Newsletter Archives

  • Controlling Windows update downloads

    WINDOWS 10

    By TB Capen

    Have you had a video stream suddenly start stuttering for no obvious reason — but you suspected it might be because Windows is downloading an update on one of your PCs?

    That’s relatively easy to test by simply shutting down all Windows devices. But it doesn’t automatically solve the problem: Windows update sucking up limited bandwidth.

    If you have a fast cable-based Internet connection to your home or office, this problem might never show its ugly head. But if you live in a rural area as I do, your only choice for Web access might be a relatively limited DSL service. (In my case, reliable connectivity is made worse by DSL running over old copper lines out on the street.)

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.17.0 (2020-05-04).

  • Win10 Metered Connection changes

    So many of you have written to me about this, I figure it’s time to chime in on the changes in the “Metered connection” setting in the next version of Windows 10.

    Here’s what the Windows Update settings box looks like in the current version, Windows 10 Anniversary Update, version 1607, build 14393.969

    Here’s the analogous setting in the forthcoming Win10 Creators Update, the version 1703 build 15063, due to ship in a few weeks:

    It’s important to note that this is static text – it doesn’t change if you flip Metered connection on or off.

    Richard Hay at Supersite for Windows noted last week that there’s a difference in the wording, with the new version adding a phrase at the end. The original:

    Available updates will be downloaded and installed automatically, except over metered connections (where charges may apply).

    has a new caveat tacked on the end:

    In that case, we’ll automatically download only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly.

    I don’t think it signifies much, although obviously some group of people inside Microsoft were concerned enough about the old wording to append that caveat.

    Richard has since received a comment from Microsoft saying:

    We don’t plan to send large updates over metered connections, but could use this for critical fixes if needed in the future.

    Which seems sufficiently vague to cover just about anything.

    That said, I don’t see any change forthcoming in the ability of a metered connection to block cumulative updates. It is – and, in my opinion will be – the preferred way to block forced updating for Win10 Home machines.

    All in all, it reminds me of the hue and cry that occurred after Microsoft revealed, years ago, that even if you turn off Automatic Update, the Windows Update program may update itself.

    Tempest, meet teapot. Until proven otherwise, anyway.

  • How to get Win10 updating again

    Interesting question from NC:

    I’ve a newish Dell machine which came with Windows 10 pre-installed.

    I’ve used your “metered connection” trick to stop updates. The last updates installed were 28th May this year.

    I have now removed the “metered connection” to grab new updates, but the updates are stuck on 0%.

    There seem to be lots of varied “solutions” to this problem on the internet, some of which look dubious. Do you have or know of the preferred approach?

    My first approach would be to ensure metered connection is turned off, then reboot. Try applying the updates manually (Start > Settings > Updates & security, click Check for Updates). What happens?