Limiting Bandwidth for Updates

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2020)

The Windows operating system, that our computers use, takes up a large amount of disk space. When an update comes out it usually means that a large file needs to be downloaded to your system. In the past, downloading updates could easily take all of your available bandwidth, often resulting in a poor experience while still trying to perform other online tasks.

The new Windows 10 May 2020, or 20H1 update, however, attempts to fix this. The update expands on previous attempts to limit the impact caused by installing updates. The update provides a method to limit the amount of bandwidth an update can use.

To limit the bandwidth that your computer will use or allocate for downloading updates, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key and type (without quotes) "Delivery Optimization" then press Enter. Windows displays the Delivery Optimization section of the Update & Security section of the Settings dialog box.
  2. Under "Absolute Bandwidth" check the first checkbox next to "Limit How Much Bandwidth is Used for Downloading Updates in the Background." This activates the input field underneath the checkbox.
  3. Using the input field, enter the desired cap limit you wish to set for your computer to use when downloading in the background (while using other programs).
  4. Check the second checkbox for "Limit How Much Bandwidth is Used for Downloading Updates in the Foreground." As with Step 2, this will activate an input field directly below.
  5. Enter the desired limit for when you are downloading in the foreground. Typically, you would set this number to be higher than the setting made in step 3. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. Download Settings options within the Advanced Options section of the Settings dialog box.

  7. Close the Settings Window, your changes will take effect immediately.

Keep in mind that these numbers are for Megabits per second (Mbps) not Megabytes (MBps). Your internet speeds are typically referred to as Megabits (Mbps), so this number should be somewhat familiar. The lower Mbps you enter, the longer the update downloads will take. So, if you set your cap at 3 Mbps, a 1 GB update will take approximately 44 minutes to download. A lower Mbps will free up bandwidth for other online activities you may be using, such as video streaming or online gaming, while downloading an update. Keep in mind that entering a number higher than a speed your ISP offers does not mean that your updates will download faster than your ISP offers.

By setting a limit or cap on how much of your bandwidth can be used for updates, you stay in control of your bandwidth when you might need it for other activities.

 This tip (13769) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

MORE FROM ERIC

Search a Website Using the Run Dialog Box

The Run dialog box allows you to quickly run a search on a website that offers a search function. Performing web searches ...

Discover More

Getting Cortana to Listen to You

Talking to your computer can save you time and help get you the information you need faster. With the proper setup you ...

Discover More

Windows Key Shortcut List

Windows includes many combination keystrokes referred to as shortcuts. Knowing keyboard shortcuts can shorten the amount ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Improve Performance by Turning Off 3D Effects

Windows does a lot of nuancing to provide the user with a pleasing visual experience. All this attention to detail, ...

Discover More

Camera Privacy

Your computer's camera allows you to connect with people in engaging ways. Whether used to login to your computer or for ...

Discover More

Specifying a Screen Orientation

The orientation of your screen is not limited to the default orientation when you connect it to your computer. You can ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.