Windows 11 Delivery Optimization High Network Usage

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Microsoft’s Windows 11, like its predecessor Windows 10, comes equipped with a smart feature known as Delivery Optimization. While this technology is intended to streamline the process of updates and application acquisition, it has been associated with unusually high network usage. This article will look into the functionality of “Service Host: Delivery Optimization“, the reasons behind its high network consumption, and offers solutions to manage and potentially alleviate the issue.

Also see: Can I Delete Delivery Optimization Files in Windows 11?

Windows 11 Delivery Optimization High Network Usage

What is Service Host Delivery Optimization?

Delivery Optimization is a cloud-based, peer-to-peer (P2P) technology that Microsoft has developed to enhance the process of downloading Windows updates and Microsoft Store apps. Rather than pulling updates from a single source, Delivery Optimization sources files from multiple locations simultaneously.

These sources can include Microsoft’s servers, other PCs on your local network, or PCs on the internet that are also engaged in downloading the same files. The beauty of this technology lies in its efficiency — by harnessing multiple sources, it significantly reduces the time taken to download files.

What is Service Host Delivery Optimization

However, this multiple-source approach has a downside. It can lead to high network usage, particularly in network environments that are already constrained by bandwidth limitations. For a clearer understanding of how this happens, let’s break down the specifics.

Linked issue: Service Host Local System High CPU, Disk or Memory Usage

Why Delivery Optimization causes high network usage

1. Peer-to-peer sharing

When Delivery Optimization is enabled, your computer transforms into a potential host that shares updates with other PCs. This could include computers within your local network or, in some configurations, PCs on the internet.

This communal distribution approach, while revolutionary, has implications for network usage. When multiple devices pull updates from your PC, it results in substantial network traffic. As such, you might experience increased network usage, particularly if you have numerous devices fetching updates from your machine.

Useful tip: How to Know Which Program is Using The Internet in Windows 11

2. Downloading from multiple sources

One of the key features of Delivery Optimization is its ability to fetch updates from various sources simultaneously. By doing so, it ensures that downloads complete as rapidly as possible. However, the trade-off for this speed is bandwidth usage. With multiple streams of data being downloaded at the same time, your bandwidth is consumed at a faster rate, leading to high network usage.

3. Frequent updates

Another factor that contributes to the high network usage is the frequency of updates. Windows 11, like other operating systems, requires regular updates to fix bugs, patch security vulnerabilities, and introduce new features. In addition, Microsoft Store apps are also updated regularly to keep them current and secure. The more frequent these updates occur, the more bandwidth Delivery Optimization consumes to download and distribute them.

Related concern: Why is My Memory Usage So High When Nothing is Running?

How to manage Delivery Optimization and network usage

Fortunately, high network usage due to Delivery Optimization is manageable. Windows provides settings that allow users to control the impact of Delivery Optimization on their networks. Here’s how to find and adjust these settings:

  1. Click on the “Start” button, then select “Settings”.
  2. In the Settings window, choose “Windows Update” from the list on the left, then select “Advanced options”.Windows 11 Update Advanced Options
  3. Scroll down and select “Delivery Optimization”.Windows 11 Delivery Optimization Settings
  4. In the Delivery Optimization settings, click on “Advanced options”.Delivery Optimization Advanced options

Here, you can control the amount of your network’s bandwidth allocated for downloading updates in the background and uploading updates to other PCs. You can also define a limit for the monthly upload volume.

  • “Download settings”: This setting controls the percentage of measured bandwidth that Delivery Optimization can use for background downloads. By reducing this percentage, you can limit the bandwidth consumed by Delivery Optimization, thereby reducing network usage.Why Delivery Optimization causes high network usage
  • “Upload settings”: This setting controls the bandwidth used for uploading updates to other PCs. If you find your network usage high due to the peer-to-peer sharing feature, you can reduce this percentage or even toggle off the “Allow uploads to other PCs” option.Delivery Optimization high download and upload
  • “Monthly upload limit”: If you have a data cap on your network, you can set a monthly upload limit. This limit defines how much data your PC sends to other PCs in a month, ensuring you don’t exceed your data allowance.

Adjusting these settings helps strike a balance between optimizing update delivery and managing network usage.

Recommended resource: How to Enable Net Speed Monitor in Windows 11

How to disable Delivery Optimization in Windows 11

In some cases, you may decide to disable Delivery Optimization entirely, perhaps because adjusting its settings does not sufficiently reduce your network usage. To disable Delivery Optimization:

  1. Click on the “Start” button, then select “Settings”.
  2. In the Settings window, choose “Windows Update” from the list on the left, then select “Advanced options”.Windows 11 Update Advanced Options
  3. Scroll down and select “Delivery Optimization”.
  4. Toggle off the switch that says “Allow downloads from other PCs”.How to disable Delivery Optimization in Windows 11

Disabling Delivery Optimization effectively turns off the peer-to-peer sharing feature. Please note, however, that this might result in slower download speeds for Windows updates and Microsoft Store apps, as they will now only download directly from Microsoft servers.

Wrapping up

Delivery Optimization in Windows 11, a feature carried over from Windows 10, is a smart tool designed to expedite the download of updates and apps. However, its functionality can inadvertently lead to high network usage due to its peer-to-peer sharing feature, simultaneous downloading from multiple sources, and the frequency of updates. By understanding how this feature works and adjusting its settings, users can achieve a balance between rapid updates and manageable network usage.

Remember that Windows 11 is designed to offer customizable user experiences. So, if necessary, you can completely disable Delivery Optimization. But bear in mind, the downside might be slower download speeds for updates and applications, as they will only download directly from Microsoft’s servers. The best approach is to explore different settings, understand your network’s capabilities and needs, and then choose an optimization level that provides the best user experience.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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