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Advice for DSL Users with Windows 10 and Suddenly Slow Internet

(Updates added to the bottom of article)

DSL users may find that their Internet connection seems much slower once they have upgraded a computer to Windows 10, or purchased a new computer with Windows 10. This may be due to Windows 10 downloading updates or sharing updates using what Microsoft calls Windows Update Delivery Optimization.

Microsoft says:

When Delivery Optimization is turned on, your PC sends parts of apps or updates that you’ve downloaded using Delivery Optimization to other PCs on your local network, or on the Internet, depending on your settings.

In early versions of Windows 10, by default, downloaded Windows Updates may be shared to other computers on the Internet. That sharing takes up part of your available Internet bandwidth so that less bandwidth/speed is available to you. To avoid the potential slowing down of your available bandwidth/speed, you will need to change the settings for Update Delivery Optimization, in Windows 10, by following the steps Microsoft provides in their Windows Update Delivery Optimization FAQ. The steps have been summarized, below…

  1. Go to Start [Windows logo], then Settings ⚙ > Update & security > Windows Update, and then select Advanced options.
  2. On the Advanced options page, select Choose how updates are delivered, and then use the toggle to turn Delivery Optimization off (or, a possibly better option may be to leave Delivery Optimization on and select “PCs on my local network”).

Additionally, even if Delivery Optimization is turned off, if Windows is downloading updates, it may affect your available bandwidth (Internet speed). To reduce the chance of this, it would be a good idea to Change When the Computer Sleeps, when plugged-in, so it does not “go to sleep” overnight.

To prevent the computer from sleeping when it’s plugged in (so that updates can occur overnight), go to Start [Windows logo], then Settings ⚙ > System, and then select Power and sleep. In the Sleep section, change the setting for, “When plugged in, PC goes to sleep after” to Never.

Then, leave the computer on, overnight, at least, for several nights after Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday.

Patch Tuesday occurs on the second, and sometimes fourth, Tuesday of each month in North America [Wikipedia].

This would avoid the computer downloading and installing updates while you are trying to use your computer, in the daytime. Instead, it should perform those tasks, in the early morning hours, while you not using your computer or Internet connection.

[Update] Starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) Microsoft has added new options that allow you to limit the bandwidth your computer uses to download updates. Visit this web page [windowscentral.com] for more information and instructions.

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