While Windows 11 is a joy to use with an active internet connection, it can lead to an undesirable experience when you are dealing with a limited internet data plan at home or office. Here are the best ways to reduce data usage on Windows 11.
1. Enable Metered Connection
Once you enable metered connection for a Wi-Fi connection or ethernet connection, Windows will reduce data-heavy background tasks like Windows updates, app updates, and more.
Turn on metered connection for a Wi-Fi connection from Windows Settings and you are good to go.
Step 1: Open the Windows Settings app (use Windows + I keys).
Step 2: Go to Network & internet and open the connected network’s properties.
Step 3: Enable Metered connection toggle and close the app.
2. Add Data Limit
Windows 11 allows you to set data usage limits for a specific Wi-Fi or ethernet connection. Let’s say you are dealing with 50GB monthly data from your internet provider, you can set a 40GB – 45GB data limit for the network in Windows 11 settings.
Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: Launch Windows 11 Settings app and go to Network & internet menu.
Step 2: Open Advanced network settings.
Step 3: From more settings, select Data usage.
Step 4: Check your internet provider and click on Enter limit button.
Step 5: Add limit type, monthly reset date, and add data limit in MB or GB.
Hit the Save button and you are good to go. Windows will warn you when you are close to consuming a set data limit.
3. Pause Windows Updates
Automatic Windows updates are the biggest culprit for excessive data usage on Windows 11. We have heard so many horror stories of Windows downloading OS updates in the background consuming all internet data and bandwidth.
Based on user feedback, Microsoft has added an option to pause Windows updates for a certain time. Follow the steps below to use it.
Step 1: Open Windows Settings and go to the Windows Update menu.
Step 2: From more options, glance over Pause updates. Select 1-week to 5-week duration.
You can also go to Advanced options and disable Download updates over metered connections so that the OS doesn’t install OS updates when you set a certain connection as metered one.
4. Enable Archive Apps
When you enable the Archive apps option, Windows will save storage space and internet bandwidth for apps you don’t use frequently. The OS archives such apps in the background without affecting the files and stored data.
The next time you use an archived app, it will connect to the internet to restore the full version.
Step 1: Navigate to Windows Settings > Apps menu.
Step 2: Select Apps & features and open More settings.
Step 3: Go to Archive apps and enable the toggle.
5. Disable Background Apps
Some Windows apps allow you to disable background activities to decrease background activities, save battery, and reduce data usage in the background.
Step 1: Open Windows Settings and go to Apps > Apps & features menu.
Step 2: Find the data-hungry app from the list and click on the three-dot menu beside it.
Step 3: Open Advanced options.
Step 4: From Background apps permission, expand the menu and select Never.
Repeat the steps for all unnecessary apps and close the menu.
6. Disable Windows Apps Opening on Startup
When you have apps like Google Drive installed on Windows 11, they will automatically start at Windows 11 startup and sync files. The practice can lead to heavy data consumption in the background. Go through the steps below and disable apps opening at startup.
Step 1: Open Windows Settings and go to the Apps menu.
Step 2: Scroll down to Startup.
Step 3: Disable data-hungry apps from the list.
That practice will also result in a battery boost on your Windows 11 machine.
7. Disable Automatic App Updates on Microsoft Store
The first trick (metered connection one) already disables automatic apps updates on Windows 11. You can also manually go ahead and disable toggle from the Microsoft Store.
Step 1: Open redesigned Microsoft Store on Windows 11.
Step 2: Click on the profile picture at the top and open App Settings.
Step 3: Disable App Updates toggle.
Manage Data Usage on Windows 11
It’s no secret that Windows 11 can be quite data-hungry at times. If you are not careful, you can run out of monthly internet data in a couple of weeks only. The tricks above should help you apply brakes to data usage on Windows 11.