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Need help/advice on restricting Facebook on iPhone!

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Advanced Tutor

Need help/advice on restricting Facebook on iPhone!

So my 31 year old daughter has been mostly out of town, then in the hospital, since I got Hughesnet. I had no data issues with just me and my 10/50 plan.

After the neighbor family moved in, and their kiddos used up my data in a week with video games and YouTube, I banned the two youngest kids from the internet and upgraded to the 20/50 plan, as the dad was planning to take some online college courses. All was well in my dataverse again, lol.

Then my dear daughter came home. She lives on Facebook. I already knew, from reading this forum, that FB is a huge data sucker. She is using 4%-5% of my data daily. You don't have to be smarter than a fifth grader to realize the data will run out before the month does.

I thought I had the solution from these very archives: turn off autoplay for videos and install Facebook purity. But here's the kicker: she doesn't use her computer; she uses her iPhone. FB purity, while it is compatible with Safari, can't be installed on an iPhone. And, try as I might, I could not find a way to turn off autoplay for videos.

What I did do is turn off everything I possibly could: games, as many ads as possible, anything "extra" that runs inside FB. So it's a leaner, meaner FB, but I'm afraid it may not be enough.

I told Joy to use FB as she normally would tomorrow, so I can see if what I did is enough. (And I must say that she is being a really great sport about this!).

I'm reaching out to y'all to ask if any of you have found ways to reduce the amount of data consumed by FB specifically on iPhones. The three minors now living under my roof don't sit on laptops all day--they sit on their phones. So I'm assuming that's what kids do and thus, hoping one of you out there have found solutions I haven't been able to find.

If I can't resolve this, my only choice is to restrict the amount of time she can be on FB. While I'd have no problem doing that if she were a kid, she's a grown adult and I hate being the "data police" around here!
Associate Professor

Sadly, there's not much you can do about facebook on mobile devices...  The reason it uses data is because it's in constant contact with the service checking for updates to anything FB related...  IMO, about all you can do is get rid of the application, or kick the device off your wifi.

Probably the best course of action would be to kill the facebook process on the iphone when it's not needed, but not sure you can do that with out causing issues.
Advanced Tutor

Well...that's a bummer. Nevertheless, thanks for your candid response, CORROSIVE.

This must be a real issue for parents on a metered service. All the advice on this forum about turning off autoplay and installing facebook purity is great for adults who use FB on their computers, but kids don't sit in front of computers--they are on their phones or tablets because they're mobile.

And whether you're on a cellphone service like Verizon or on satellite internet like Hughesnet, you've got a data limit.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. I've disabled everything I had the option to disable so we'll see what, if any, good that will do, eh? 🙂
Old Labs
New Member

Although not related to your specific question about the iPhone, together with an acquaintance of mine who occasionally stops by, we were able to root out an Android solution - tagging the Wifi connection as a mobile hot spot (the logical equivalent of setting a Wifi connection as metered on Windows 8/10). Our only logical conclusion was that mobile devices are intentionally designed to use more data on Wifi connections - after all they're always free and unlimited, aren't they and if not certainly ethernet connections are 😉     

We found it on our own but It's described here:

That article should be changed to end with "or a metered Wifi connection". 

Searching for a similar on iPhone using Google or Bing is a mind numbing experience, which has only yielded "switch to Wifi to conserve your cellular data" - gee, ya think and I'm guessing here but swtching to cellular will conserve your Wifi data 😉

I only mention it in case there's someone who's similarly rooted through the iPhone interface to discover what was a well camouflaged Android setting using different terminology than "metered".

Hey Chewagirl

I recently helped out a friend who is struggling with their data usage on their cell plan to minimize the impact of the phone's background processes and such from eating his data. Luckily he does not use Facebook, but I can still help!

If she uses the Facebook App for Apple the settings to turn off auto-play videos should be as follows:

Launch the app > on the bottom right click on the "More" option
Scroll down and tap on Settings > Account settings > Videos and Photos >  Never autoplay videos (under the "autoplay" option)

Recently we had someone in the community who has an "Apple family" and multiple users using the same Apple ID on multiple devices. If you aren't sure, check with your daughter and other iPhone/iPad users in the house to see if they are aware of their iCloud setttings. If not, chances are everything is set to default and that means every picture, video, soundbite, etc is being backed up when they are on WiFi - possibly even multiple times a day 😞

Hope this helps! I can offer a bit more if needed, but I'm a big Android user so my Apple knowledge is not as extensive in that regard.

Advanced Tutor

Ummm, what about booting the phone off the wifi and let her figure out how to conserve her monthly cellular allowance?