I’ve lost count of how many people have called me in the last couple of months asking what’s going on with their internet data. Many clients use a pre-paid mobile broadband plan that they charge 5GB on and they wonder why it is being used so fast.
There have been many updates of Windows 10 that have drained many people’s data allowance. It’s not that any of the updates are particularly huge, but that there have been many of them and they can add up in size over time. I have also found that the Windows 10 anniversary update gets stuck in a continual loop, downloading, installing then failing to install, re-downloading and installing over and over again.
So what can you do about managing these updates?
I am afraid there is very little you can do to determine when the update is downloaded because Microsoft removed your ability to control this. So, if you notice that your data is being drained then the first thing to do is download and install the Windows Update Diagnostic, it rarely works but it is always best to give it a go, because it may tell you a little more about what is going wrong. Here is the link
If this doesn’t work, the next step is to go into your settings and see what errors are occurring. This can be done by opening your settings in the start menu, click on “Update & Security”, click on “Windows Update”, click the “Advanced Options” link, click the “View Your Update History” link then click the link for the update that failed to install and look for any error information that could help you understand the problem. Once you know the error code write it down and also the date of the last successful update that was installed, you may need this for later. You can then perform a search online, type the error code into your browser and see if a simple solution presents itself, stick to reputable sites, like Microsoft or Microsoft forums.
If that doesn’t work, I would suggest one last option before calling a technician. Perform a System Restore. A System Restore allows you to ‘rewind’ your Windows installation to an earlier time, without affecting your data, documents and pictures. This is because Windows automatically saves restore points when something significant happens, such as installing a Windows Update or a new application — the idea being that if it goes wrong, you can return to the last Restore Point (or an even earlier one) to get things going again.
Type “System Restore” in the Windows 10 Search box and select “System Restore”, a System Properties dialog box will appear, click the “System Protection” tab and then click the “System Restore” button. Follow the on-screen instructions and select the Restore Point from the date of the last good update install, then click next.
If you do have success I would then change when these updates are scheduled. Open “Windows Update”, click “Advanced Options” and select “Notify” to schedule restart from the “Choose how updates are installed” list. While you’re there, all Windows 10 users might want to click “Choose how updates are delivered”, and ensure that Updates from more than one place is either off, or set to PCs on my local network.
If you are still having issues, then it’s time to call in the professionals. I usually put aside 1.5 hours for a job like this because you really need to be there once you have fixed the issue to make sure it installs correctly the next time. For those who use the mobile broadband modems, I usually just use my own data for the re – download of the update to help out.
On a side note, with the NBN coming online, you may also want to consider that data is now cheaper than ever before and if you look for a cheap data plan they start at 50+GB per month and may be a better option through your phone line.