The Data Vampire, returns!

After monitoring my system data usage through April, I thought for sure the Data Vampire had been vanquished.  In fact, I didn’t even bother resetting the data usage meter when I checked it at the end of the month.

April 30, data usage for the past 30 days.

Even though there was a sudden spike of almost 25 gigs at the end of the month.  Windows 10 updated, and it was reflected on our internet provider account information; almost 100 gigs used in a day, as 4 computers updates themselves!

But that’s okay.  My husband’s account rolled over the next day, and my daughter’s account still had half a month before it rolled over and, since it hadn’t been used yet, we switched the cables on the router.

Several days later, my husband noticed a spike in usage when he checked the account, so I looked at my system’s usage.

May 3, 30 days usage

My system used more than 25 gigs in 3 days!  What the heck?

I went looking through everywhere I could remember, from when we first noticed that my desktop had a data vampire in the system.  All of the background notifications, etc. were still shut off.

What was causing the system’s data usage spike?

It had to be related to the Windows 10 update, but nothing I could find explained it.

I checked again, a week later.

May 10, 30 days usage

This time, it took a week to use 24 gigs – but it had been down to less than 4 gigs in 30 days, previously!  At this rate, my computer’s system would easily be using almost 100 gigs in the background, within a month.  What the heck?

I reset the data usage after taking the above screen show.  When I checked it yesterday, I was already just short of 7 gigs used.  I used the computer for a bit, including uploading images to post on this blog, then shut my computer down for the night (usually, I leave it on).  When I started it up again this afternoon, this was where it was at.

May 12, after less than 2 days usage.

Which means that last night, in between the time I checked it and the time I shut down the computer – less than 2 hours – my system used almost a full gig of data.  I reset the stats in the evening of the 10th, so that 7.75 gigs was used in less than 48 hours.  Probably closer to 30 hours.

What the heck???

Well, my darling husband did some looking and found some places for me to check.  One suggested looking for something I apparently don’t have on my computer at all.  The other was a site I’d used when we first discovered the problem, and suggested going into an area I had forgotten about.

The Privacy settings.

It turned out that, on updating itself, Windows 10 turned on a whole bunch of background notifications on various apps, most of which are system apps I can’t uninstall.

If anyone is interested, this is the link that I found the most useful.

I went through the entire Privacy area and shut off pretty much everything there.

Hopefully, this will slay the Data Vampire, once again!

Just in case, though, my husband called and added another 100 gigs to his plan – we can do that, now that we have the new satellite upgrade – because in the space of 12 days, my system used up enough data that just normal usage between the 4 of us would put us over the 100 gig limit on BOTH accounts, before my daughter’s account rolls over in less than a week.

Hopefully, my shutting all that stuff off in the Privacy area will mean we will only need that upgrade for this month, and can go back to the lower limit data plan next month.

Thankfully, this is happening only with my desktop.  My daughters can meter their systems, and my husband’s older laptop just doesn’t do this sort of thing.  He can’t even look up the system’s data usage.

I am now going to reset the stats again, and see what difference turning all those privacy settings off has accomplished.

Ah, the joys of rural internet.

The Re-Farmer

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