Windows 10 : How To Cap Your Data Usage

Windows 10 is an internet thirsty OS!

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Windows 10 is designed for PCs with unlimited Internet connections, and it normally uses as much of your download and upload bandwidth as it wants without asking. Setting a connection as metered puts you back in control.

The promise of unlimited connectivity is beyond the horizon for millions of users around the world, so if you are like me, you might be coming to the realization that Windows 10 loves data…a lot. Therefore one of the first things you can do is set your connection as metered. This will let Windows 10 know you don’t want large updates and apps automatically download.

What Setting a Connection as Metered Does

Setting a connection as metered prevents Windows from automatically using bandwidth in many ways. Here’s exactly what it does:

  • Disables automatic downloading of Windows updates: Windows won’t automatically download updates from Windows Update on metered Internet connections. You’ll get a “Download” button you can click whenever you want to install updates.
  • Disables automatic downloading of app updates: The Windows Store won’t automatically download updates for your installed “Store apps” on metered connections, either. Desktop apps like Chrome, Firefox, and others will continue updating themselves normally.
  • Disables peer-to-peer uploading of updates: On a metered connection, Windows 10 won’t use your upload bandwidth to share updates with PCs over the Internet. Windows 10 does this by default, consuming your potentially limited upload allowance to reduce Microsoft’s bandwidth bills.
  • Tiles may not update: Microsoft says that the live tiles on your Start menu or Start screen “may” stop updating on a metered connection.
  • Other apps may behave differently: Apps — particularly apps from the Windows Store — could potentially read this setting and behave differently. For example, a “universal app” BitTorrent client could potentially stop downloading automatically when connected to a metered connection.

How To Set Your Internet Connection As Metered:

Go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options.

Then toggle Toggle on Set as metered connection.

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Turn off background apps

By default, Windows 10 keeps some apps running in the background and they eat up a lot of date. In fact, the Mail app in particular was a major offender. You can turn off some of these apps by going to Settings > Privacy > Background apps.

Then toggle off apps that use background data that you really don’t need. In my case it was pretty much all of those apps that are listed.

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There are definitely more ways you can employ to minimize bandwidth usage in Windows 10, these ideas above will surely get you started.

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