Whether you’re using a mobile data connection or you just want to control how your automatic updates are being downloaded, you need to control your Internet connection. Thankfully, Microsoft offers that ability, by allowing you to set up a metered connection in Windows 10.

For some types of connections, it is essential to use a metered connection to control your Internet usage. You might be using a connection with a bandwidth cap, or a smartphone or mobile hotspot.

In addition, satellite Internet connections, and dial-up connections work better when you set up a metered connection. This gives you more control over your connection and prevents Windows from suck up bandwidth.

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of setting up a metered connection in Windows 10. Moreover, we will analyze what happens when you set up a metered connection.

What setting up a metered connection does

Setting a connection as metered saves valuable bandwidth in several ways. More importantly, it prevents Windows from automatically using your Internet connection to download several gigabytes of updates.

Here is what setting up a metered connection does:

  • With a metered connection Windows 10 disables automatic downloads of most Windows updates: With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft gave Windows Update permission to download critical security updates even if your connection is marked as metered. Apart from that, Windows will not download any other Windows updates when you are connected to a metered connection.
  • A metered connection in Windows 10 disables automatic downloads of app updates: The Windows Store will not automatically update your “Store” applications on metered connections.
  • Tiles may not update: Microsoft says that the Live Tiles on the Start menu or the Start screen “may” not update on a metered connection in Windows 10.
  • Disables p2p uploading of updates: When working on a metered connection, Windows 10 will not use bandwidth to share updates with PCs over the Internet.
  • Other apps may behave differently: Apps, especially those from the Windows Store, may read this setting and act differently. For example, the BitTorrent client may stop downloading when connected to a metered connection.

However, the OneDrive client in Windows 10 will sync over metered connections, ignoring the setting. You can limit the allowed transfer speed of OneDrive from within the app. Here is how to do that:

  • Left click on the OneDrive icon in the tray
  • Click “Settings
  • Go to the “Network” tab
  • Select “Limit to” on upload and/or download rate and set your preferred speed

How to set up an Ethernet metered connection in Windows 10

Of course, there are two possible types of metered connections in Windows 10: Ethernet and Wi-Fi. To set up an Ethernet metered connection follow these steps:

  • Go to “Settings
  • Click “Network & Internet
  • Select “Ethernet
  • Activate the “Set as metered connection” option for the network you’re connected to

Note that this will only set up a metered connection for the specific Ethernet connection. If you connect to another Ethernet Internet connection that your computer has access to, you will have to set this connection as metered from scratch.

How to set up a Wi-Fi metered connection in Windows 10

Like Ethernet metered connections, Wi-Fi metered connections are easy to set up. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Go to “Settings
  • Click “Network & Internet
  • Select “Wi-Fi
  • Activate the “Set as metered connection” option for the network you’re connected to

Alternatively, you can just click on the connection icon in the tray, right-click on your connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and select “Set as metered connection”.