7 ways to reduce the amount of data used by your Windows 10 PC

7 ways to reduce the amount of data used by your Windows 10 PC

A Windows 10 PC connected to the Internet helps you get the most out of your computer. However, it comes at a cost because Windows 10 is naturally quite a data-intensive operating system. If you are using a limited or capped data plan to access the Internet on your PC, you may want to monitor and reduce the amount of data consumed by the Windows 10 operating system. This is why we have listed seven (7) different ways to do this in this post.

Even if you don’t have a limited internet plan, these methods are useful. In addition, it is time for you to notice that your Windows 10 PC is consuming too much data than usual. So, to use your Internet plan wisely, you should also reduce data usage on your Windows 10 computer using the tips below.

1. Establish a measured connection

One of the easiest ways to make your Windows 10 computer use less data than it normally would be is to measure your Internet connection. On a measured network, your Windows computer will suspend certain data-consuming activities such as the automatic download of Windows updates, automatic application updates, Start menu tile updatesand a few other functions that consume data in the background.

Here’s how to easily establish your Internet connection on any Windows 10 computer.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu.

2nd step: Select the “Network and Internet” option.

Step 3: In the Status section, Windows will show you the network to which your PC is currently connected (may be Wi-Fi or Ethernet). To change the status of the network to a meter, press the “Modify network properties” option.

Step 4: Scroll down to the Measured connection section and if the “Define as measured connection” option is deactivated. Turn it on.

And that’s all. Your connection is now measured.

2. Set the data limit

For Internet plan users with limited bandwidth, setting the amount of data you want to use on your PC is a great way to reduce data usage. Suppose that the data bandwidth of your Internet plan is limited to 20 GB and that you do not want your PC to use more than 2 GB per week. You can therefore set a weekly data limit of 2 GB on your computer. This way, you have full control over your PC’s data usage.

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Before setting a data limit, configuring your custom PC connection (check method # 1 above) could further help reduce data usage. Now let’s see how to set a data limit on your Windows 10 computer.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu.

2nd step: Select the “Network and Internet” option.

Step 3: In the left section, tap Data usage.

Step 4: In the Data Limit section, press the Set Limit button.

Note: Make sure that the active Internet connection (on which you want to reduce data usage) is selected in the “Show settings for” section.

Step 5: Choose the type of data limit you want to set. In Windows 10, you can only set monthly, one-time, or unlimited data limits.

For each data limit, select the type of limit, the reset date, and the data limit unit (MB or GB).

Step 6: When you have finished configuring the data limit according to your preferences, tap Save.

When you have reached the defined data limit, your computer will notify you. You can either readjust the data limit or delete it entirely. Go to Settings> Network & Internet> Data usage to change or delete a data limit.

3. Restrict background data

By default, the Windows 10 operating system is designed to use your Internet data to install and update certain Windows Store apps. Unless restricted, these background app updates could consume a large portion of your (limited) Internet plan. Follow the steps below to limit the use of background data on your Windows 10 computer.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu.

2nd step: Select “Network and Internet”.

Step 3: In the left section, tap Data usage.

Step 4: Scroll down to the Background data section and select Never to restrict the background use of data by the Windows Store.

Alternatively, if an active data limit is set on your computer, you can restrict the use of background data when you reach 10% of your data limit.

4. Disable background applications

The Windows 10 operating system allows some apps to run in the background, even when the apps are closed, and you’re not using them. Not only do some of these applications (with permission to run in the background) silently consume your Internet bandwidth, but they also drain your PC battery faster than usual.

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If you’re looking to keep data usage on your Windows PC to a minimum, one thing to do is to disable background apps or reduce the number of apps running in the background. Here’s how.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu.

2nd step: Select Confidentiality.

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the left section and select Background Applications.

Step 4: Tap the “Let apps run in the background” option to turn it off and turn off apps in the background.

Alternatively, you can disable certain applications from running in the background. In this way, the functioning of the relevant applications will not be disturbed.

Step 5: Scroll down to “Choose which apps can run in the background” and turn off the apps you don’t want running in the background.

5. Disable synchronization of parameters

When you connect your Microsoft account to your PC, the Windows 10 operating system synchronizes the PC settings (and other configurations) with the other computers on which you have the Microsoft account. Although it’s a nifty feature, it consumes your data, and you probably don’t need to have it at all times.

To save data, you must deactivate this parameter and activate it only when you have to synchronize your parameters with other devices. Here’s how.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu.

2nd step: Select Accounts.

Step 3: Click on the “Synchronize your settings” option.

Step 4: Disable the Synchronization settings option.

6. Disable automatic update from Microsoft Store

On each Windows 10 PC, the default Windows app or apps that you manually install from the Microsoft Store are set to be updated automatically as soon as a new version is available. While automatic application updates have their benefits, they are bad for your limited Internet / data plan. Although measuring your Internet connection temporarily stops these automatic application updates, you can (and should) also turn off automatic update directly in the Microsoft Store.

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Here’s how.

Step 1: Launch the Microsoft Store on your PC.

2nd step: On the home page, tap the three-dot menu icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Then select Settings.

Step 4: Disable the “Update apps automatically” option.

7. Pause Windows Updates

Windows updates are important; they fix bugs and generally help your PC run better. However, these updates are huge (in terms of size) and could be a data pig, especially if you are on a limited data / internet plan. A good way to reduce the use of data related to the Windows update of your PC is to suspend the update until a later date, preferably when you have access to an uncapped wireless or Ethernet network. Follow the steps below to see how it is done.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu on your PC.

2nd step: Select the “Updates and Security” option.

Step 3: On the Windows Update page, select “Advanced Options” in the right pane.

Step 4: In the Update pause section, press Pause until the drop-down button to select the date on which you want to postpone the automatic download and installation of Windows updates.

Note: The maximum time that you can temporarily suspend Windows updates on your computer is 35 days. After this period, your computer will resume automatic downloading of Windows updates until you stop it again.


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