Save Your Data Usage with Windows 10

Living in a rural area comes with limits for bandwidth and a data allowance, that means you may only have access to mobile wireless networks or satellite. You might be coming to the realization that Windows 10 loves data, your data plans are quickly eaten up. Here are some suggestions on how you can save data on your limited data allowance connection.

If possible set a connection as metered?

When you set a network connection as metered, it scales back some components of Windows to prevent them from using excessive amounts of data. More specifically, it changes the following:

  • Disables automatic downloads of Windows Updates
  • Disables downloading of app updates
  • Disables peer-to-peer uploading of updates
  • Live tiles will not update
  • Offline files may not sync automatically
  • Other system behaviours might change to reduce data usage – whether it’s for Windows or apps.

Although Microsoft recommends setting a connection as metered if your ISP imposes data caps, Windows 10 only allows you to set Wi-Fi and mobile data connections as metered – not wired Ethernet connections. If you’re using a wired desktop PC and your ISP imposes strict data caps, there’s no way to have Windows 10 download updates on your schedule. Instructions on how to set your connection to metered are here

Turn off background apps
By default, Windows 10 keeps some apps running in the background, and they eat up a lot of data.

OneDrive was another part of Windows 10 and it uses data in the background.

You might also want to do this for other syncing clients such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Disable PC Syncing
You don’t need to have it running around the clock. You can turn it off, and when you do need to keep things synced, you can easily turn it on.

Turn off notifications
Another area that I notice can save you some data is turning off Notifications.

Turn off Live Tiles
Feed based apps such as News will retrieve the latest news and other information in the background, if you keep Live Tiles turned on. You don’t need to do this for every app, but apps like Mail, Twitter, Weather, Facebook will grab the latest information. You can turn that off by right clicking on the Tile and “Turn off live tile”.

Configure Windows Update to download updates over your local area network
Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO) is a controversial feature in Windows 10 for some. For Windows 10 Home and Pro, it’s set to send Windows Update data to other PCs on the Internet by default (it’s only set to PCs on local network for Enterprise and Education editions). If you’re in a limited bandwidth situation, you don’t want to be sharing updates with other PCs on the Internet. NOTE: Windows Update Delivery Optimization lets you get Windows updates and Windows Store apps from sources in addition to Microsoft. This can help you get updates and apps more quickly if you have a limited or unreliable Internet connection. And if you own more than one PC, it can reduce the amount of Internet bandwidth needed to keep all of your PCs up-to-date. Delivery Optimization also sends updates and apps from your PC to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet. More information about WUDO is here


Defer Windows Updates
If you are running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, there is an option in Windows Update settings that lets you delay the download of new features for several months.

The above steps can also be viewed in detail at , which also has graphics for each step.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

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