I'm in NZ, which means my internet is capped at 5GB, which is not funny. I notice on my Windows 7 that even after disabling automatic update (don't worry, I flick it back on during my off peak hours) it still constantly downloads about 1kb per second, which starts to stack up. Apparently, it's svchost.exe, and it doesn't seem to be doing anything important.

How do I stop Windows from stealing all my internet? Please help!

If I may clarify things, is it possible for me to connect to the internet without letting the Operating System itself using bandwidth?

  • 2
    Silly question but would unplugging/disconnecting the system from the internet be an option? – Journeyman Geek Aug 18 '12 at 0:13
  • Well I want to sort of browse the internet without Windows 7 eating up about 40% of my available data. I can't seem to be able to stop it... – Jack Aug 18 '12 at 5:24
  • Windows 7 does not normally do that. It could be some piece of software you've got installed (possibly something the OEM preinstalled) or it could be malware. However, if you can't fix the problem any other way, it is possible to configure Windows Firewall to only allow specific applications outbound access. – Harry Johnston Aug 19 '12 at 4:30
  • Really? I'll go google how to get Firewall to do that, so thanks for helping me there! If you could answer a method down there as well, that would be helpful. Thanks! – Jack Aug 20 '12 at 4:00
  • see also: superuser.com/questions/1182658/… – S.Serpooshan Jan 23 '18 at 8:00

svchost.exe is just the name for a "Service Host Process", which means that it... hosts.... Windows Services.

In other words, any number of different services may be running within an svchost.exe instance. Some of them run only one service; other svchosts can run many different services within one svchost process.

You definitely don't want to go randomly killing svchost processes because you may be killing useful services, like audio, networking, or your virus scanner.

Instead, what you can do is go into Control Panel, under Administrative Tools, under Services, and Stop services one at a time until the data transfer goes away.

Generally you don't want to stop services that are critical to the function of the system, and you will get warnings if you try to stop a service that other services depend upon (hint: stopping these is a pretty bad idea). BUT, you can try stopping them anyway.... here's the process:

  1. Make sure you aren't running any programs with valuable unsaved data

  2. Close all applications

  3. Stop the service

  4. If it breaks your computer, either start it again, or if you are unable to start it, simply reboot the computer and it will operate normally again (the right-click "Stop" function is only until you start it again or reboot, it isn't permanent).

Once you find THE service that is consuming the data, you can permanently disable it either by uninstalling the application it's associated with, or by going into Properties for the service (also in the right-click menu for the service), and changing the value in the drop-down box to Disabled.

P.S. -- Data caps are terrible, I feel bad for you.

  • Sysinternal's Process Explorer shows what services are hosted inside a given svchost.exe. – LawrenceC Aug 18 '12 at 0:43
  • Data caps are pretty much unavoidable in Australasia - as of the start of this year, we had something like 3Tb/s of affordable international bandwidth to share between about 10M households, i.e., about a third of a megabit per second per household, even if you ignore business needs. 5GB per household per month works out as about 5% of the theoretical total capacity, which isn't too bad for the lowest available price tier. – Harry Johnston Aug 19 '12 at 4:57
  • see also windowstechinfo.com/2015/05/… – Aravinda May 4 '15 at 4:53

Download the Free version of Net Balancer, run it, it will show you what is using bandwidth and how much, leave it open for a while you will see what is constantly using bandwidth, some of it is an unavoidable consequence of using W7, as it is much more chatty on the network than XP.

If NetBalancer does not help sort it out, Open Task manager, go to the processes tab, tick "show processes for all users", click the "name" header to sort processes by name, then right click on one of the svchost exe entries and select "go to Services", it will open the services tab and automatically highlight all the services running under that one svchost process. Might give you some insight to what can be safely disabled.

Nice information over here on what specific services can be safely disabled.

. enter image description here

  • Thank you so much, Its helped me to restrict data usage in Windows 8 : ) – Avinash Singh Jan 15 '15 at 20:40
  • Using netbalancer free, you can set download priority Low/High or even limit traffic speed and apply time based restriction .. Netbalancer is great and having such features windowstechinfo.com/2015/05/… – Aravinda May 19 '15 at 11:54
  1. Press Winkey + R
  2. In the resultant Run dialog box, type ncpa.cpl - Network Connections dialog will appear.
  3. This is all your network adapters. Presumably you are using some type of cellular data connection? Find the network adapter corresponding to your Internet connection.
  4. Right click and select "Disable."
  5. Repeat the above process, but select "Enable" to re-enable it.

If the network adapter is disabled, nothing can traverse it. You can then reenable updates. In Control Panel -> Windows Updates there is an option to not automatically update - it may be better if you control this.

If you don't use IPv6, disable the IP Helper service. It has something to do with tunneling IPv4 or IPv6 or vice versa or similar.

You may consider getting a cheap dial-up connection if you can get one for like $5USD/mo., and using that for overnight Windows Updates and such.


It occurs mostly because of BITS(Background Intelligent Transfer Service)

Stop this service.

Go to Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services - search for BITS and Stop the service by right clicking on it then click on stop. Also in the properties of this service select manual or disable.

You can enable it to update your windows anytime whenever you have an idle connection.


1. set your connection to metered connection.

go to settings > network > wifi > advanced options > set metered connection

2. turn live tiles off

right click the tiles on start and say turn off live tile.

3. turn off updates from elsewhere

settings > updates and security > windows updates tab > advanced options > choose how updates are delivered > updates from more than one place > turn off.

I was constantly seeing network on windows services, this really annoyed me on my slow connection with windows 10.

  • yeah, enabling "set metered connection" sounds like correct choice for capped networks. – Salman A Aug 21 '16 at 18:21

Some Internet companies give a great service, however if you are only on a monthly data allowance and this runs out then when you are switched to a much slower speed sometimes this can prove hard to use. Or even if you have unlimited Internet the following might also give you a bit more speed.

However you can try a couple of things I use to help.

Make your browsers start-up page also home page by typing in the following in the browsers address bar about:blank this gives instant start-up of your browser.

Now for your search engine, create a favourite in your Favourites bar for your search engine, be it Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine you use.

If you still have access to Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8 go to any of your favourite websites and in Options click on the “save Offline” this means even if you are not connected to the Internet access to some pages will be instant, far faster than any Internet connection.

Downloading, yes downloading programs or video clips when you have fast Internet, however as you know this chews up data. One thing you can do is make a list of what you want to download, then only download when you have used your data. Takes much much longer that the faster time but by downloading on slow time you preserve dataidge for fast Internet-ing.

Emailing, change your Email settings so that when you reply to an Email it does not include the email that has been sent by the person.

Sending photo attachment with Emails, Go to the folder with your photos in it. Holding down the CTRL key click on the photos you want. Once highlighted click with your right mouse button on any one of the highlighted photos and from the drop down menu select “send to mail recipient” when the menu option asks how you want to send the photos, select “Small for viewing”. This will shrink the photos to one tenth in size by stripping out colours and density. The photos will still arrive on the Email with good appearance.

This will also greatly speed up Emails. Just a small thing you can try when your dataridge is used up and you are on slower time. Send an Email to yourself with a single photo attached and time how long it takes to send. Then go through the process described above for sending a photo of right click reduced size. This will give you a true indication of how much faster you’re Emailing can be.

Best regards

Peter B.


Try looking for 'resource monitor' in windows 'start menu', there in 'network' tab, you will be able to see exactly which process with which PID is taking up all this bandwidth with bandwidth speed also next to it.

  • But how can the operating system enforce this? – soandos Feb 7 '16 at 2:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.