Limit Data Usage on Windows

On a Limited Connection? Here is how you can save your Internet Data on Windows

It has been a few decades since the internet first took birth and billions of us use this global network in our daily lives. It is hard to even imagine a life without the internet so most of us have just started to take the internet as granted, as it will always be there, serving us GBs of data anytime we want, anywhere we want. However, not all of us have the luxury of having unlimited, ultra-fast internet connections at our disposal, especially the people living in developing or under-developed countries where the bandwidth is limited and the speed is extremely slow.

Some people even rely on 3G connections with just a few GBs of data at their disposal, which is an extremely unideal situation, especially if you want to work on your Windows laptop. The latest version of Windows, Windows 10, has a habit of gobbling up tons of data downloading automatic updates and what not, which can be a big inconvenience. So, the question remains, what can you do to make sure that Windows doesn’t eat up so much data?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can ensure that Windows knows won’t be as bad on a capped internet connection as it is on an unlimited one. Here, in this guide, we will show you how to do it,

Set a Metered Connection

A built-in feature, a metered connection on a Windows laptop allows you to specify that an internet connection has a data limit associated with it (If you are using a cellular connection, Windows will set it to metered by default). For any other connection, be it Wi-Fi or Ethernet, you will need to manually set it to metered by going to the Settings. A metered connection will prevent Windows from downloading automatic updates (you can also disable some Windows updates by following our guide over here) and also enforce some other apps to behave in a different manner, to prevent excessive data usage.

Here is how you can set a metered connection,

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing START + I.
  2. Go to Network & Internet.
  3. From the left pane, click on Wi-Fi and then click on Manage Known Networks.
  4. Click on the Wi-Fi network you want to set as metered and click on Properties.
  5. Click on Set as metered connection.

You can also open the Wi-Fi settings directly by clicking on this link.

Disable Application from Using the Internet

Windows also allows you to track how much data is being used on your PC, splitting the data based on which app is using how much data. To check this, you can open the Settings app and then go to Network & Internet, and select Data Usage from the left pane. It will show you the total Data Usage from the last 30 days. You can click on Usage details to get more information about data being used by each individual app.

If an application is still using a lot of data even if your connection type is metered, you can also take some extra steps like disabling that application from using the internet connection. You can do this by reading our guide over here.

Disable Background Apps

Windows is a multitasking operating system and there are tons of services and applications running in the background to ensure that you get your notifications and updates instantly. However, this also means more data consumption (and also an impact on performance). You can disable certain apps from running in the background – here is how to do it,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Privacy.
  3. From the left pane, select Background apps.
  4. Deselect any application that you don’t want to run in the background.

That’s it.

Turn Off PC Syncing

Windows 10 comes with an automatic PC sync feature that runs in the background to sync all your settings across all the Windows 10 PCs you are using. While admittedly a useful feature, it also ends up eating up a considerable amount of your data. Here is how you can turn it off,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. From the left pane, click on Sync your settings.
  4. Turn the switch under Sync settings to Off.