Reduce data usage with Google Chrome’s Lite mode

If you’ve ever been frustrated by exceeding your data plan on a monthly basis, popular web browser Google Chrome may just have a solution for you.

How Lite mode works

When you use Lite mode, some of your web traffic may go through Google servers before being downloaded to your device. If the page is loading slowly, Google servers may simplify it so that less data gets downloaded to your device. Most of the time, your pages will look and work the same.

If you’re using Lite mode, keep in mind that:

  • If you browse in private, Lite mode won’t work.
  • Some websites might have trouble finding your location.
  • You might not be able to use pages on a local network, like an internal company site.
  • You might have trouble with premium data services provided by your carrier. You also might not be able to sign in to your mobile carrier’s website.

Currently Google’s Lite mode (formerly Chrome’s Data Saver) is only available for Android devices.

Enable Chrome’s Lite mode on Android

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app Chrome.
  2. At the top right, tap More and then Settings.
  3. Under “Advanced,” tap Lite mode.
  4. Turn on Lite mode.

If you’re on a page that was simplified, you can go back to the original page without changing your settings. To see the original page, at the top, tap Lite and then Load original page.

See how much data you’ve saved

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app Chrome.
  2. Tap More and then Settings.
  3. Tap Lite mode. At the bottom, you’ll see a list of the sites you’ve visited and how much data you’ve saved.

The feature is certainly much more useful on mobile: It can save you money if you’re on a tight data plan, in addition to speeding up page loads and beefing up security. Chances are that browsing on the desktop is already quite speedy for most people, and Google’s Safe Browsing feature is already built into Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux.