Prevent Windows 10 Updates while using Mobile Data

Last week, I got a support call from my uncle who was using a SIM I lent him. He had charged the SIM for one of those 1GB per day plans. Halfway through the day, he got a message that the 1GB data quota was over and he was getting charged for the internet usage. He just connected the laptop via a hotspot connection on the mobile and downloaded a few emails, but the 1GB quota just vanished.

The Mystery of the Missing Data

I asked him if he was using a laptop which runs Windows 10 and that guess was correct.

Did you know that Windows 10 these days downloads updates in the background without prompts?  Most probably, that’s what ate up a whole chunk of data from the mobile data quota. Unlike in earlier version, Windows 10 these days don’t ask you before downloading updates.

So if you’re travelling and using data from your mobile connection to connect the laptop to the internet, you have to be careful, or you may end up with a massive data bill if you’re on a roaming data plan.

If Windows automatically downloads these updates, what do you do?

Hint in the Updates Settings Page

Windows seems to be telling us that on metered connections, they’ll download only limited updates which save you precious bandwidth on Wifi connections which are “metered”.

Setup Metered Wifi

All you have to do is to go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wifi and select the Wifi Connection you want to set as metered and go to the properties of that Wifi Connection. Scroll down till you see Set as Metered connection toggle switch and turn it on. This setting will tell Windows not to use this Wifi connection to download non-critical updates.

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So if you’re using one of those hotel or airport internet connections which limit the amount of data you can use, or the data from your mobile using a Wifi Hotspot, set those as metered connections.

If you have any other hints on how this can be done, do leave a message and share your tip.

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