If you have a metered or slow internet connection, you probably hate the fact that a lot of data gets downloaded each month for Windows 10 updates and also how updates make your internet connection slower. Fortunately, newer versions of Windows 10 have a built-in feature called Delivery Optimization, that allows you to set Windows Update limits. In other words, you can limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates, as well as for uploading updates to others. Let's see how to change the bandwidth limit in Windows 10:
NOTE: This guide was created on Windows 10 October 2020 Update. To find out what version of Windows 10 you're using, read this guide: What version, edition, and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?. Also, if you'd like to have a clearer view of what Windows Update does and how it works in Windows 10, check this guide first: The complete guide to Windows 10 updates.
How to change the bandwidth limit for Windows Update downloads in Windows 10
Start by opening the Settings app from Windows 10 (press Windows + I on your keyboard). In the Settings app, go to Update & security.
On the left side of the window, select Delivery Optimization. This is the feature that allows your Windows 10 PC to optimize the Windows Update bandwidth. That's the bandwidth available for your PC to download and upload updates from Microsoft's servers, as well as from other PCs on your local network and the internet. Click or tap on "Advanced options."
You should now see several options, sliders, and checkmarks for Download settings and Upload settings. By default, no option is checked, meaning that Windows 10 uses your internet bandwidth as it sees fit.
To enable a setting, check the box near its name, and then set it to the value you want using the slider beneath its name. Let's take each setting one by one:
First, you have the Download settings that let you control the bandwidth in Windows 10 used for downloading updates. There are two options for Download settings: "Absolute bandwidth" and "Percentage of measured bandwidth."
Both of them let you change the download bandwidth limit in Windows 10. However, they differ in the sense that the first one - "Absolute bandwidth" - allows you to specify bandwidth limits using Mbps values that you specify manually, while the second one - "Percentage of measured bandwidth" - lets you set bandwidth limits using percentage values. The latter puts limits based on the total bandwidth available on your PC, as measured by Windows 10.
For each bandwidth limiting options, you get the same two choices:
- "Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background" - set how much of your internet connection is used for downloading Windows 10 updates in the background.
- "Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the foreground" - set how much of your bandwidth is used for downloading Windows 10 updates while you have the Windows Update window open in front of you. You may want to set this to a higher value than the previous setting, so that updates are delivered faster when you actively search for updates.
Depending on which method you prefer, select it, and specify the Mbps bandwidth limits or the percentage limits you prefer.
TIP: Did you know that you can also choose when Windows 10 is allowed to install updates and when it can restart your PC to apply them? Check this guide to see how to configure all that: Set the Windows 10 update schedule and when it restarts the PC.
How to set an upload bandwidth limit for Windows 10 updates
Scrolling down further on the page, you get to see the Upload settings for the Windows Update bandwidth, which you can also configure as you prefer:
- "Limit how much bandwidth is used for uploading updates to other PCs on the internet" - if you set Delivery Optimization to download and upload Windows 10 updates from and to other PCs on the internet, this setting controls how much of your internet bandwidth is used for uploading data.
- Monthly upload limit - set the maximum amount of Windows 10 updates you want to upload to other PCs. The minimum value is 5 GB and the maximum 500 GB.
When you’re done setting everything up, you can close the Settings app. From now on, the bandwidth is used for updates according to your choices.
How to see how much bandwidth was used by Windows Update
A few days after enabling the settings discussed earlier, you can get back to Deliver Optimization and check how your bandwidth is used for Windows 10 updates. To do that, click or tap the Activity monitor link.
You see reports with download statistics and upload statistics, where you learn how many Windows 10 updates were downloaded in terms of GB and MB, from different sources: Microsoft, other PCs on the local network, and other PCs on the internet. You also see how many updates your Windows 10 PC has uploaded to others on the internet or the local network.
That was it!
What limits did you set for Windows 10 updates?
Now you know how to limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates, as well as for uploading updates in Windows 10. Before closing this tutorial, leave a comment below, and tell us what bandwidth limits you chose to set for your Windows 10 PC, laptop, or tablet.