Metered Internet connections: FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about metered Internet connections. If your Internet service provider charges you for the amount of data that you use, you may find this information useful.


Internet service providers can charge by data used (the amount of data sent and received by your PC). That's called ametered Internet connection. These plans often have a data limit, and if you exceed the limit you might have to pay extra. In some cases, you aren't charged extra but your connection speed becomes slower until the billing cycle ends.

If you have a metered Internet connection, setting your network connection to metered in Windows can help you reduce the amount of data you send and receive.      


It depends on whether your Internet service provider charges you by the amount of data you use. Some general guidelines:

  • Wi‑Fi networks. By default, Windows sets Wi‑Fi networks to non-metered. But if your Internet service provider charges you by the amount of data you use, setting your network connection to metered can help you limit your data usage.

  • Mobile broadband networks. By default, Windows sets mobile broadband networks to metered. But if your mobile broadband service is actually unlimited, then you might want to change the network setting to non-metered.

If you're not sure what to do, keep a record of your data usage. If you find that you're being billed for extra data usage, setting your network connection to metered can help you manage this.

Note: Ethernet network connections can't be set to metered.



Any app that relies on an Internet connection to update or display info may be limited in the amount of data it can download or display. You might notice these and other effects:

  • Windows Update will only download priority updates.

  • Apps downloading from the Windows Store might be paused.

  • Start screen tiles might stop updating.

  • Offline files might not sync automatically.


  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, choose Settings, and then select Change PC settings.)

  2. Choose Network, and then select Connections.

  3. Select the connection you want to change. Next, under Data usage, turn on or off Set as a metered connection.         


  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, choose Settings, and then select Change PC settings.)

  2. Select OneDrive.

  3. Select Metered connections. Next, under Sync settings, turn off both sliders.  


  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, choose Settings, and then select Change PC settings.)

  2. Select PC and devices.

  3. Select Devices, then make sure Download over metered connections is set to Off.

    This blocks the download of device drivers from Windows Update and device info for your device, while your Internet connection is set to metered. (These downloads will resume next time you're on a non-metered Internet connection.)



  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, choose Settings, and then select Change PC settings.)

  2. Select Search and apps.

  3. Select Search. Next, under Metered connections at the bottom of the page, turn off both sliders.

    This prevents you from receiving search suggestions and web results from Bing when you're on a metered connection.


You might receive this message when you connect a device and it tries to connect to the Internet using a metered connection to check for new device software. To avoid unexpected data charges, your PC won't allow the device to automatically check for new software when you use a metered connection.

To always download device software on a metered connection:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Settings > Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, choose Settings, and then select Change PC settings.)

  2. Select PC and devices.

  3. Select Devices, then make sure Download over metered connections is set to On.

    Once you've finished downloading your devices updates, you can turn this setting off to avoid unexpected charges when you're on a metered network.

Note: Device software packages can be large, which may result in additional charges when downloaded on metered networks.


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