How to Monitor Your Data Usage in Windows 10

Track and limit the amount of data you use on Windows 10

A man with a backpack using Wi-Fi on his laptop

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Most internet provider plans grant users unlimited access to the web; however, if your plan limits the amount of data you can use each month, then you should monitor your data usage. You can even set limits for how much data you use on Windows 10 to make sure that you don't go over your plan's designated cap.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

How to Check Data Usage With the Windows 10 Task Manager

You can monitor data usage for specific apps through the Windows Task Manager:

  1. Right-click any blank space on your Windows taskbar and select Task Manager.

    Right-click any blank space on your Windows taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Select the App history tab in the Task Manager window.

    Select the App history tab in the Task Manager window.
  3. You'll see a list of your applications along with several columns. The Network column contains the actual data usage figures for each respective application, represented in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). If your data connection is metered, you may also be interested in the figures shown in the Metered network column.

By default, the data shown in the App history tab is compiled over the last 30 days. To reset this counter and start anew, select Delete usage history in the Windows Task Manager.

The Network column contains the actual data usage figures for each respective application, represented in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).

You'll notice that not all of your applications are displayed in the Task Manager, most notably any web browsers other than Microsoft Edge. To see data usage for these other programs, you must access your Windows Settings.

How to Monitor Data Usage in Windows 10 Settings

You can view data usage for all of your apps in the Windows Settings:

  1. Open the Start Menu and select the gear to open Windows Settings.

    Open the Start Menu and select the gear to open Windows Settings.
  2. Select Network & Internet.

    Select Network & Internet.
  3. Select Data usage in the left pane.

    Select Data usage in the left pane.
  4. An overview of both your Wi-Fi and Ethernet usage will now be displayed including the total amount of data (MB or GB) utilized on each network over the last 30 days. To see a breakdown by application, select View usage per app.

To see data spent on a different network, select a different option from the Show settings for drop-down menu.

An overview of both your Wi-Fi and Ethernet usage will now be displayed including the total amount of data (MB or GB) utilized on each network over the last 30 days.

How to Limit Your Windows 10 Data Usage

Aside from simply utilizing data-hungry applications less often, there are restrictions that can be put in place to help alleviate some of your usage concerns:

  1. Open the Start Menu and select the gear to open Windows Settings.

    Open the Start Menu and select the gear to open Windows Settings.
  2. Select Network & Internet.

    Select Network & Internet.
  3. Select Data usage in the left pane.

    Select Data usage in the left pane.
  4. Select Set limit under Data limit.

    Select Set limit under Data limit.
  5. Set a usage limit (in MB or GB) for a specific time interval (ideally corresponding with your billing cycle) and select Save

    Set a usage limit (in MB or GB) for a specific time interval and select Save.
  6. Select Always under Background data in the Data usage menu to prevent Windows 10 from performing tasks in the background that involve sending and receiving data over your Wi-Fi network.

Changes will take effect automatically when you close Windows Settings.

Select Always under Background data in the Data usage menu.