[Tip] Force Windows 10 to Use Ethernet Connection as Metered

In Windows 10, the regular Windows updates, hotfixes, security updates, driver updates, store updates, etc are downloaded automatically and once the download finishes, Windows 10 notifies the user about the installation of new updates and if a system restart is required to apply the updates.

If you have an unlimited and faster Internet connection, you may not worry about this automatic installation of Windows updates but if you are using a capped i.e. limited Internet connection with a predefined data limit, you'll definitely need to worry about it as it may eat your valuable Internet connection bandwidth and may cross the monthly data limit which will cost you some extra bucks at the end of the month.

To overcome this problem, Microsoft has provided an option in Windows 10 which is called "Metered Connection". You can set mobile data connection (3G/4G) and Wi-Fi connection as metered in Windows 10 which prevents the automatic download of Windows updates and drivers, thus saves your limited Internet connection bandwidth. You can set your cellular data or Wi-Fi connection as metered using Settings app -> Network & Internet page.


We have posted an exclusive tutorial to prevent automatic installation of Windows updates in Windows 10 at following link which covers this metered connection trick:

Fixing Windows 10 Automatic Updates Install Problem

Now there is one small issue in settings Internet connection as metered. Windows 10 doesn't provide any option to set Ethernet connection (LAN) as metered. So if you are using Ethernet connection for Internet connectivity in your Windows 10 computer, you can't use it as metered and Windows 10 will automatically download all updates.

Don't worry! Although Windows 10 doesn't contain any built-in option to set Ethernet connection as metered but there is a small Registry tweak to force Windows 10 to use your Ethernet connection as metered. Thanks to our reader "Sumit Dhiman" for sharing this trick.

If you are using Ethernet connection in Windows 10 and want to set it as metered, following steps will help you:

1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type regedit in RUN and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost

3. In right-side pane, you'll see five DWORD values as following:

  • 3G
  • 4G
  • Default
  • Ethernet
  • WiFi

By default, the values of 3G and 4G are set to 2 and values of Default, Ethernet and Wifi are set to 1 which means 3G and 4G connections are set as metered and other connections such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi are set as non-metered.

4. To set Ethernet as metered, you'll need to change value of Ethernet to 2 but Windows will not allow you to change its value as you wouldn't have required permissions.


You'll need to take ownership of "DefaultMediaCost" key to be able to change value of Ethernet or other DWORDs. You can take help of following guides to take ownership of the Registry key:

[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a Registry Key in Windows?

[Windows Tip] Take Ownership (Permission) of Registry Keys from Command Line

5. After taking ownership and full control, double-click on Ethernet DWORD and change its value to 2

6. That's it. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer to take effects.

After reboot, Windows 10 will use your Ethernet connection as metered and will not download any update automatically.

In future, if you decide to restore Ethernet as non-metered connection, just change value of Ethernet DWORD to 1 again and restart your computer.

Also Check:

[Guide] Things To Do After Installing Windows 10

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Posted in: Windows 10

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  • VG can you please make reg files too for tutorials like this for users like me who are not
    so good .

    That would be a big help

  • VG

    ^^ This tutorial requires taking ownership of Registry key first, thats why I didnt provide Registry script.

  • The new start menu (Cortana) is now more like Mac Spotlight,

    It can directly calculate or produce results from search in real time.

    If you search 5+15+2 then the first result will show 22
    If you search '1 dollar' or just 'dollar' then it will show 66.15 INR,
    '1 meter' or just 'meter' = 3.28... Foot

    That is quite amazing and I was not aware of that before today.

  • Hello sir I am really a big fan of your work because i also like customization in windows
    I am also on deviant art as well as i am a student.

    Well sir can you please tell me how i can enable Cortana Above the lock screen in Windows 10

    Build 1586.218.

    And other thing is how i update Microsoft Edge Without download New insider preview Build
    Because I like The new Microft. Edge Page loading Ring in Windows 10 14316.

    Please tell me the answers as soon as possible.

    Thank You

  • VG

    ^^ Sorry to say but I dont think any of the 2 things asked by you is possible to do. Apps versions are updated automatically by Windows Store if available.

  • This is absolutely the BEST tip I have ever come across. Biggest mistake I ever made was upgrading to Windows 10. Wish I would have rolled it back when I had the chance. But.............

    having said that, and running into numerous problems on every update and build, I have now sworn to NEVER install another update again.

    And this tip was the answer. Thanks a million VG.

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