How to Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11 Updates

Windows updates eat a lot of data, but you can limit bandwidth for Windows 11 updates if you’re on a slow or busy local network. This guide explains how.

Keeping your Windows 11 system up to date with the most recent system updates is incredibly important for security and stability. It’s also important as a way for you to grab the latest feature releases. Windows will grab Windows updates from Microsoft’s servers automatically in the background as you work.

After updates are downloaded, you’ll get a notification that you need to restart your PC to complete the installation process. You can also set active hours for Windows Update to prevent your PC from restarting at an inconvenient time.

However, Windows doesn’t know how busy your network is, but some Windows updates are gigabytes in size. The good news is you can limit bandwidth for Windows 11 updates. We explain how below.

How to Limit Amount of Bandwidth for Windows Updates

On Windows 11, you can control the amount of available bandwidth for downloading and uploading updates.

To limit bandwidth for updates on Windows 11:

  1. Press the Windows key and open Settings from the Start 11 settings
  2. When Settings launches, click on Windows Update from the list on the left.
  3. Select the Advanced options setting on the right.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11
  4. On the following screen, click the Delivery optimization setting under the Additional options section.
  5. From the Delivery Optimization page, ensure that Allow downloads from other PCs is toggled on.
  6. Make sure to select the Devices on the internet and my local network option afterward. You need both of those options to be on to manage bandwidth for upload settings.
  7. Next, click the Advanced options setting.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11
  8. Under the Download settings section, select the Absolute bandwidth option.
  9. Click the Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background and Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the foreground checkboxes.
  10. Type in the values you want to set.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11

How to Limit Amount of Bandwidth for Windows Updates Using Percentages

Alternatively, you can limit bandwidth by selecting the Percentage of measured bandwidth option to limit downloads by a percent of available bandwidth.

To limit download bandwidth by percentage for Windows updates:

  1. Click Start > 11 settings
  2. In Settings, press Windows Update > Advanced options > Delivery Optimization > Advanced Options.
  3. In the Download Settings section, check the Percentage of measured bandwidth option and select both boxes underneath to set appropriate limits.
  4. Use the sliders to limit bandwidth for updates in the background and foreground.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11

To limit upload bandwidth for Windows updates:

  1. Under the Upload settings section, check the Limit how much bandwidth is used for uploading updates to other PCs on the Internet.
  2. Check the Monthly upload limit option.
  3. Use the sliders to choose the percentage of bandwidth used for uploading updates. The monthly update is especially helpful if you have a limited data cap.

After you make your selections, Windows 11 will restrict the maximum amount of transmitted data you set for uploads and downloads.

How to Monitor Download and Upload Stats on Windows 11

After you’ve set your upload and download limits for Windows updates, you might want to monitor the upload and download statistics. The good news is the process is straightforward and available via the Settings app.

To view upload and download statistics on Windows 11:

  1. Press Start > Settings.
  2. When the Settings app opens, click Windows Update > Advanced options.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11
  3. Click the Delivery Optimization option under the Additional options section.Limit Bandwidth for Windows 11
  4. Scroll down and select the Activity monitor option.
  5. Now you can review the download and upload statistics.

The monitor provides an overview of the uploads and downloads from Microsoft, Microsoft cache servers, PC on your local network or internet, and other activity usages like average speeds.

Limiting Bandwidth Use on Windows

If your network experience is slow, you can limit bandwidth for Windows updates to help with the congestion using the above steps. When you limit bandwidth for Windows 11 updates, it can improve situations where you don’t have fast internet speeds (in rural areas, for example) or if you are on a limited data plan and encounter overage fees when you pass the data cap.

For more, check out other ways you can limit data use on Windows 11 which will also help if you have data caps on your internet connectivity. Also, if you are on a limited data plan, consider setting up a metered connection. You’ll especially want a metered connection if your sharing mobile data and use Windows 11 as a hotspot.

If you aren’t on Windows 11 yet, no worries. You can limit data use on Windows 10 and set up Ethernet as a metered connection on Windows 10 to get the same results.

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