How to limit bandwidth and data usage in Windows 10 or Windows 11

Shaant Minhas

windows laptop

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If you’re connected to the internet, almost all third-party apps on your PC use up some amount of data. If you’re not economical, though, this can present problems as you might exceed your data usage limits.

It, therefore, becomes essential to limit your PC’s bandwidth and data usage. In this article, we’ll look into different ways you can do that. Let’s get started.

Limit your bandwidth and data usage through Settings

There are a variety of ways to keep tabs on your Windows apps. For instance, with the help of Task Manager, you can figure out which apps are using up your internet connection. But what if you want to tweak some changes to that?

Luckily, there’s a way to do that as well. You can limit your data usage by putting in restrictions with the Windows Settings.  Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘settings,’ and select the Best match.
  2. From the Settings menu, click on Network & internet.
  3. Now click on Data usage located right under Network & internet tab.

On the new screen, you’ll get complete data-usage statistics. As you can see, in my case, Google Chrome eats up a lot of data. To limit your bandwidth, click on Enter limit, located right under the Data usage heading.

In the new dialog box, set the Limit type, Data limit, and Monthly reset date. Then click on Save to save your settings.

limit data usage through settings

And just like that, a careful limit can be imposed on your data usage. If you’re setting a data limit in Windows 10, then the steps will be only slightly different. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Settings menu and click on Network & Internet > Status.
  2. Now click on Data usage.
  3. Now, under Choose a network, select the network you want to limit your data for.
  4. Enter the Limit type Data limit and other info.
  5. Finally, click on Save to get out of your settings.

Restricts specific apps from using your Windows data

While the above method is a general way to limit the data expense in your PC, you do have options to go more specific in this endeavor. For example, as we saw above, not all apps use up the same amount of data.

Like Chrome in my case, there are always apps that stand out in their data consumption needs. Thankfully, Windows 10 lets you put a lid on this.

Through the Windows Settings, you can stop the data consumption of particular apps. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + I shortcut and launch the Settings menu.
  2. Click on Privacy -> App Permissions.
  3. Pick the app you’d like to stop, then toggle it off.

Use third-party apps

Professional, third-party apps are a nice backup to the default ways of doing things in Windows. Due to its huge user base, Windows has no dearth of such apps.

So, naturally, it’s no surprise that there exist third-party programs to limit bandwidth and data usage. Here are the two reliable ways to do that.

1. NetStalker

Don’t get thrown off the name. NetStalker is an authentic bandwidth limiter. It’s a handy network app that can help you control the bandwidth of your network and, at the same time, help you block the internet access to a selected internet device.

There are hosts of other features that make it a pleasure to work with. They are:

  • A background scan that looks out for newly connected devices.
  • Includes a packet sniffer that logs the different addresses each device on the network visits.
  • Spoof protection.
  • Dark and light modes.
  • An option for bandwidth limitation to limit that distributes the internet speed across devices.

To install NetStalker, first, you need to download and install Npcap, a Windows driver necessary to run NetStalker. After that, install the NetStalker.

The app installation will be finished in a few seconds. From there, all you’ve to do is launch the app. You can either do that from the desktop shortcut or look it up in the Start menu.

netstalker main menu

2. NetLimiter

netlimiter limit bandwidth

NetLimiter is our second choice for a third-party bandwidth and data usage limiter. With NetLimiter in your toolkit, you can decide you can control the application that can connect with the internet at all and also limit the bandwidth to consume.

The app offers a host of other features as well. Such as:

  • Traffic Control: You can keep a check on the download/upload limits of individual apps.
  • Set Quotas: A feature that lets you put data transfer quotas on selected apps.
  • Connection blocker: Through this option, you can select the apps that can connect to under internet (along with the specific conditions).

The app is supported in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, Windows Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016 and later versions. Both free and paid versions of the app can be downloaded and installed from the official website.

Limiting the bandwidth and data usage in Windows 10 or Windows 11

If you’re not on an unlimited internet plan, it’s super important to limit your Windows’ bandwidth and data usage—lest you end up wasting your entire data plan (or even exceeding it!). The methods listed above can help you out of this conundrum. While the manual tricks can help you limit bandwidth and data usage in Windows 10, don’t be shy to leverage third-party apps to achieve the same.