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Windows 10 using up my mobile data

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by G0VKT, Oct 7, 2018.

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  1. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page


    At my mobile home I use a Windows 10 pc (anniversary update). It's mainly just used to run wsjt-x. If I need the intetnet I tether it to my phone. Over the last few weeks big chunks of mobile data has been used. I found out the first time when I got a data warning text.

    After lots of checking I found it was the PC using loads of data. Which is a bit strange as I've had it since May of last year and not noticed any problems.

    The biggest user was the Windows 10 app installer. So last weekend I tried to sort things out. My edition of Windows allows me to remove the app. Connection is set to metered and background apps disabled. I left it connected most of the weekend while monitoring data use. All was good.

    Then this Friday evening I tethered the PC and left it. A couple of hours later I picked up my phone. It was very warm, the battery was very low and almost 4Gb of data had been used.

    I checked the settings on the PC and nothing had changed. Looking at what was using the data it was something called System (cog icon).

    What else can I check or try to control the data use? Grateful for any suggestions.


  2. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Win10 is horrible when it comes to internet usage as you've found out. Frankly it's a privacy and security nightmare. It gathers "diagnostics" (i.e. tracks everything you do) and sends it back to MS, while at the same time tries to push ads you don't want, apps you don't want... Well, you get the idea. There are some things you can do to try to restrict its access.

    First make sure Win10 knows you're on a metered network. Go to Settings. Select Network & Internet. Then select WiFi from the list on the left side of the screen. Select Manage Known Networks from the options. That will show your WiFi connection. Select the WiFi network you're using by clicking on it. Then click on Properties. You'll see a "Metered connection" switch. Make sure that is turned ON.

    Next go back to the main Settings screen. Go to the Privacy setting. Turn off the 4 options listed under "General". Select "Diagnostics & Feedback". You'll probably want to turn OFF everything here as well. Select Activity History. Make sure the two check boxes ARE NOT checked.

    In fact, you really should go through almost all of the settings and make sure that they are set the way you want them, not the way MS wants them.

    And, unfortunately, almost every time Win10 gets and update, I've found that a lot of these settings are put back to their defaults and I have to go through all of them after each update.

    That it used that much data in that short a period of time is troubling, though. It could have been downloading the October update (which, btw, has been canceled because it has some serious problems but it was still pushed out to a lot of people). Make sure your Windows Defender is up to date and have it do a manual scan of your computer
  3. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Under the connection properties in Win10 for your tether, set it to metered.
  4. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems that for every person that has problems with Windows 10, there is another person that doesn't have any real issues.

    I have three systems with Windows 10. Two are laptops and one is a desktop. When I first installed Windows 10 it use to annoy me by pushing updates. It would often reboot while I was using it or wake it up in the middle of the night. But that had changed. Now, when an update is available the OS lets be know. If I'm busy, I can just put it off. The OS doesn't bother me for another week. I usually just get it done when its convenient. Other then the occasional notice that I have a update available, I never get any advertisements or other intrusions. And I am only running "Windows 10 Home".

    As KC9YGN indicated, turn everything off in the privacy section. Users don't often realize that their laptop has a built in microphone. I always keep the microphone disabled and don't allow any apps to use it, unless I say so.

    I have never experienced an of the current updates changing my settings. And I do check them relatively often. The only time I had trouble was several years ago, when Windows 10 was relatively new. I keep the touch pad disabled because I use a wireless mouse. But the updates would re-enable it. If you don't know its enabled, the computer seems possessed.

    One of the latest things I have noticed is that Cortana is no longer running. Before, every time I tried to stop it from running, it would start up again in a few seconds. Now, the Task Manager doesn't show it. I don't know when this happened, but I like it.

    Overall, IMHO, Windows 10 has turned into a very nice operating system. But your experience may be different.
  5. KD3WB

    KD3WB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Press the Windows and "i" keys simultaneously, click "Network and Internet", "Change connection properties", scroll down and click "Set a data limit to help control data usage on this network", then click "Set limit". Set the reset day for today, then set an appropriate monthly limit.

  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This problem is one reason I have not updated to Windows 10.

    The best way to avoid the problem for me is Windows 7.

    Downloading Win 10 updates at dialup speed would really suck.
  7. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Windows 7 support is ending in January, 2020. So it'll become a growing security liability as time goes on. Though you can use third-party security software, place it behind a firewall, etc. for awhile at least. Windows 10 horror stories such as these make it unfit as a serious OS, and it'll have no place in my house -- where Linux outnumbers everything else.

    I think if someone needs Windows for legacy work, the best solution is to get a cheap laptop with it pre-installed, install as little as possible on it, and firewall it off in your LAN so it doesn't interfere with the rest of your home network.

    I've had great luck with WSJT-X on Linux: WAS 20-40-80 JT-65, and WAS (mixed) FT-8 -- 100% Linux. Plodding ahead toward DXCC, though not easy at/near the solar minimum. The early issues I had with running it on Linux were related to understanding how Linux manages sound devices. But once you get it worked out, and document it, it's a piece of cake. I also compile it from source, though that's not necessary.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul
  8. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I code my own security software for 7 and below. :)

    I do not need MS to update my system and remove features.

  9. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I might be being stupid but I can't find the tap to set data limits on my PC. I can search for it but cant see any way of setting it. Am I doing something wrong?
  10. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Assuming you are using Windows 10, you can open up the Windows Settings (Windows + I keys) and select "Network and Internet". At the bottom of the menu on the left, select "Data usage". This will give you an overview of your current usage. You can then select "Set Limit" to implement a data limit by the month.

    From "Data usage", you can also select "Usage per App" to see which app is using the most data. You may see a lot of apps that you really don't want running. For most of them, you can use the "Task Manager" to stop them from running. Of course, there are some you can't stop, like Cortana. And, if you don't recognize the brief description, don't turn it off. It may be something important.

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