Microsoft has a setting to prioritize new Windows 10 and Windows 11 Update downloads and other processes to take bandwidth away from anything you run. There’s a setting inside Windows 11 that you can change to fix how much bandwidth Microsoft’s apps and services can take.
The default setting is to allow Microsoft or Windows apps or processes absolute bandwidth, meaning your PC will prioritize any Microsoft or Windows app or process download over anything you are trying to run. If you are using a metered connection and have limited connectivity, this can spell disaster.
If you’re a Windows Pro or Enterprise administrator, there’s a quick tweak you can make via Group Policy Editor to limit how much bandwidth Windows can take.
gpedit.msc (Group Policy Editor)
Here’s a quick tweak you can use to eliminate the reserved bandwidth that is allowed for Microsoft and Windows apps and services.
1. Click Start or Search or Open Run (Windows key + R) and type
2. Navigate to the path: Computer configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > QoS Packet Scheduler.
3. Double-click Limit reserve bandwidth.
4. Click Enabled to turn this feature on. The default option gives Windows system access to 80% of your bandwidth for updates and its processes and apps take priority over your own. Feel free to change the value to 0 if you want.
5. Click Apply and OK to save your changes.
Windows 11 Update bandwidth limits
Here’s what you need to do to stop Microsoft from stealing any more of your bandwidth. Good news for Windows 10 users, these instructions work for you too.
1. Open Settings (Windows key + I keyboard shortcut).
2. Go to Windows Update > Advanced options > Delivery Optimization > Advanced options.
3. Under Download settings, click to select either “Absolute bandwidth” or “Percentage of measured bandwidth” which is noted to be measured against the update source.
4. Once you select an option, set the values to how much bandwidth you want Windows to use for downloading updates in the foreground and background on your PC.
No need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect, close Settings when you are finished. Windows Home users are out of luck unless they want to make a Registry edit.
Now, your apps and downloads will take priority over any incoming Windows 10 or Windows 11 Update.
What do you do to limit how much bandwidth Windows uses? Let us know in the comments!