Solve Facebook Messenger Consuming Excessive Background Data


During the interval of last one month, I have come across several instances where users have reported that the Facebook Messenger app has been consuming excessive background data and the data usage has been alarmingly high —ranging from 600MB to a whopping 1.5GB— all within a matter of few hours.

1.4GB Messenger data usage

Due to constant connectivity to the cellular Internet connection, this issue has been negatively impacting the battery performance of the phone.

The users are clueless why this is happening all of a sudden and it is still unknown what type of data is being sent/received by the Facebook Messenger. However, to protect your limited cellular data from being wasted without your consent, there are a couple of steps you can take as a precaution.

Here is what you need to do. On your Android phone:

  1. Go to “Settings”.
  2. Tap on the “Data Usage” option located under the Connections section.
  3. Scroll down and you will see a list of apps that are consuming data, look for the “Messenger” and tap on it.
  4. Once under Messenger, scroll down a little bit and you will see a checkbox that says, “Restrict background data”.
  5. Tap to enable the checkbox. You will see a popup box asking for the confirmation, simply tap on “Ok”.

That is it. Facebook Messenger app has now been restricted from using your mobile data in the background.

Do you know any other possible workaround for this issue?


What FB is dong with so much data?


Seems like this is happening because of the new Facebook Messenger Day update that is being rolled out. It is a feature that works similar to the SnapChat stories and it might be the reason why Facebook Messenger has now started consuming a lot of bandwidth in the background.

Anyhow, I guess rather than introducing new functionalities, the developers over at Facebook must need to spend some time on the optimization of their Messenger app for Android. It has become resource hungry and consumes a lot of RAM, which affects battery life.


This solution did not solve my problem. In April i had facebook messenger steal 11G of data, then 2G of data again a few weeks later, after that i found this solution & ticked the box to restrict background data, except just last night it stole a further 4G of data whilst i was sleeping. This is all from my mobile data. I am freaking out as my bill first bill from this steal was over $600, other than uninstalling the app i have no idea what to do. If i uninstall then i cant receive messages. Please help me.



The best way is to turn off data when you are not using it. It will not only save data but also improve battery life. I still can’t figure out what’s going on with Messenger. Maybe you are receiving too many videos or making too many video calls but data usage still should be lower.

For now, you can install Messenger lite. It uses less battery and consumes fewer data.

Make sure you restrict background data for messenger lite too.
Let me know if it works for you or not.


11Gb of Data! That’s too much Facebook.


11G while SLEEPING!! All this gig stealing is while i sleep, i have all videos turned off & i use messenger very basic for texting & sharing of photo only, same with fb i use it very basically. This issue only started when i updated the app in April. I have downloaded the lite version & will see. From 2.33am last night i got text to say ive used 85% data, then until 5am i got 5 more texts to say 100% used, 1G added, 100% used, 1G added etc, my bill in now costing me extra for each extra gig automatically added.


Alas! Hope Messenger lite will not do the same.
Make sure you uninstall the Messenger Orignal app.

You can also limit data usage in settings to avoid over billing next time.


I dont get notifications like chat heads from messenger lite, is that not a feature??


I don’t think Messenger lite have any chat heads. It’s very light version of messenger so it only has basic features.


Hey @Pratt07, 11GB of data is really a lot more than what I have heard from others. But you are not alone. I experienced a similar problem too when the new version of Facebook Messenger was released back in January. Soon after that, I uninstalled official Facebook apps including Messenger and started using Disa (more about alternatives in the end).

Anyways, as far as your problem is concerned, I can clearly see the link there:

So, excessive data consumption was started right after you updated Facebook Messenger to the latest version in April. Seems like the Messenger app even has the permission to override the instruction given by Android about not allowing background data usage. Also, after looking at the list of permissions their app requests, I believe that the people over at Facebook are using mobile apps to steal user data and then sell it to the advertisers. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about that.

The simplest and the easiest solution is to use third-party apps like:

Else, if you can’t trust any of them and want to use the official app then, as recommended by @steve, Facebook Messenger Lite is the only possible option.

Also, please note that all the alternatives I have mentioned above are lightweight, free from bloatware, consumes less data, and does not require an excessive amount of permissions. Though, you might not be able to find all the features of Messenger app.

P.S. Don’t forget to setup a monthly data usage limitation to 2GB (or whatever your average data monthly usage is) on your Android phone, which will automatically force-stop the data connection from any further data consumption whenever the limit is reached. :slight_smile:


The lite version doesn’t has chat heads and they also downgrade or remove default features. This is what I don’t like about the lite version but i also got the same issue while using fb messenger, eating big data but the lite helps me to reduce it. Have to choose reducing data or features.


Yes I agree. I don’t like the Facebook Lite Messenger app since it dosen’t like good to me and it just dosen’t feel good to use.


If I delete some important messages on Messenger, how to recover deleted Facebook messages?


You can go to the folder “com.facebook.orca” > cache, then open “FB_temp.”, from there you can recover your deleted messages.

This will only work if your phone has backed up the messages before you deleted the message.