The delivery optimization feature in Windows 11 speeds up the process of downloading Windows updates by letting computers connected to the same network share update files directly from their machine rather than having to download them from Microsoft. However, delivery optimization is enabled by default, and it exposes you to picking up a virus from someone else’s computer. Thankfully, if you either don’t trust the feature, or if you just don’t like the idea of it, you can disable it quickly.
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Steps to Turn Off Delivery Optimization in Windows 11
- Navigate to your Windows 11 home screen, and then press the “Windows” and “I” keys at the same time.
- Click “Windows Update” in the menu on the left side of the screen. Windows Update options are shown on the right side of the screen.
- Click “Advanced Options.” The advanced options associated with Windows Update are displayed.
- Find the Additional Options section, and then click “Delivery Optimization.”
- Find the Allow Downloads from Other PCs section, and then click to toggle that option off. Going forward, delivery optimization will be turned off on your Windows 11 computer.
Is Delivery Optimization Safe in Windows 11?
You should always be wary of pulling files from another computer. However, as long as you’re on a network you trust with machines you’re familiar with, Delivery Optimization should be safe. Microsoft does a check against any files loaded to your computer for authenticity to help ensure that you’re not picking up unsafe or inauthentic files. Check out this article from Microsoft for more information about Delivery Optimization for both Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Reasons to Turn Off Delivery Optimization in Windows 11
1. Bandwidth Usage Concerns
Windows 11’s Delivery Optimization feature uses your internet bandwidth to distribute updates to other systems. This may result in significant data consumption. For users with capped or metered connections, the data usage could quickly add up. This is even more noticeable when large updates or new builds are being distributed. In situations where data is limited or expensive, keeping this feature turned on may not be the most cost-effective option.
2. Potential Slowdown of Internet Speed
Delivery Optimization works in the background, downloading and uploading updates. This concurrent data transfer can cause a noticeable reduction in internet speed. For activities that require high bandwidth, such as online gaming or streaming video, this slowdown could disrupt your experience. The speed reduction might be especially noticeable if your internet connection is already less than ideal. For the sake of a smooth, uninterrupted online experience, turning off Delivery Optimization might be beneficial.
3. Privacy-Related Considerations
Even though Microsoft asserts that Delivery Optimization only shares non-sensitive data, privacy concerns persist among some users. The thought of your computer sharing files with unknown PCs might be uncomfortable for many. The idea of participating in this peer-to-peer transfer system, despite assurances of safety, could raise questions about data security. If you prioritize privacy and data security, you might prefer to disable Delivery Optimization.
4. Limited Benefit in Certain Situations
Delivery Optimization is a feature that may not always offer noticeable benefits. If your internet connection is already fast and reliable, the time saved by downloading parts of updates from other PCs could be negligible. Also, depending on your geographical location and the number of participating PCs nearby, the efficiency of this system may vary. In cases where the feature doesn’t add significant value, you might choose to turn it off.
5. Resource Utilization on Your PC
Delivery Optimization, while generally not resource-intensive, can still utilize CPU and disk resources. This can potentially interfere with other tasks, especially on systems with limited resources. The process of uploading updates to other PCs may require storage and processing power that could be better used for other tasks. If you’re concerned about maximizing your computer’s performance, disabling Delivery Optimization could be a step in that direction.
6. Desire for Control Over Updates
Disabling Delivery Optimization ensures that your PC retrieves updates directly from Microsoft. This can be seen as a more trustworthy source by some users, as the updates are coming straight from the creator. Relying solely on Microsoft’s servers for updates offers a direct line of communication, bypassing the peer-to-peer network. If you prefer to maintain control over the origin of your updates, you might decide to disable this feature.