How to Monitor Your Data Usage in Windows 10

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

Most internet provider plans grant users unlimited access to the web. If your plan limits the amount of data you can use each month, you should monitor your Windows 10 data usage. Then, set limits to make sure you don't go over your plan's designated cap.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

A traveler with a backpack using Wi-Fi on a laptop
francesco / Moment / Getty Images

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 a blank space on the Windows taskbar, then select Task Manager.

    Right-click any blank space on your Windows taskbar and select Task Manager
  2. In Task Manager, go to the App history tab.

    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 application, represented in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). If your data connection is metered, you may 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 new, select Delete usage history.

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

Not all of your applications display in the Task Manager, most notably web browsers other than Microsoft Edge. To see data usage for these programs, you must access Windows Settings.

How to Monitor Data Usage in Windows 10 Settings

You can view data usage for 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 your Wi-Fi and Ethernet usage display, 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

Along with using data-hungry applications less often, there are restrictions that you can put in place to 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. In the Data limit section, select Set 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), then select Save

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

    Changes take effect automatically when you close Windows Settings.

    Select Always under Background data in the Data usage menu