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I always thought that Windows update is somewhat reluctant when it comes to network bandwidth, and runs at low priority.

Not so on the update it installed today, I have to say that my DSL line only delivers 6MBit/s, but this is enough for normal surfing. However, today I installed KB3172985 on one of my Win10 machines, and it ate up all the available network ressources, even on other computers in my network, normal surfing was near to impossible. That update was some Gigabytes huge, and I really wonder if there is a good way to force Microsoft Update to use only bandwidth when there is some left.

Any ideas how to make Windows only use bandwidth when there is some left?

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  • KB3172985 is one of the many cumulative updates. KB3172985 fixes about 12 serious defects in Windows 10. What exactly is your question? – Ramhound Jul 18 '16 at 18:00
  • My exact question is in my original posting: how can I force Windows not eating up all my network bandwidth while downloading updates? I know when I had Win7, it always used to be implemented in a way that Windows only consumes "free" network bandwidth, but not grabbing everythin available – Erik Jul 18 '16 at 18:03
  • Windows 10 allows you to schedule a time it will check for updates. "My exact question is in my original posting:" - You should edit your question, so your question is clear, it currently is not. – Ramhound Jul 18 '16 at 18:05
  • Worth pointing out the update at most is only 914 MB. That is only if you don't have the previous fixes installed. – Ramhound Jul 18 '16 at 18:15
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Windows update uses BITS to download the update files. You may try to use the bitsadmin tool to edit the priority of the download jobs.

C:>bitsadmin /SetPriority myDownloadJob LOW

For detailed information, please refer to this link.

Also, the powershell command can do the same job.

Set-BitsTransfer

If you need to limit the download bandwidth accurately, please try to use the following group policy:(I've tried it before and it works perfectly for me.)

BITS – More Flexible Bandwidth Limit Policies

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  • Thanks, but I wonder if lowering the Priority affects the network bandwidth used at all. – Erik Jul 19 '16 at 9:21
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    Of course. If you need to limit the download speed accurately. There is a group policy can control it. I'll update my answer. – Steven Lee - MSFT Jul 19 '16 at 10:18
  • I wonder which value I have to enter for myDownloadJob to affect the updates... – Erik Oct 27 '16 at 19:00
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    @Erik You are able to list all the download jobs on your computer by running the following command: "bitsadmin /list /allusers". – Steven Lee - MSFT Oct 28 '16 at 3:03
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This seems to me to be a major bug in Windows 10. But you can stop Windows Update to recover your internet connection. If you go to Network & Internet in Settings, then WiFi, then click Advanced Options, you can set the network as a metered connection to stop Windows Update. I suggest you do this temporarily so that you can actually use the internet.

Here is a link to the issue in the Windows Feedback app, if you want to upvote it:

Windows-Feedback:?contextid=158&feedbackid=5a20e472-d39b-4b92-b291-0a7301c14621&form=1&src=2

(Paste it into Edge)

Update

I've started noticing my internet connection being ruined even when Windows Update is not updating. In the task manager, it shows Service Host: Local System using up all my bandwidth. I tried going to Start > All apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Services, finding Background Intelligent Transfer System, right clicking it and clicking Stop. This stopped svchost using up all my internet. (I couldn't try the metered connection trick on this computer as it's connected via ethernet to a range extender)

Not only is it my computer on which the internet becomes unusable, but every other device on the network. I don't know how Microsoft have achieved such a horrific bug.

Update #2

This might not just be a problem with Windows Update and the Background Intelligent Transfer System. It looks like other background processes are also hogging bandwidth, e.g. I'm currently updating Adobe Photoshop and the Adobe Installer process is using pretty much everything, and web browsing has slowed right down (although not as badly as when the former two are downloading stuff).

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  • I totally agree that I think this is a bug in Windows 10, because this never happened to me with Windows 7 updates ever (those are broken these days too, but that's another topic...). However, totally preventing updates on Wifi is not a good idea either. I want to download the updates, but not the way Win10 does. – Erik Jul 19 '16 at 13:32
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    I know, I just gave that as a way to temporarily stop updates (I can't use my internet otherwise) – binaryfunt Jul 19 '16 at 13:33
  • Is it only me or is Microsoft software quality getting worse with every Windows version? I mean this was never an issue with previous Windows versions... Thanks anyway for the workaround, I guess this is better than nothing :) – Erik Jul 21 '16 at 6:03
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    @Erik Yes, I've noticed it too :/ – binaryfunt Jul 21 '16 at 11:29
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After that problem persists, especially with the 1607-update that is coming these days, I finally figured out a solution that allows you to limit the bandwidth - if you want to fiddle with the registry, you can copy-paste the following in a reg-file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\BITS]
"EnableBITSMaxBandwidth"=dword:00000001
"MaxTransferRateOnSchedule"=dword:000007d0
"MaxTransferRateOffSchedule"=dword:000007d0
"UseSystemMaximum"=dword:00000000

Note that dword:000007d0 is an example only, which in this case limits the download bandwidth to 2000 KiloBit per second (2000 == 0x7d0), you can enter any other value here to fit your personal needs.

Not as nice as things used to be with Win7 update, which, as we all know, was very reluctant in consuming bandwidth, but used all available if there was no other traffic, but at least a good point to start from if you plan to use your internet connection on any device in your network while Windows updates are being downloaded.

The reason why Microsoft changed that once perfect behaviour is totally unclear to me, but I can live with that workaround.

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