Windows 10

Windows 10 Tip: Metered Network Connections

Author avatar - Russell Smith

Russell Smith


Windows 10 Hero Good

In today’s Ask the Admin, I’ll show you how to manually designate a Wi-Fi network as a metered connection.


I recently found myself having to use a capped Internet connection while I was renting an apartment in Warsaw. Now while 25GB a week ought to be sufficient for the majority of people, because I work from home most of the time, it could be that I would quickly reach the limit and then be forced to work with a reduced download speed of 5MB/sec.

To preserve as much data as I could, I decided to designate the Wi-Fi connection profile as metered, which prevents Windows from downloading updates from Microsoft and from performing other bandwidth-intensive operations. Metered Wi-Fi connections can also come in handy when you simply have an unreliable or slow connection, so you can prevent Windows from performing any bandwidth-hogging activities in the background.

According to Microsoft’s website, a metered connection may limit the amount of data that apps can download, and that you might notice the following changes in OS behavior:

  • Windows Update will only download priority updates.
  • Apps downloading from the Windows Store might be paused.
  • Start screen tiles might stop updating.
  • Offline files might not sync automatically.

Under certain circumstances, Windows 10 is able to automatically determine whether a Wi-Fi network should be metered, such as when connecting to a mobile hotspot. Applications can also be made aware that the device is using a metered connection, although the only example I’ve seen of this is Outlook 2016, which when a metered network is detected will prompt you before updating your Inbox.


Set a Metered Connection

Follow the instructions below to set a Wi-Fi connection as metered in Windows 10.

  • Log in to Windows 10 with an administrator account. Note that you cannot start the Settings app using Run as from a standard user account.
  • Open the Settings app from the Start menu.
  • In the Settings app, click Network and Internet.
  • Make sure that Wi-Fi is selected in the top left of the Settings app.
Set a metered network connection in Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

Set a metered network connection in Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

  • On the right, click the active Wi-Fi network that you’d like to set as metered, and then click Advanced options at the bottom of the list of available networks.
  • On the Wi-Fi screen, set the slider under Set as metered connection to On.
  • Close the Settings app.

Windows 10 currently only supports the ability to set Wi-Fi networks as metered connections. This feature doesn’t apply to wired Ethernet network connections.

Log in to save content to your profile.




Article saved!

Access saved content from your profile page. View Saved