On Windows 10, there are special tools you can employ to track how much data you use. If your ISP has set a limit for you, then you have to ensure that you do not exceed the stated boundaries. Users often find it difficult to manage the setup they use to monitor their data because some input from them is usually required. Well, the new Windows update is a game changer.
With the Windows 10 April Update (version 1803), we know of a good number of improvements and upgrades that make the control or monitoring of data a lot easier for everybody. Finally—besides the ability to view and reset the counters which has been around for quite some time—you can now set data limits and background bandwidth restrictions.
The new capabilities are accessible for users who connect to the web both wirelessly (Wi-Fi) or through a wired setup (Ethernet).
After you finish going through the information contained in this guide, you will find it easy to view the data usage for your device and limit the data your system consumes to ensure that you do not exceed the set limits.
How to view data usage on Windows 10 PCs:
Windows always monitors the traffic and registers the necessary values for all the network adapters available on your device by default. If you want to see some information about the network data usage quickly, you must go through these steps:
- Press the Windows button on your keyboard or click on the Windows Start icon that is always visible on your desktop screen. From the list of programs and options that appear, click on Settings.
- After the program window shows up, you must click on Network and Internet. On the left pane, you should see a list of options or items. Locate Data Usage. Click on it.
- On the right pane or section, under Overview, you should see your current data usage from the last 30 days for each network adapter in your PC.
When you see the data consumption for individual apps or programs, you can click on the View usage per app link below the list of adapters. This way, you will find out the applications that are using up the most prominent part of your Internet resources. If you see anything weird, then you should move against the app fingered.
How to reset data usage on Windows 10 devices:
Microsoft designed Windows to reset its data usage statistics every 30 days automatically. In theory, the set period should be ideal for the most part. However, we understand that some users might decide to do away with it or alter its parameters because the information provided is useless when the schedule is not in line with the billing period of their internet plan.
If you want to get rid of the current setup and its content to reset the data counters, then you must go through these instructions at once:
- Press and hold the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter I key to launch the Settings app. After the program window appears on your screen, you must click on Network and Internet, which is one the items on the menu list.
- Now, click on Data Usage. Click on the View usage per app link you see. Open the drop-down menu under the Show usage from option to see a list of adapters to select. Now, choose the network adapter whose counter you intend to reset (select the Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter).
- Click on the Reset usage stats button under the adapter you selected. A small window or dialog box requesting confirmation for the action you initiated should come up. Click on the Reset button there to confirm the procedure.
Windows should now reset the data counter for the adapter you selected. If you employ the services of multiple adapters to connect to the Internet, then your system surely would have recorded the usage stats for each of them.
If you want to reset the counters for the other adapters, then you have to perform a similar operation on them—go through the steps outlined above once again, but this time you must select a different network adapter.
How to configure data usage limit on Windows 10:
If the internet plan you use is one with limited data usage, then you must not exceed the stated boundaries. You have to set limits for the wireless connection adapter (Wi-Fi) or adapter for the wired setup (Ethernet, for example) you use. This way, Windows 10 gets the necessary permissions it needs to monitor your data consumption and restrict unnecessary usage.
If you do everything right, your system will also show you some critical notifications, some of which will serve as reminders to help you avoid going beyond the limits of your plan. Here are the instructions you need to go through:
- Open the Settings app. We showed you how to do this using two different methods in the steps for the previous procedures. Scroll up and go through them again if necessary. After the program window comes up, click on Network and Internet.
- From the list of options available on the left pane, you must select Data Usage. Open the drop-down menu under the Show settings for option. Now you must choose the wireless or wired network adapter you want to place restrictions on from the list available.
- Under the description for the Data limit option, you should see the Set limit button. Click on it. Windows will allow you to select the kind of limit you intend to place on the selected adapter. As far as we know, the following options are usually available:
- One time
- After you have selected a limit type, Windows will ask you to specify some information on the work it needs to do. The data your system requests is dependent on the option you went with earlier. For example, if you chose the Monthly option as your limit type, then Windows will ask you to provide the following details:
- Monthly reset data: The values you input here help Windows understand when exactly it has to reset the data usage counter. We suggest you use the information from your billing cycle.
- Data limit: This part should be simple enough. Windows wants you to input your data allowance
- Unit: You have to tell Windows if the data limit you typed in is in Megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB).
- Go through the values you entered again to confirm that everything is in order. If you are sure of it all, click on the Save button to ensure that Windows registers the changes you just made.
If you followed our instructions and did everything correctly, then Windows will start monitoring the data usage on your device. It will also carry out several operations to limit the rate at which data is used up on your system.
For example, it will set the network adapter (of your choice) to metered, it might also pause OneDrive or severely reduce a good proportion of its activities, and so on. As time goes on, when you edge closer to the limit you provided, Windows will start displaying notifications to warn you of the coming event.
The good thing is that you can always go back to the Settings program menu you worked on anytime you like. You can check your current data use or find out the amount of data remaining. Windows will also show you the number of days left until it resets the data counter.
Note that you will still be able to use the Internet even after you exceed the set limit. Therefore, if you do want to incur extra charges resulting from the continual use of web services, then you must disconnect your PC from the network which data you have used up. Connect to a network that still has bandwidth available at the standard rates.
How to restrict background data to extreme levels?
If you are still tight on data, then you can go some steps further to limit the data usage for some functionalities or features or Windows 10. You can also cut off data for Microsoft Store applications. After all, you cannot do much with them if the restriction of data usage is your top priority.
Follow these instructions:
- Open the Settings app. After the program window comes up, navigate through the necessary menus and lists until you arrive at the Data Usage section. We showed you how to do this numerous times in the instructions for the previous fixes, so there is not much to see here.
- On the right pane, look for the Background data section or menu. Under the Limit what store apps and Windows features can do in the background, Windows will show you these three options to choose from:
- When I’m within 10% of my limit
Note that the first option is available only to users who already specified a data limit for their connection earlier.
How to change the parameters for the limits you set:
You are human, so it is understandable that you might change your mind on certain things. The data limit for the network adapter you set, for example. Perhaps you end up purchasing an upgraded plan, so you are now free to use more data than before.
Whatever happens, you need not worry as Windows allows you to edit the parameters you entered for the limit. In fact, you can also get rid of the setup entirely anytime you wish.
- All you have to is open the Settings program, go to the Data Usage menu, and locate the configuration you set under the Data limit menu. Click on the Edit button there if you want to make some changes.
- On the other hand, if you wish to get rid of the entire setup because you no longer need to monitor your data usage or restrict its consumption, then you must click on Remove limit button.
You can undo other changes in ways similar to the procedures above.
We have come to the end of this guide. If the knowledge here helped you in achieving your goal, then you will do well to worry about other things. We suggest that you download and run Auslogics BoostSpeed. The recommended program will help you carry out several PC optimization procedures to take your system’s performance up several levels.