The increased speeds of Internet connections and the higher quality streaming content of the modern web makes it easier than ever to consume large amounts of data without even noticing. You can stay in control of your data consumption by using Windows 10’s Data Usage screen to check out much you’ve been using.
While basic, this feature could save you expense if it alerts you that you’re close to your data cap before you blow through it. It’s available on Windows 10 PCs and phones and is accessed via the same procedure on both.
To start off, open the Settings app and head to the Network & Internet category. On mobile devices, it’s called Network & Wireless. Tap “Data usage” to head to the relevant page.
You’ll see a graph that illustrates your total data usage for the past 30 days across your different network connections. If you click or tap the “View usage details” link, you can get a breakdown of data consumption by app. This lets you identify apps that might be stealthily consuming data in the background. While the data usage screen won’t let you throttle offenders, you can remove the app or adjust its settings based on the knowledge you’ve acquired.
If you’re using a phone or tablet with mobile data, you’ll also see an option to set a data usage cap. This lets you define a one-time or recurring limit so you’ll be alerted when you’ve nearly used up your allowance. As you approach the limit, Windows will automatically reduce background app activity to eke your remaining megabytes out for a little longer.
Windows’ data usage screen is a simple way to keep tabs on your Internet usage across your device’s connectivity options. Microsoft warns it may not align exactly with your provider’s records but it should be a close enough match to keep you aware of the impact of streaming Netflix while on the train to work. As an added option, you can pin a Data usage live tile to your Start screen by long-pressing from the Settings menu, giving you an at-a-glance overview of your consumption from the past 30 days.