How Much Cellular Data Does iMessage Use?

By Jessica RegheliniUpdated on December 7, 2017

Thinking about using iMessage to communicate with your friends and family, but want to find out how much data it uses first? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll be talking about how much cellular data iMessage uses, and give you some tips to help you save data and avoid going over your monthly limit.

How much data does iMessage use?

iMessage doesn’t use a significant amount of cellular data. Even if you have a very small cellular data plan, you’d have to send so many messages through the app to make a dent in it. Sending plain text uses hardly any data. If you connect your device to a Wi-Fi network, it won’t use any data.

From our personal experience, over a year’s worth of messages sent and received through iMessage used only approximately 1GB of data. Considering that amount being used in over an entire year, with thousands of text, picture, and video messages sent and received, 1GB is not very much at all.

How to check how much data iMessage has used

If you want to look into how much data iMessage has used on your iOS device, there is an easy way to do so.

1. Open the settings on your device

Open iPhone settings menu

2. Tap Cellular.

Tap Cellular settings button

3. Scroll down to the bottom and tap System Services.

System Services menu

Here you’ll see your data usage for all of the built-in apps on your device. The amounts listed are for the amount of time it has been since you last reset the statistics. Most people will not have done this, so the amount of data listed as being used will be measured from the time you first got your device.

As you can see, iMessage has used 1.0 GB of data on this particular device. The “current period” for this device began in October 2015. In a year and a half, only 1.0 GB of data was used.

System Services menu

That’s all you need to do to check on your data usage on your iOS device. Now, let’s go over a few helpful data saving tips!

3 data saving tips for iMessage

1. Try to limit the number of pictures and videos you send.

Sending pictures and videos can use more data than plain text. If you’re trying to cut back on your data usage, try to send fewer picture and video messages, or only send those things when connected to Wi-Fi.

2. Turn on “Low Quality Image Mode.”

To help save data when you need to send a picture, turn on Low Quality Image Mode. To do so, go to Settings, and then click on Messages, scroll to the bottom of the page, and move the toggle beside “Low Quality Image Mode” to the right. When the toggle turns green, this setting is enabled. Sending lower quality images will use less data than sending higher quality images.

Low quality image mode setting

3. Connect to a Wi-Fi network when you can, rather than using your data.

If you want to cut back on your monthly cellular data usage, try to connect your iOS device to a Wi-Fi network whenever possible. This will help you to decrease the total amount of data you use.

That wraps up this article about iMessage data usage. We hope you found it helpful! Be sure to check out the rest of our iMessage course to learn more about the app. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, leave us a comment below!