How to limit data consumption on Windows?

Surfing the Internet, watching videos on YouTube, and downloading our favorite titles consumes a lot of data. Of course, if you have unlimited high-speed or fiber internet access, that’s not a major issue. However, if you plan to travel and use a capped data plan, keep an eye on how much data you’ve already used. To help you in this quest, we’ll show you how you can check and limit your data usage on your Windows PC.

How to view your data usage on Windows?

Windows 10 and 11 PCs have a built-in tool to control data usage. It allows you to accurately check how much data you have used in the last 30 days.

To find out how much data your system is using, go to Settings > Network & Internet. Click on State in the left pane menu. Windows displays your data usage next to your network connection.

For more details, click on the button Data usage. In the new window, you can see a list of apps with the amount of data used by each of them.

Now it’s time to limit the data consumption on your computer. There are several methods to do this. We show you 6 of them, which you can check out below.

Enable connection limit

The most effective way to reduce data consumption is to limit it. To do this, you can activate the connection limitation in Windows 10. This will suspend the update of certain applications in your computer. Here’s how to enable connection limit:

Access to Settings in the Start menu or by pressing Win + I

Go to Network and Internet > Properties.

Scroll your mouse to Limited connection. Then turn on the toggle switch under Set as metered connection.

Set a data usage limit

If you have a limited connection, you can set a data limit for the Ethernet or Wi-Fi network. Windows will issue a notification when you approach it.

To do this, head to Settings from your computer. Go into Network and Internet.

In the menu on the right, click on Data usage. Then, in the new window, click the button Enter a limit.

Here you can limit your data usage as you wish. You have a wide choice of limitation. For example, you can set a limit every month or for a specific period. You can also enter a data limit value, in MB or GB. Once you have everything set up, click on Record.

Record web browsing data

Much of your data consumption comes from your web browsing. In order to limit your consumption during your searches on the Internet, remember to save your browsing data. To do this, use a browser with a proxy compression feature. The data will pass through other servers, where it will be compressed before arriving on your PC.

Of course, this feature is not available on your regular web browsers. You must then install a browser extension. For example, you can use Data Saver for Google Chrome or turbo-mode for Opera.

Stop automatic Microsoft app updates

By limiting data consumption on your PC, Windows will automatically stop installing new app updates. However, you will need to re-enable the feature each time you connect to a new network. To avoid this back and forth, here is a more effective way:

Open the app Microsoft Store through the Start menu.

Click on your profile in the upper right corner and select Settings.

Disable the toggle under Update apps automatically.

We recommend doing this even if you haven’t installed any apps from the store. Most apps built into Windows 10 are updated through the Microsoft Store, so consider disabling them.

Pause Windows Automatic Updates

This tip is useful when using an Internet connection with a low data cap. To suspend automatic Windows updates, here is how you do it:

Open menu Settings. Click on Updates & Security > Advanced options.

Then go to the Pause updates section and click on Advanced options. Scroll down to the section Pause updates and select the deadline from the drop-down menu.

Note: You can pause the update for up to 35 days. After 35 days, your system updates automatically.

Manage background apps

In Windows, there are applications that use a lot of data without you even using them. You can then prevent them from running in the background. Follow these steps to manage apps that can consume data:

Go to Settings > Privacy.

In the left pane, scroll down to the section App permissions and select Background apps.

Turn off the toggle switch under Allow apps to run in the background.

You can also manage apps individually. To do this, check the list of background apps and disable the ones you don’t need or the ones that use too much data. This way, you can continue using important apps without interruption.

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