*This post is the third part of an ongoing series about mobile data usage. Read the previous posts here and  here

During October, we hosted a Data Horror Stories Contest, where thousands of individuals who have previously been burned by their data plans submitted their tales of mobile-data-overage woe.

man using phone

As we learned, many of us have trouble staying within the confines of our data plans and easily go over our limit. There’s always a restaurant or bar we need to look up online immediately or a friend’s cute puppy video to watch. It’s hard to know exactly which app you’re using on the go that will take you over the line of your data limit.

After the contest, we decided we wanted to dive deeper and take a look into which apps are hogging all the data. We looked at 10,000 apps used within a single day to see exactly which apps are eating the most data across the Opera Max user base. Below are the top 5 apps that are guilty of using up the most data.

5. Android native browser

Number 5 on the list is the browser that comes preinstalled on Android devices. While it doesn’t use as much data as some other brand-name browsers, it’s still a high data user.

4. YouTube

No surprise here, movie and video streaming apps such as YouTube eat up a lot of data.

3. Instagram

Social-media sites, especially those like Instagram that are image and video heavy also use a lot of data, especially if its users are not only browsing, but also uploading their own images and videos.

2. UC Browser

This is yet another browser on the list that consumes a lot of data.

1. Google Chrome

Out of all the browsers, and across all 10,000 apps we looked at, Google Chrome uses the most mobile data.

Some apps use a lot more data than others , and mobile-browser apps are high on that list, taking three out of the top five spots. Webpages can vary widely in size, with graphically rich sites eating up a lot of data for users. Roughly speaking, browsing about 10 pages a day will eat up 100 MB.

Are these apps what you expected the culprits that eat the most data to be? What other apps do you think are guilty of using a lot of mobile data?

If you haven’t already,  download and try Opera Max, which is now driving data savings for users, saving them up to 50% on their data diet and helping to avoid future horror stories.


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  • Mattia

    Because it’s the most used browser 🙂
    And you can turn on data compression (like Opera)


    • dawesi

      also because it’s reporting back everything you’re doing to google 😉 and that takes bandwidth.

      • Mattia

        Opera Turbo compression works with magic, right?

  • NimeshT

    Does Max support video compression for YouTube?

    • Gustav Ekner


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  • Troclon

    Maybe if we had Coast for android I wouldn’t use the native browser or chrome. I have Opera for Android but I want also Coast for Android. The platform is the most used and I don’t know why do you still prefer to develop first for IOS/crapple? Maybe you all have your stupid macs which are ugly and expensive. After a LOT of research for macs, I bought a PC again. Only the most expensive models of macs are worthy. So no matter which model you buy, you’re always robbed by them. They’re just for a good looking products according to them, no more.

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  • ronz91

    This article needs a 2016 update!