How to Shut off Windows 10 File Sharing (WUDO)

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has confirmed it is using customers' Internet connections to distribute Windows 10 to other users. While it doesn't appear to pose a serious security risk, switching off the feature is a bit tricky.

The feature is officially known as Windows Update Delivery Optimization, or "WUDO". It involves putting some downloaded Windows 10 files into a temporary directory area on a users computer; the files are then made available to other computers over the Internet. Microsoft insists no personal files or folders are shared in this way.

The same system will also apply to future updates along with apps in the Windows Store. According to Microsoft, it is designed to "help you get updates and apps more quickly if you have a limited or unreliable Internet connection." (Source:

That may be true, but the feature also means that because users can get Windows 10 files from multiple sources, there's less direct demand on Microsoft's own servers. In principle that's a sensible and efficient tactic, as having millions of people try to download Windows 10 at the same time creates a huge demand. Putting additional server capacity in place just for this period would not be very cost-effective.

Microsoft Tactic Similar To Torrents

WUDO actually works in a very similar way to peer-to-peer file sharing services such as BitTorrent, which break files into small pieces. Users can then get the pieces from multiple sources and have them recombined on their machines - something that's often more efficient than a direct download.

There's an element of irony to Microsoft using this technique for Windows 10. While peer-to-peer filesharing is undoubtedly widely used for illegally sharing copyrighted files such as movies and music, defenders point out that it has perfectly legitimate use for large files, such as those which make up rival Linux-based operating systems.

The big problem here is that Microsoft has set WUDO to run on many machines by default. That is arguably a terrible idea, as it could mean unexpectedly high data upload usage, which could be a major problem for those who have Internet plans with transfer limits.

Microsoft says it has set the system up to block the feature if it detects users are on metered or capped connections. However, there's no guarantee that this detection will work in all cases.

How to Switch off or Modify the Windows 10 WUDO Service

If you want to switch off the WUDO feature - or modify it so it only shares files on your local network, do the following:

  1. Click Start and type in "Advanced Windows Update options" (no quotes) and wait for the item to appear in the menu and click it.
  2. The "Settings" app will appear. Underneath the two check boxes, click the option called "Choose how updates are delivered"
  3. A new window will appear with the heading "Updates from more than one place"
  4. You now have three options:

    (a) You can shut off the feature entirely using the on / off slider on the page. We recommend you leave it on, and combine it with the next option, however.

    (b) If you leave the option on, you can can set it to share with only "PCs on your network." If you choose this option then you can update other Windows 10 computers in the same home, and it would actually save your bandwidth by not downloading the same updates from the Internet.

    (c) Alternatively, you can also set it to share with "PCs on your network and the Internet." If you choose this, then you would be sharing your Internet bandwidth with others. We don't recommend this setting unless you have a very fast Internet connection with a very large upload cap or unlimited usage.

What's Your Opinion?

Should Microsoft have enabled WUDO by default? Is it a sensible system to create faster and more efficient downloads all round? Or does Microsoft not have the right to use your computer to distribute files without getting express permission first?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I've enabled it for local networks and that is a fantastic idea as it actually saves downloading the same updates on other computers. I'm not too crazy about sharing my bandwidth to share updates on the Internet, however. I just don't have a fast enough connection.

Phil's picture

I gather that this is only set up on PCs that are already running Win 10 - since typing Advanced Windows Update options into the search box on my Win 7 Start Menu came up dry.

spiras's picture

I think that Microsoft aught not impose Torrent-style file sharing on users by setting this option as the default and just letting users who wish so to opt out.
Many users probably aren't even aware of the implications of file sharing.
Therefore the default should be that WUDO is disabled for the internet, and then maybe reward users who are willing to share their resources - to the benefit of Microsoft - in some way, e.g. give them preference in upgrade scheduling or some other bonus.

Syscob Support's picture

As anyone updating to Win10 is NOT INFORMED of this clandestine use of their property and assets this is a clear violation of common law. Redmond is legally liable for the portion of the cost of any ISP connection used in this way. If you pay $30 and upload ½GB while Microsoft uploads 1GB to service others on your ISP then MS legally owes you $20. For a large commercial user this could be a quite significant sum. Not to mention the threat when a hacker takes it over—which will happen.

Commenter's picture

This is stealing, plain and simple. If Microsoft doesn't get a person's express permission to share their bandwidth, then Microsoft has no right to take it.

Does anyone seriously believe that this has been done to help the consumer? It's clearly done for Microsoft's benefit and any side benefit to users is totally coincidental.

Dennis Faas's picture

I'm guessing the express consent is inside the EULA when you agree to use Windows 10. Admittedly, I haven't read it.

bardrow_5153's picture

I am running win8.1 and I do not get any option to change the setting when I type in advanced windows update option.

David's picture

My home ISP does not give me unlimited data, but has a monthly cap that if exceeded costs me money. It doesn't matter to me if this WUDO service is included in the endless legalese known as the EULA, allowing this option to be turned off during installation is a MUST.

Although South Park did a fantastic take on the consequences of agreeing without reading, Microsoft has no business potentially subjecting users to third-party costs without explicit opt-in consent separate from the EULA.

John Heathe's picture

I think Microsoft should have requested Windows 10 Users their permission! Period.