will make Instagram only load videos while you’re on WiFi, and when on a cellular connection you’ll have to tap first. This saves your data a little, but won’t stop the videos completely. It also may cause photos to load a bit slower because they won’t pre-load when you open the app.
That’s the only option, and all that is required to stop videos from downloading on their own. Sadly there are no additional options for iOS users either. They have the same few options and won’t be able to prevent auto-playing videos on Instagram.
While you’re digging around in the Instagram settings you can also head into the camera options under “Upload Quality” and make sure it’s using High-Quality or “normal” image processing for improved photos.
In the end, this won’t completely save your data from videos on Instagram; it will, however, stop them from pre-loading and using your data when on a regular cellular connection and not home WiFi.