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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will let you limit bandwidth usage for updates

Although Windows 10 can dynamically adjust the bandwidth use to download and upload updates, if you don't set your network adapter as metered on a capped internet connection, you still can go over your data usage.

However, this is about to change with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update as Microsoft has quietly introduced the ability to specify the bandwidth your device uses to download (and upload) system and apps updates, which can help you to take more control of data usage.

Delivery Optimization settings

Starting with build 16237 or later, you can go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Delivery Optimization, and in this page, you'll find two new links: Advanced options and Activity monitor.

Advanced options

The Advanced options page includes new settings to adjust how much bandwidth your device uses to download and upload updates.

You can quickly enable, and override the current settings by checking the option you want and using the slider to set how much bandwidth your device is allowed to use for downloads and uploads.

However, if you're thinking about sliding the download option all the way down, you should note that it's not possible to completely turn off Windows Update. You're only allowed to set this option as low as five percent.

Under the "Upload settings," it's not only possible to set a percentage of bandwidth you want to dedicate to upload updates to another computer, but you can also adjust the upload limit in gigabytes. (If your device is configured to receive updates from other PCs, and the "Monthly upload limit" is not enabled, then your PC can upload up to 500GB of data.)

When the limits are reached, depending on your configuration, your device will stop downloading and uploading updates for Windows 10 and apps until the next monthly cycle.

Activity monitor

The Activity monitor page doesn't include any configurable settings, but you can see download and upload statistics for a given month.

In the Download Statistics section, you can view the amount of data downloaded from Microsoft, and from PCs on your local network or the internet.

In the Upload Statistics section, you can view the bandwidth used by your device to upload updates to other computers on your local network and the internet.

While you still can't disable Windows Update completely, this is yet another welcome addition that gives you a little more control over updates to prevent going over your data limits.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

20 Comments
  • for a change
  • If we notice, more, and more, mobile centric features are coming to Windows.... Perfect preparation for Windows on a pocketable form factory......................
    Yes, my thirst for a "Surface Phone" leads me to read deep into every Windows feature article I can scan my nerdy little eyeballs through, but my speculation is at least validated to some degree... A degree I won't yet mention, but to a degree indeed🙂
  • I really hope Microsoft will do something about mobile, because I don't want to switch. My two year contract is finally ending for my Lumia 535 (which I don't even use that often since I have my 650), and I was thinking about getting an Xperia XA1, just for fun. But than I booted up android on my mini PC (which is dualboot, and I was too lazy to delete android lol 😁), and it was discusting. I also have an iPad Air 2, and iOS is better than android, but it's still not interesting enough for me 😁
  • LinkedIn app now being retired.....
  • This is just for data consumption as I understand... What I'd like to see is an option to limit the bandwith WU uses, as I can't even navigate during updates or downloading something from the Store. It takes all of my 7Mb/s and leaves nothing for other tasks.
  • Did you see the two bandwidth percentage options referenced in the article?
  • 7Mb/s should be able to handle the update and more. At worst, it would suck half of it, which would still leave you with 3.5Mb/s, which is certainly enough for web browsing. I wonder if your router isn't well configured for managing its cache (cache fills up and subsequent requests choke, so secondary requests for bandwidth aren't processed timely and the result is a terrible user experience). Search on Buffer Bloat and the solutions for that.
  • You may wanna reset the store if your on 15063.
  • Nothing in the microsoft settings page shown indicates that this is for metered connections. Yet the author suggest that it does. Even if it did. Think about this. That setting only controls how much bandwidth (download) is used not how much data is used. It would be handy for companys who have large amounts of windows PCs. All of them downloading updates in one day will certainly be a drag.
  • What about data limits, not just bandwidth?
  • I wish sharing of windows updates over lan/wifi/same network worked properly Eg: I have 2 PC's, both running 64 bit W10 Pro. Connected via wifi on the same router.
    I have set all the options correctly. I download update on one pc. I trigger download on second pc, it never receives update from the lan. It downloads the whole update from internet.
  • might want to check the wireless settings on the router to make sure isolation is not turned on. just a thought.
  • yuck left side of the page is full and the right side is empty there is no balance !! 
  • great features, confusing implementation. what counts as up or download from another pc? As far as I know I never do that. Its more useful to have features coupled to app background and notification too. And offcourse coupled to update settings access. I wouldn't want data cap up in smoke by a few sudden msft updates or intense push notifications in the action center and live tiles and certain apps in the background. would be useful for when the surface pro "5" with LTE files out this fall.    
  • They should put the Control Panel back while they're at it.
  • There are at least two or three statements which don't make logical sense. "...Microsoft has quietly introduced the ability to specify the amount of bandwidth your device uses to download (and upload) system and apps updates, which can help you to avoid going over your data usage limits." "The Advanced options page includes new settings to adjust the amount of bandwidth your device uses each month to download and upload updates. "You can quickly enable, and override the current settings by checking the option you want and using the slider to set the amount of bandwidth your device is allowed to use in each month for downloads and uploads." It is the use of the term bandwidth. Bandwidth is a rate, not a data quantity. It is like saying that putting a speed limiter on your car limits the distance you can travel on a tank of gas. It doesn't make sense. Bandwidth is how fast the data is transmitted and is independent of any data caps in place. Windows has it right, the article does not.
  • I think the author Is talking about data volume. Not bandwidth
  • Sounds like built-in LTE is on the horizon.
  • I'm still stuck at the Anniversary Update on my laptop. 😒
  • Same author that thinks front-end modifications turns of data collection. Somehow don't value this input all that much. At this point suspect author not capable of advising anyone on how to feed or maintain their pet rock. Can guaran-damn-tee the 'delivery optimisation' mechanism is borked in both LAN and WAN. MS are scrabbling for anything remotely resembling a 'win'. Even their recent Azure Stack announcement was a hilarious travesty in marketing, BS and bald-faced lies.