If you want to know why is Discord using so much bandwidth, we have all the answers you’re looking for!
Discord is an excellent way to talk and hang out with your friends and communities. With over 300 million users, it sure is a problem if it’s taking up so much bandwidth.
We’ve found how much Discord activities consume and how to limit them.
Let’s find out how right now!
Images and videos are the primary culprits for why Discord uses so much bandwidth and data. GIFs are notorious as they can reach up to 5 to 20 MB per image. Videos too use data budgets since they don’t autoplay, unlike images and GIFs.
If you’re seeing a ton of images, GIFs, and videos on your Discord channels, you can be sure that you’re going to be using a lot of data and bandwidth.
Let’s look at some of these activities and determine their average file sizes.
Before we find out the different ways you can lower your usage, let’s look at how much a certain activity can cost you.
If you’re not looking at tens to hundreds of images and videos, they’re not as large as you think.
However, if you go through a lot per day, it can get significant and impact your data and bandwidth allocations.
Let’s look at how much bandwidth these activities can use up on an average day.
1. Watching Embedded Videos
Videos are proven bandwidth and data hogs on streaming. However, they’re not as significant on Discord as they’re not set to autoplay by default.
A good benchmark for video content is an hour usually uses about 1.5 GB.
2. Text Chats Don’t Use Up Much Data
Discord is all about text chats. The good thing about this communication type is that it doesn’t use up much data and bandwidth. An hour of constant, pure text chats will only use up less than 1 MB.
3. Voice Channels Are Not Bandwidth Hogs
You might think that voice chats can significantly impact Discord’s bandwidth and data usage. Surprisingly, it’s not, as they should only use around 28 MB per hour.
4. In-Chat Images Can Use Up a Lot of Data
For images, it really depends on the communities you joined. An incredibly active chat room that shares memes and images can be significant.
Images and GIFs can be as big as 5 MB. If you’re getting 20 of these an hour, that’s going to be 100 MB.
These are all generous estimates, especially the ones for images. It really depends on the level of activity in your communities.
The more active they are, the more bandwidth and data Discord is going to use.
Now that you know the main causes of why you’ll easily run out of data on Discord, you can take the necessary steps to address it.
It’s possible for Discord limit bandwidth solutions, so you don’t have to keep on remembering when to connect.
If Discord is using up too much bandwidth, you can try restarting your phone to clear out some bugs and glitches in your phone’s operation.
You can also proceed to the other troubleshooting solutions we’ve come up with.
You might not notice it, but link previews are one of the top bandwidth and data hogs on Discord.
The main reason for it is that they usually include thumbnails, and their sizes can stack up fast.
If you’re on multiple Discord channels and groups and most of the members post links, it can take a significant load on your internet connection.
Your data usage is also going to take a hit as it can eat up your allowance if you’re not on an unlimited plan. Discord offers you a way to stop the previews from showing up.
Here’s how to disable link previews on Discord:
- Tap on the menu icon in the top right corner of the app.
- Go to your profile icon at the bottom right of the app.
- Select User Settings, then Text and Images.
- Find the Show website preview info menu.
- Tap on the switch to turn it Off.
Note: You can also disable image previews and videos to save data usage.
A general approach would be setting your phone to a data saver or low data mode.
Both platforms offer this feature if you’re using an iOS or Android device.
It’s certainly effective to lower the bandwidth and data requirements of Discord.
However, the downside is that it will also throttle your internet speed on all other apps. If you’re streaming on Netflix, expect to watch on low resolution:
Here’s how you can use low data mode to reduce Discord’s bandwidth requirements:
Activate Low Data Mode on iPhone:
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- Select Mobile Data, then Mobile Data Options.
- Choose Data Mode.
- Tap on Low Data Mode to turn it on.
Activate Data Saver on Android:
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Go to Network and Internet.
- Select Data Saver.
- Toggle the switch to the On position.
Note: After activating any of these modes, you’ll see it on your phone’s notification bar.
If low data or data saver mode limits the bandwidth for all your apps, this method will cut off the internet from your mobile data.
Doing this is a useful way for you to block the internet to Discord if you’re relying on a limited data plan with your carrier
The upside of this solution is that it only blocks the internet when mobile data is the source.
Once you’re at home or have access to WiFi, you should be able to enjoy Discord.
Here’s how to deactivate mobile data for the Discord app:
For iOS devices:
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Go to Cellular.
- Scroll down to see a list of your installed apps.
- Tap on Discord.
- Toggle the switch to the Off position.
For Android devices:
- Open the Settings app on your phone.
- Select Wireless and Networks, then Data Usage.
- Choose Network Access.
- Find Discord from the list of apps.
- Uncheck the box opposite Discord.
Tip: This is a handy solution if your phone’s internet plan has a limited data budget.
Images are one of the biggest culprits for high bandwidth and data usage with Discord.
You might think that it’s videos, but they don’t load automatically, so their bandwidth use is only limited to the thumbnail preview.
Enabling compressed images will greatly lower the bandwidth and data use of images.
Depending on the image format, these can go down by as much as 50 to 80%.
Images can get up to over 20 MB in size. Imagine seeing over 50 of these throughout the day, using up to 1 GB just on images alone.
Here’s how to enable image compression on Discord:
- Open your Discord user’s settings.
- Select Text and Images.
- Scroll down to the Image Compressor section.
- Tap on the Auto-Compress Images switch.
Note: This will also compress the image you’re sending, as it can affect your bandwidth and data usage.
One of the most effective ways to reduce Discord’s bandwidth and data usage is by disabling your images and GIFs to load automatically.
GIFs can look unassuming, but they can easily pile up your data usage fast.
Pair it up by disabling link previews, and your usage is only going to be limited to text chats.
This is the way to do it if you want to drastically cut down on your bandwidth and data use while only using mobile data.
Here’s how to disable images and videos auto loading on Discord:
- Select your profile picture on Discord’s menu.
- Go to App Settings.
- Tap on Text and Images.
- Turn off ‘When posted to links to chat.’
- Turn off Automatically play GIFs.
Note: At the moment, you won’t be able to disable auto-play Videos on Discord.
If you’re part of several active Discord communities and channels, you’re likely getting a lot of notifications.
This simply means that Discord is running in the background, downloading all those images that are posted on your channels.
By restricting background data usage for the Discord app, you ensure that it only uses the internet whenever you open it.
It won’t use up any bandwidth and data if it’s not active on your screen.
Here’s how to restrict background data use for Discord:
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- Select General.
- Choose Background App Refresh.
- Turn it on.
- Open your phone’s Settings.
- Go to Data Usage.
- Choose Cellular Data Usage.
- Select Discord.
- Switch off Background Data.
Pro Tip: Turning on your phone's battery-saver mode should have a similar effect but on all apps.
This is how to limit Discord from using a lot of bandwidth in a short period of time. These solutions certainly come in handy if you’re using mobile data.
However, if you have unlimited WiFi at home, feel free to turn these off.
If you experience more issues with your Discord bandwidth use, you can contact Discord’s customer support for additional assistance.
Read Next: Why Does My Discord Sound Like A Robot?
Now you know why is Discord using so much bandwidth. The main culprit is the images and GIFs, as they can take much of your phone’s data budget.
Follow these steps, and you shouldn’t worry about using too much bandwidth and data.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.