3/14/2017

Prevent Windows 10 From Using Too Much Data Bandwidth and Disable Windows Updates

If you recently opted in for Windows 10 and you are on an internet plan that doesn't allow you to freely have your operating system use for things that you do not even want it to then it will be a very difficult task for you to identify what's using up so much network data. In this post I will tell you simple ways in which I reduced my bandwidth that was being used in background by Windows 10 by 99.9%!


First we have to identify what can be using so much data bandwidth, number one reason is Windows Update, but Windows 10 doesn't give you any option to disable Windows updates from automatically being downloaded.

Disabling Windows 10 Automatic Update Download  

I am using Windows 10 Pro and the steps below are only for Windows 10 Pro and above i.e it isn't applicable for Windows 10 Home. 

There are three tasks that you have to follow to totally disable Windows Updates

1) Disable Downloading / Uploading Updates from Windows 10 Settings

  1. Open Start
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Go to Update & Security > Windows Update
  4. Click on "Advanced Options" > Choose the least automatic update favorable option, anyways this option is not going to make any difference. 
  5. It is important to know that Windows 10 not only downloads updates but by default it also uploads the update files to other Windows 10 computers via internet like a P2P Torrent client. So here, click on "Choose how updates are delivered" and turn it off .
That's it for the settings menu. This wouldn't actually stop automatic updates, so move onto the next part. 

2) Disable Updates from the Group Policy Editor

Group Policies are set of different variables that controls various parts of Windows' system, simple options gives you the control over entire system. Note that you have to be logged in as an administrator, a general user cannot do it. 

  1. Press Windows Key+R and type gpedit.msc , press enter.

  2. When the Group Policy Editor windows opens, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components

  3. Double-Click on Windows Update and it will bring up a new screen with the options as mentioned below (note that "Enabled" next to "Configure automatic updates" is because I have it configured already, yours will say "Not configured")

  4. Double click on "Configure Automatic Updates" and a new window will appear.

  5. First select "Enabled" as above in the screenshot, then in the box under "Options" choose "2 - Notify for download and notify for install"

  6. And press OK.
That's it. Now updates wouldn't download at all, you will be notified for downloading it but you can ignore. 

Turning off Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 

Even if you have disabled updates you will notice that Windows 10 is still using a lot of data. In Windows' resource monitor you can always see that svchost.exe or Service Host:Local Process is always using significant amount of network resource.

That data is used by a background service known as Background Intelligent Transfer Service, you may not need it if you do not need it, it may not affect your Windows experience so turning it off is not a disadvantage. 

  1. Open Run window, press Windows Key + R
  2. Enter services.msc in the Run window and hit enter

  3. The "Services" window will open which lists all the services and its settings.

  4. Right click on "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" and select "Stop"
  5. Now once it is stopped, again right click on "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" and choose "Properties"

  6. Next to "Start-up type" choose "Disabled" and click OK. 

Making Sure It Uses Even Less Data 

There are also some other options in the services.msc option that you may like to disable so you are sure it uses as much less data as it can. 

The names of those services are as follows - Windows Update, Windows Search, Windows Store Service, Windows Error Reporting Services.

Please do read the definition carefully before disabling it. The procedure is same as above. 

Doing this should reduce the data usage significantly. Before making these changes my 3G data card was using 300MB in 10 minutes or less which is not good for a connection with FUPs. 



Deepak Kamat Blogger Guwahati
POSTED BY

He is a web designer and deveveloper by profession but loves to write about his city and interesting acitvities going on in it.

Writes small stories from small places in Guwahati and tries to help develop it with his blog.

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