Enable Metered Connections In Windows 8/8.1/10 To Save Internet Bandwidth

Metered connections is one of the features of Windows 8 which was not present in Windows 7 or earlier Operating Systems. This setting has been a life saver for me several times. Through metered connection, I can choose whether Windows system should use the Internet resources or not. We can limit the Internet bandwidth used by Windows 8 or later Operating Systems through metered connection settings.

If you are a power user, you must have seen a process svchost.exe (netsvcs) using your Internet bandwidth. This may be stopped by setting your connection as a metered connection in Windows.

What does a metered connection do?

A metered connection will restrict applications from using extra Internet bandwidth. It especially does the following:

  • Windows Update will only download priority updates.
  • Apps downloading from Windows Store will be paused.
  • Start Screen tiles will stop updating live data from the Internet.
  • Offline files will not synchronize automatically through the Internet.

Setting a Metered connection in Windows 8/8.1/10

Configuration settings of metered connections are almost the same in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The screenshots in this article are taken on a Windows 8 PC.

Setting a network connection in Windows 8 as metered connection is pretty easy. Just follow the step by step information given below:

  1. Go to the Charms bar (Windows Key + i)
  2. Select Change PC Settings
    Metered Connection - Change PC Settings
  3. Select Network from the left hand menu
    Metered Connection - Network Settings
  4. You will get a list of network connections on the right hand pane. Select the connection you want to change to metered connection
    Metered Connection - Select Network Connection
  5. Set the “Set as metered connection” setting to On.
    Metered Connection - Set as metered connection

To disable the metered connection setting on any network connection, just follow the same steps and at the last step, just set the metered connection setting to off.

Please note that Ethernet networks can’t be set as metered connections. You will need to have a wireless connection to set it as a metered connection.

Disable synchronization and device updates under a metered connection

There are a few settings you can configure to save more bandwidth than the default settings.

Disable OneDrive Sync Settings

Windows 8 or above have Microsoft OneDrive integrated into the Operating System. So OneDrive always keeps on synchronizing data which consumes a considerable amount of bandwidth. You may turn it off by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Charms bar –> Settings (Windows Key + i) –> Change PC Settings
  2. Select OneDrive from the left side menu and then select Metered Connections from the left side menu
  3. On the right hand pane, under Sync settings, turn both settings to off.
    Metered Connection - OneDrive Settings

Turn off device updates

Turning off device updates will prevent Windows from downloading information for new device drivers and updating the drivers on a metered connection.

  1. Go to Charms bar –> Settings (Windows Key + i) –> Change PC Settings
  2. Select PC and Devices from the left side menu
  3. Select Devices and make sure Download over metered connections is set to off.
    Metered Connection - Change Device Settings

Disable Search Suggestions and Bing Search Results

If you use Windows Search in Windows 8 or above, you will notice that it is powered by Bing as you’ll get web results along with the local search results. You can turn this search feature off on metered connections.

  1. Go to Charms bar –> Settings (Windows Key + i) –> Change PC Settings
  2. Select Search and Apps from the left side menu
  3. Select Search from the left side menu and turn off both settings under Metered Connections
    Metered Connection - Change Bing Search settings

Tracking data usage on a metered connection

Windows provides a very basic calculation on data usage over a metered connection. It will only list down the amount of data that has been downloaded and uploaded over the connection. If you want more details, I recommend a free utility called NetWorx which gives a lot of information as well as simple upload and download data usage.

To turn on tracking of data usage on a metered connection, do the following:

  1. Click or tap on Network Connections icon in the system tray
  2. Right click the network you want and select Show Estimated Data Usage
    Metered Connection - Show estimated data usage
  3. Left clicking on the network will show you the estimated data usage
    Metered Connection - Estimated data usage

I hope I have covered most of the settings of Metered Connections in Windows. If I have missed anything or you have any suggestions, we are always open on discussions in the comments below.

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8 thoughts on “Enable Metered Connections In Windows 8/8.1/10 To Save Internet Bandwidth”

  1. Sir

    I recently started using D-Link DWR-910 4G USB router.

    I use it with my Toshiba laptop. I use a prepaid Airtel SIM card with it. It works well.

    My only complaint is that I cannot check data usage.

    The EZFI app does not work for PCs and laptops. It works only for smartphones.

    I downloaded third-party softwares like Cucusoft Netguard and ISP monitor. These too do not work.

    I use Windows 8.1. The connection that I have is “Ethernet Connection” and therefore, I cannot check data usage. Ethernet connections cannot be set as a metered connections in Windows 8.1.

    I would be grateful if you told me of any software which would work with D-Link DWR-910 (for laptop) on Ethernet connection so that I could check my data usage.

  2. I was using windows 8, but since I formatted my system and install windows 8.1 pro. I experienced high rate of Data charges, I off almost all network services, windows update off, install anitivirus disable background intelligent transfer services, but yet the charges are still high, I lost 2.6G just to open a web pages within 2 days, I think I try all possible ways, yet the data is consuming high, if I just open a page… after 30 secs 39MB will go. I try the information above yet no success, what should I do next?

  3. I’m using windows 10. I don’t even have the metered connection option on the page either under “Wifi’ or ‘Data usage’ or any other, I’m paying very expensively for data and the auto downloads is too expensive for me to manage

  4. I have win 10 upgrade and a really slow internet connection. Its arrogance for Win to assume the world is on fast internet and so they force everyone to auto update so of us physically cant operate like that. I cant find any of the above options to make my LAN internet connection metered so the internet for me is essentially dead cause win 10 is constantly downloading what are for me huge patches to their OS grrrrrrrrrr It may be back to 8.1 for me – with much hassle

  5. I dont know whats happening with my pc. I have 8.1 but it automatically turned all connections to metered and with the whole pc being metered it cant scan for wireless connection. I have followed these steps but nothing major changed. Guess ill just go to best buy…

  6. Everytime I click to turn the it “on” to allow download for metered connection, it won’t stay. When I go back to the setting, it’s back at the “off” position. How can I fix this? I’m unable to install my updates because of it.

  7. For what asinine reason can’t an Ethernet connection be set as metered? It’s still costing me money the same as if I connected via wireless using the same data quota. Unbelievable. Only Microsoft could come up with that. This shouldn’t even be relevant, except Microsoft wants to track everything you do in real-time. I’m amazed that the install process doesn’t request that M$ can stick a microscopic camera into your bodily orifii, which of course, would be on by default.

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