I’m trying to figure out which of the programs on my new Windows 10 system are using all my data bandwidth. Does Win10 actually track that data, and if so, how can I see it?
Rather surprisingly, Windows 10 does a terrific job of keeping track of data used and bandwidth utilized by your system, breaking it down by connection type and program! Many other operating systems like MacOS X leave users in the dark, perhaps assuming that everyone has unlimited bandwidth like those highly paid engineers at Apple HQ in Cupertino. 🙂
If you bounce between metered and unlimited bandwidth environments, however, you might have to do some additional sleuthing to figure out what’s going on. One possibility: you can use the built-in Windows feature that lets you mark some networks as metered and others as unlimited. Microsoft has a good FAQ about metered connections if you want to learn more about it: How Metered Connections Work.
Let’s just jump right into looking at your bandwidth and what programs are tapping into it, however. That’s most easily done by searching Cortana for “data usage“:
You can see the correct option highlighted: “Data usage overview“. Choose that and you’ll get a great overview of how much data you’ve used in the last 30 days:
My test machine, not so much. If you have a laptop and it uses different types of communications channels, however, the results can be quite informative:
You can see that on this system, it’s almost all usage through a hard plug network connection (Ethernet). You don’t need wifi to use a lot of data, however. Here’s yet another system a developer friend of mine uses where he clearly really taps into that Internet resource:
In all cases, you can click on the tiny “View usage details” and get more information about specific applications and programs and how they’ve affected that overall data usage value. For example:
You can see he spends a lot of time in Firefox and that the BZ Transmit program (part of the Backblaze cloud backup system) is the second largest user of data, with Java adding to a whole lot of data consumption. Most people have no idea that cloud backup is so greedy of a network connection, so if you are in a metered situation (like a mobile hotspot) you really do want to temporarily disable cloud backup!
Anyway, that’s how you dig into Windows 10 and get app-by-app information on your system data usage and network connectivity. Hope that helps you out!
Pro Tip: While you’re here, why not check out our extensive Microsoft Windows Help area? Thanks.