How to set a metered connection in Windows 10

What is a metered connection?

A metered connection is a network connection that has a limited data usage. In the modern day, metered connections are mostly used when referring to smartphones and mobile devices that have a cellular connection using data.

What kind of connections can be set as metered, in Windows 10?

In Windows 10, you can set any network connection as metered, not only cellular ones. When the initial version of Windows 10 was released, you could set only wireless network connections to be metered. However, since 2017, you can also configure Ethernet connections as metered.

What happens in Windows 10, when a network connection is set as metered?

When you set your active network connection as metered in Windows 10, the following is what happens:

  • App tiles on the Start Menu may not update themselves automatically.
  • Apps from the Microsoft Store are no longer automatically updated.
  • Apps may behave differently. Depending on the apps that you are using, some may stop downloading data in the background or update their data less often. For example, OneDrive stops automatically synchronizing your files in the background, to save on bandwidth costs.
  • The peer-to-peer download of Windows updates is disabled.
  • Windows Update stops downloading most updates. Only the critical ones are automatically downloaded and installed. Instead, you get a Download button which you can use when you want to install all the updates.

How to set a wireless network connection as metered, in Windows 10

  • Press the Windows key and select the Settings gear icon.
  • Select Network & Internet.
  • Select WiFi in the left pane, then select Manage known networks.
  • Select the name of the network you want to manage, then select Properties underneath.
  • Select the toggle switch under Set as metered connection to turn it On.

To disable a metered connection, repeat the steps above and select the switch again to turn it Off.

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