How to control and view how your bandwidth is used for updates in Windows 10

Windows 10 devices can be configured to download and upload Windows Update files from and to other Windows 10 PCs on the local network or the internet. That is a good thing for both users and Microsoft, as it can make Windows Updates arrive faster on our devices. However, it can also be a bad thing if you use a metered connection and each additional megabyte costs you money. It can also be a drag if your internet connection speed is not very fast and you do not want to slow it down, even more, when your Windows 10 PC uploads Windows Updates to others. Fortunately, starting with Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 lets you control how your bandwidth is used for Windows Updates. Here is everything you should know about this new feature:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Fall Creators Update. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be available for free, to all Windows 10 users, as of October 17th, 2017.

Where to find the bandwidth controls for Windows Updates

This new feature is found inside the Settings app, so the first thing you have to do is open it. Click or tap on the cog wheel button from the Start Menu or, if you prefer using your keyboard, simultaneously press the Windows + I keys.

In the Settings app, open the Update & Security category.

Make sure that Windows Update is selected on the left side of the window. Then, scroll on the right side and, in the Update settings area, click or tap on the Advanced options link.

The Settings app now opens a page called Advanced options. In the "Choose how updates are installed" section, find the link named Delivery Optimizations and click or tap on it.

On the Delivery Optimization page, you can control if Windows updates are downloaded and uploaded on PCs from the local area network and the internet. To read more about what the settings here do, check this guide: Set Windows 10 to download updates from the local network or the internet.

If you agree to upload Windows Update files to other PCs, you can control the bandwidth used for this purpose. So, before going further, make sure that you "Allow downloads from other PCs" and choose to do it for "PCs on my local networks, and PCs on the internet." Otherwise, there is no point in setting upload bandwidth limits on the next page.

The download bandwidth limit is valid regardless of whether you allow downloading Windows Update files only from Microsoft's servers, or from other PCs on the internet as well.

Then, click or tap on the Advanced options link.

Now you have finally arrived at the destination that you have set out for in the beginning.

How to control the way your bandwidth is used for Windows Updates in Windows 10

On the new Advanced options page, Windows 10 tells you that "by default, we're [Microsoft] dynamically optimizing the amount of bandwidth your device uses to both download and upload Windows and app updates, and other Microsoft products" and ends with "But you can set specific limit if you're worried about data usage".

If you want to control how Windows Updates are using your bandwidth, look at the options you have on this page:

  • Download settings has a switch for enabling or disabling the limit for "how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background." You can then use the slider beneath it for setting the percentage of your total bandwidth that you allow Windows 10 to use for downloading updates.
  • Upload settings has two switches, each with its slider.
  • The first thing you can do is "limit how much bandwidth is used for uploading updates to other PCs on the Internet." Just like for the download settings, the associated slider lets you set the percentage of the bandwidth allowed for uploading updates to other PCs on the internet.
  • The second thing you can set is the amount of "Monthly upload limit." The slider next to it allows you to set an upload bandwidth limit between 5 GB and 500 GB of data. When the limit you set is reached, your Windows 10 device will stop uploading Windows Update files to other devices on the internet.

Then, under all these switches and sliders, you can see a small pie chart with information about the total bandwidth left and the amount of data that has already been uploaded this month.

How to see detailed statistics about Windows Update and how it uses my bandwidth for Windows 10 updates

If you want detailed data about the bandwidth use for Windows Update, click or tap on the Back button from the top left corner of the Settings window.

Then, on the Delivery Optimization page, scroll and click/tap on the Activity monitor link.

The Activity monitor page shows you pie charts and all the numbers regarding Download Statistics as well as Upload Statistics. You can see the amount of Windows Update data that has been downloaded from Microsoft, the amount of data that has been downloaded and uploaded from and to PCs on your local network and from PCs on the internet, and you can also see the average download speeds.

Neat, isn't it?


Now you know how to control the bandwidth used by your Windows 10 device for downloading and uploading Windows Updates. Will you use these new settings on your Windows 10 PCs and other devices? Or are you interested only in knowing the statistics? Write your opinion in the comments section below.