How to Set a Metered Connection in Windows 10

A metered connection is an Internet connection to which a data limit is assigned. By default, cellular data connections are defined as metered connections. Connections to Wi-Fi and Ethernet networks can be set to metered connections, but they are not set to metered connections by default. Some applications might work differently on a metered connection to reduce your data usage. In addition, some updates for Windows are not installed automatically.

Whether you’re connected to a mobile network with limited data or you don’t want to use too much bandwidth on your home network, Windows 10 has a solution. The operating system has a built-in “measured connection” mode that reduces bandwidth usage when you connect to the networks you specify.

What types of connections can be defined as a metered connection in Windows 10?

In Windows 10, you can define any network connection as a measured connection, not just wireless connections. For example, in the first version of Windows 10, you could only define wireless network connections for metering. However, since the release of the Windows 10 Creators update in early 2017, you can also set Ethernet connections as counters.

To set up Wi-Fi connection as metered

  • Press your Windows + I key. This will open your Windows settings page.
  • Start typing wi-fi in the text box above. Click the “Wi-Fi Settings” option in the list.
  • In the Wi-Fi section, click Manage Known Networks. There should be a blue link in the middle section.
  • Select the Wi-Fi network you want to measure. You should see a “Properties” button when you click it.
  • Click the “Properties” button. Scroll down to the “Measured Connection” section.
  • Activate the “Set as measured connection” option. The switch turns blue.

Once you leave the Wi-Fi network and connect to another Wi-Fi network that is not a measured connection, Windows 10 will continue to automatically download updates and use other limited features. To prevent this from happening, you must set your Wi-Fi connection as “measured” after you connect.

To establish an Ethernet connection as metered

  • To set a wired Ethernet connection as a counter, go to Settings > Network and Internet > Ethernet. Click the name of your Ethernet connection.
  • Enable the “Set as measured connection” option for the network to which you are connected.

If you do not want to set this Ethernet network connection as a measured connection later, do the same and set the “Set as measured connection” check box to Off. You can also set data usage limits for your measured connection so that you do not exceed the Internet traffic included in your data plan.

When a metered connection should not be used

Although setting the metered connection may be useful in a variety of circumstances, it is not advisable to use it constantly as it may affect the overall functionality of your device. Here are some of the features that are affected when you activate the setting for the measured connection.

  • Some Windows 10 operating system and security updates are not downloaded and installed, which may make your device more vulnerable to attacks or infections.
  • Windows 10 applications are not updated. This can be a problem because many Windows 10 applications require the latest version to function properly.
  • Windows 10 live tiles may not be updated. This can be a problem if you rely on your Start menu for important information, such as weather reports or appointment reminders.