Set Ethernet connection as metered in Windows 10

By default, Windows 10 does not allow you to set an Ethernet (LAN) connection as a metered connection. This ability is restricted to mobile networks and Wi-Fi. However, there are a number of situations when you might need to set a wired, Ethernet connection as metered. In this article, we will see how to exactly do that in Windows 10 and why you might want to do it.


Here are a few examples when you might want to set an Ethernet connection as metered in Windows 10.
Windows 10 does not download updates over a metered connection. If you want to stop or control automatic updates, you can set your Ethernet connection as metered and Windows Update will be paused.

The same is true for Windows Store apps - they won't receive updates if you set a connection as metered.

If you are running Windows 10 build 15002 Creators Update or above, you can set Ethernet connection as metered using Settings. Otherwise, read on.

Here is how to set the Ethernet connection as metered in Windows 10.

  1. Open Registry Editor
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost

    Tip: How to jump to the desired registry key with one click. Windows 10 set ethernet metered

  3. Change the ownership and get full access to the DefaultMediaCost subkey as described HERE or use my freeware RegOwnershipEx app to take ownership of this Registry key. Windows 10 default registry permissions Windows 10 change registry permissions
  4. Change the 32-bit DWORD value named Ethernet from 1 to 2. The values have the following meaning:
    • 1 means non-metered.
    • 2 means metered. Windows 10 ethernet set as metered
  5. Restart Windows 10.

The same can be done using Winaero Tweaker. Go to Network -> Set Ethernet as Metered Connection.
Winaero Tweaker ethernet metered
Use this option to avoid Registry editing.

To restore defaults, i.e. to set the Ethernet connection as non-metered again, set the Ethernet DWORD value back to 1 and restart your PC. You are done.

That's it.

10 thoughts on “Set Ethernet connection as metered in Windows 10

  1. Rodrigo

    Everytime I upload big files to internet my connection is lost, router ISP connection seems to be fine, but internet access is blocked, I tried uploading files on linux and works fine, just on Windows 10.
    Would it be possible that some changes to Windows 10 might make my router R5000UNv2 stuck ethernet and wifi? I have to reboot the router (192.168.1.1 is accessible), otherwise there is no internet connection. I don’t know if this tweak did it, but I will dig more about it.
    Maybe some of you have faced the same error – would it be a virus? – but it is weird that this bug turns internet connection off in my router, since I can’t access to internet from other devices that I connect too.

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  2. Armond

    Hi,
    A huge thanks for this valuable article and your tweaker utility. I know have full control of my connections… greatly appreciated!

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

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      Reply
  3. Henry Robinson

    Caution– this tweak caused my Windows Updates to fail, sitting at “Downloading Updates 0%” forever.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is by design. Windows 10 does not download updates over the metered connection.
      So, this behavior is as expected.

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      1. Phil

        You are correct

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          yep :)

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          1. EP

            The “Downloading Updates 0%” forever problem seems to only happen on Windows 10 anniversary update v1607 with the Metered Connection option enabled. When I enable the Metered Connection option on an older build of Win10 like the RTM v1507 version & maybe the v1511 version, I can still manually download updates thru Windows Update.

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  4. Ian

    It is possible to turn the metered connection on an off using a command line instruction so the task can be scheduled?

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      1. Change permissions as described
      2. Use these commands:
      reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost" /v Ethernet /d 2 /t REG_DWORD /f
      reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost" /v Ethernet /d 1 /t REG_DWORD /f

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