How To Disable Peer-To-Peer Updates/ Delivery Optimization To Save Bandwidth In Windows 11/10

Since the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has been focusing on keeping the operating system up to date with the latest features as well as installing security patches to mitigate vulnerability exploitation. Each month, Microsoft publishes Windows updates on the second Tuesday (Patch Tuesday – Type B updates) for its supported operating systems.

A similar model has also been adopted for the Windows 11 operating system.

This causes a lot of network traffic and bandwidth consumption for Microsoft servers. This is where the Windows feature called “Delivery Optimization” comes into play, also known as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) updates, which proves to be beneficial for Microsoft, but costs the end-user their internet bandwidth, resulting in slow internet speeds.

You can disable this feature on your Windows 11/10 computer to save network bandwidth and increase internet speed.

What is Delivery Optimization

Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with a feature called “Delivery Optimization.” When attempting to install an update for a Microsoft product, the Delivery Optimization feature first searches for similar updates available on your neighboring devices, such as other computers on your network. If the same update is found, it downloads the update from the peer computer rather than downloading it from Microsoft’s server directly.

The Delivery Optimization feature will have the same effect on the PC downloading the update – since it will e downloading the update from either source – the peering PC who will be uploading the update package will consume more network bandwidth unknowingly.

Delivery Optimization can be configured in 2 settings:

  • Devices on my local network: Where updates are only searched on other computers on the same network.
  • Devices on the internet and my local network: Where updates are searched on other computers on your network as well as on the neighboring networks on the internet.

By default, Delivery Optimization is enabled in Windows with permission to only search the local network for Microsoft updates.

Thankfully, Microsoft has given you the option to disable and manage Delivery Optimization to prevent the updates from choking your network bandwidth. Continue reading to learn how to do it.

How to Disable Delivery Optimization in Windows

Perform the following steps to disable Delivery Optimization:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    • In Windows 11:

      Settings app >> Windows Update >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization
    • In Windows 10:

      Settings app >> Update & Security >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization
  2. Toggle the slider in front of “Allow downloads from other PCs” into the off position to disable Delivery Optimization.

    Disable Delivery Optimization
    Disable Delivery Optimization

This will now prevent Windows from downloading updates from non-Microsoft sources, which includes the peering computers on your network.

If you want to keep Delivery Optimization enabled, then we suggest that you keep it on the default settings which are limited to only your network. This will keep the downloading fast within your network and not affect your internet bandwidth. To do so, keep the slider in front of “Allow downloads from other PCs” in the On position and select the “Devices on my local network” radio button under it.

Allow downloads from local devices only
Allow downloads from local devices only

How to Limit Windows Update Bandwidth using Delivery Optimization

If you are not in favor of entirely disabling the peer-to-peer updates feature, you can also control it so that it does not choke up your entire bandwidth.

  1. Navigate to the following:

    • In Windows 11:

      Settings app >> Windows Update >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization >> Advanced Options
    • In Windows 10:

      Settings app >> Update & Security >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization >> Advanced options
  2. From here, you can choose whether you want to manage the absolute bandwidth (in Mbps) or the percentage of the total update size.

    Manage absolute or percentage bandwidth
    Manage absolute or percentage bandwidth
  3. When selected, check the boxes below the option to control the upload or download bandwidth (or both), and then enter the values that you think will suit your situation.

    Manage upload and download bandwidth for Deivery Optimization
    Manage upload and download bandwidth for Delivery Optimization
  4. Now scroll down and manage the upload settings where you can set upload limits for percentage bandwidth used to send out updates, as well as a monthly upload limit.

    Manage upload limits
    Manage upload limits

You can also monitor your bandwidth consumption by the Delivery Optimization feature on the Activity Monitor Settings page. Here, you can get a graphical representation of the consumed bandwidth from uploading and downloading updates.

The “Activity monitor” Settings page can be found at the following location:

  • In Windows 11:

    Settings app >> Windows Update >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization >> Activity Monitor
  • In Windows 10:

    Settings app >> Update & Security >> Advanced Options >> Delivery Optimization >> Activity Monitor
Activity monitor
Activity monitor Settings page

Closing Words

If you are experiencing issues with your internet speeds, we recommend that you disable P2P updates at least temporarily. Background updates can often consume significant amounts of bandwidth, thus hindering internet browsing and other downloads.

Other than that, as per Microsoft, you do not need to worry about your privacy protection as Delivery Optimization does not send any of your personal data.

Delivery Optimization can’t be used to download or send personal content. Delivery Optimization doesn’t access your personal files or folders, and it doesn’t change any files on your PC.

Microsoft

However, if you are still skeptical about your privacy concerns, then you have another reason to turn off Delivery Optimization.

To learn more about what types of updates are downloaded by Delivery Optimization, refer to this Microsoft guide post.

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