Limit Windows Update Bandwidth for Background Downloads in Windows 10

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update introduces a new delivery optimization setting wherein you can throttle the Windows Update background downloads. Windows 10 by default dynamically optimizes the amount of bandwidth used to download (and upload) Windows and App updates. You can see the report in the Windows Update Activity Monitor page.

windows update activity monitor bandwidth
WU average download speeds for User-initiated & background downloads

You can see the bandwidth/download speed for user-initiated Windows Update download (10.4 Mbps) as well as background downloads (2.6 Mbps). It appears that Windows 10 by default uses only 25% of the total available bandwidth for background updates. If you want to further increase or decrease the bandwidth used for downloading background updates, you can set it via the Advanced Options.

Limit Bandwith for Background Windows Updates & App Updates

1. Click Start, Settings, Update & Security

2. Click Windows Update

3. Click Advanced Options

4. Click Delivery Optimization

(To view the Windows Update activity monitor, click the Activity monitor option in that page)

5. Click Advanced Options

windows update bandwidth limit background updates
Limit bandwidth for background Windows updates and App updates

6. In the Advanced Options page, enable the Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background checkbox.

7. Set the bandwidth limit by moving the slider.

The bandwidth limit may be applicable for Windows Store automatic App updates as well.

Upload settings: Throttling Upload bandwidth and setting threshold

As you see in that page, you can control the “Upload” bandwidth and set a Monthly upload limit. When this threshold is reached, your system will stop uploading updates to other PCs on the Internet. Note that the “upload” settings apply if you’ve enabled Allow downloads from other PCs option in Windows Update Delivery Optimization page.

The “Allow downloads..” setting when enabled, sends parts of previously downloaded Windows updates and apps to PC on your local network or on the Internet (depending upon the option you opted for). Refer Windows Update Delivery Optimization page for more information.

Some program still eating my internet bandwidth?

When your internet is painfully slow, know that some program is eating away the bandwidth without your consent. You can fire up the native Resource Monitor utility to identify the culprit. See Which Program is Using all of Your Internet Bandwidth? Use Resource Monitor to Find it.

Resource Monitor - monitor internet bandwidth usage
Resource Monitor: Track internet usage by Apps

With Windows Update bandwidth throttling in place, most likely the culprit will not be Windows 10.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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