Should Microsoft lift the 20MB download cap for Windows Phone? They already have.

When Windows Phone 7 rolled out in 2010, it had one feature that was met with some mixed feelings: over-the-air download limits for apps and games tied to your cellular connection. In short, Microsoft imposed a 20MB cap when you were on cellular to help limit data usage for people on the go.

What some don’t realize is this limit was lifted recently by Microsoft (we don’t have an exact date). Now users of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 can download files up to 50MB, matching the iPhone.

At least going back a few weeks, we’ve been able to download files less than 50MB, which is a nice doubling plus of the previous 20MB limit. Interestingly, this change has not been documented (as far as we can tell) by Microsoft in their Dev Center.

But as you can see above, our Lumia 920 (and Lumia 900) can both download games like Bug Village (41MB) over-the-air just fine.  In fact, on Windows Phone 8 you’ll notice the more information better detailed.

We’re not 100% sure if this is also influenced by carriers, so we’ll rely on you folks to test it out yourselves and let us know in comments (we tested on AT&T).

Perhaps an option in settings to enable/disable this feature would be best in the long run for Windows Phone, as clearly some people still have unlimited data plans or just don’t really care about those limits (especially if you’re on LTE, where they still apply). Still, we think Microsoft has other priorities for the immediate future of Windows Phone.

Thanks, Kurtsh, for piquing our interest to write this

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.