Microsoft now says on metered connections it will “automatically download only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly”.


Image: SuperSite Windows/Microsoft

Some Windows fans are worried that the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update could mean costly data bills.

Windows 10 currently treats Windows Updates on cellular networks differently to those over Wi-Fi because Microsoft knows these updates can be large and result in sizeable bills if they take place on a so-called metered connection, such as a cellular network.

For this reason Windows 10 doesn’t download Windows Updates or even critical security updates on metered networks.

But, as SuperSite Windows reports, the latest Windows Insider fast ring build of the Windows 10 Creators update indicates there will be an exception to this rule. It’s not clear yet what the impact will be for users, but it’s a potential concern.

In the Windows Update section of Windows Settings, Microsoft now says on metered connections it will “automatically download only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly”.

So, the general rule not to download updates on metered connections still applies, but Microsoft could allay fears by expanding on what these necessary updates are and how big might they might be.

Of course, the fast ring Insider builds aren’t necessarily what will arrive in the final release, but the Creators Update is expected to arrive in only a few weeks’ time now.

We’ve asked Microsoft to clarify what it means and will update the story if it responds.

If the new exception does flow through in its current form, it would be a minor clash with the additional controls Microsoft announced for the Creators Update.

One of these will allow users to specify exactly when an update installs and potentially deferring updates indefinitely.

This feature won’t help prevent downloads on metered connections, but rather caters to people who need uninterrupted use of their PC for several days, despite the availability of important updates that have already been downloaded.

In the longer term, Microsoft is working on a new update system that will deliver smaller updates in future, which will eventually benefit users regardless of the connection they’re on.



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