As Windows 8 is designed to be used on mobile devices as well as desktop computers, it includes a feature called metered connections. A metered connection is a network connection where you have a limited amount of data usage per month and if you go over that amount you get billed extra charges. If you are using a network connection that has a limited data plan, then it is important to enable it as a metered connection so Windows 8 knows not to download device updates or Windows updates over it. Once a connection is configured as a metered connection system downloads will only be allowed when you are on your normal wireless connection.
To enable a network connection as a metered connection, open the Settings charm bar by pressing the Windows key and at the same time press the I key ( + ) on your keyboard. This will open the Settings Charm Bar as shown below.
Click on the wireless network connections button as indicated by the red arrow in the image above. This will open a list of available wireless network connections.
Right-click on the connection that you wish to make a metered connection and a menu will appear.
Click on the Set as metered connection menu option. This connection will now be classified as a metered connection in Windows 8. In the future if you wish to make a metered connection a normal unmetered one , right-click on it and to bring up its menu.
When the menu appears, click on the Set as non-metered connection menu option to make it a normal connection again.
Windows 8 has a default setting that does not allowed device downloads and Windows updates to occur over metered connections. This setting is controlled via the Devices category of the PC Settings screen. When you go into the Devices settings and scroll down you will see an option for allowing downloads to occur over a metered connection.
By default, this is set to Off, which does not allow downloads to occur. If you wish to allow downloads over a metered connection, you should set this setting to On. It is advised that you keep this setting on Off to help avoid overage charges on your data plans. An example of how Windows Update works when this setting is off and you are on a metered connection can be see in the image below.
As you can see from the above screen, now that metered connections are enabled Windows will not install updates until you are connected to a connection that is unmetered. This will help to protect you from going over any bandwidth limits that you connection may have.
If you have any questions about these settings, please ask in the Windows 8 Forum.
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