If you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you’ve probably noticed a friendly little white Windows icon in your taskbar telling you that you can update to Windows 10 for free. Microsoft offering their latest and greatest update for free is a big deal considering how they’ve charged for it in the past. However, reports coming out about some new “features” in Windows 10 hardly seem as friendly.
In addition to Microsoft trying to force you to use their Edge browser by default and sending themselves tons of new data from your machine that they didn’t have access to before, one more nefarious update involves siphoning off your internet bandwidth to update other Microsoft users.
That’s right. Windows 10 actually steals bandwidth from your ISP connection so that Microsoft can use your computer, and your connection, to send MS updates to their other customers.
The devious little feature is called Windows Update Delivery Optimization and it is enabled by default. For Enterprise and Education users, it operates over the local LAN. For ordinary Home type users, Microsoft can send their data update goodies to potentially any PC on the global Internet – from your PC, over your Internet connection. At your expense.
While there are valid conversations to be had about local machines on a LAN staging updates versus doing it in the outside Internet, that’s really not the point here. Microsoft decided is was ok for them to use your bandwidth and they never asked for your permission. Of course, the PR line is that “you can turn it off,” but you can only do that if you first, know about it, and second, have enough computer literacy to dive deep into the settings and switch it off. It’s reasonable to assume a lot of people will struggle with that.
However, we can help.
Below are simple instructions of how to turn this little feature off:
START -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update -> Advanced options, under: Choose how updates are delivered.
Let us know if you’re seeing any other weird things in Windows 10 in the comments!