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Mac Bandwidth Usage and How to Control It!

Mac bandwidth usage troubles have you down? Well, here are some tips to help cut the bandwidth and help you improve your usage on your data plan. When you understand how bandwidth is used, you can then understand how you as the consumer can control it. Bandwidth is the amount of information that moves from your computer over the connection to another computer on the network. Something like how you use your cell phones. By associating each tip with actions, you can create that will help you control your bandwidth on a daily basis, therefore, help you keep within the limits of your plan.

Update your Mac

  1. Ensure that your macOS has the newest and greatest OS 10.13.4.
  2. By ensuring you have the newest update, you are protecting your Mac and all patches are working properly on your Mac.


  1. You will want to see if your content caching is enabled. This feature saves the content on your Mac already downloaded. Meaning it will not need to download that article again that you were reading four mins ago because it already has it downloaded.
  2. Let us get started! Find the Apple menu
  3. Find “system preferences” click on it.
  4. Find “sharing” click on it.
  5. Search through the list of services for “Content Caching” click on it.
  6. Remember after any changes you will need to restart your Mac. So, restart your Mac now.
  7. You can now view the “Activity Monitor” for the cached for downloaded or uploaded content to your Mac.


Disable Automatic Updates! Why you ask because it can make your connection slow down and take up bandwidth.

  1. On your Mac, you will again click on system preferences.
  2. Find the software updates. See if it is checked to automatically update. If so then uncheck it.
  3. You will have to put your password in for this function. You know Mac likes to ensure it is the user performing this task.
  4. You can check the App Store to ensure it will not come from the app. You will open the App Store.
  5. Click on Preferences.
  6. Look for Automatic Updates box make sure it is unchecked.
  7. Also, look for Video Autoplay uncheck this box also. You want to guarantee that no automatic updates are working.
  8. You will want to check for the updates so that your Mac will work properly. But by controlling the updates you are controlling the bandwidth.


Is your Mac on auto-join? This will use bandwidth because when you walk through town and your Mac is on it will join any network that is open. So, to fix this issue do the next steps.

  1. Open system preference on the Apple menu or click on the network/wi-fi icon.
  2. If you are in system preferences, you will click on network.
  3. Search for advance and then the wi-fi tab.
  4. Find any networks you do not want to auto-join and removed them. Remember the only network you want to auto-join is your own.
  5. Then press ok!
  6. Now the pop up should disappear. Restart your computer.


  1. Monitor the use of bandwidth.
  2. You can do this by simply going into the applications.
  3. Click on utilities and open the ‘Activity Monitor.”
  4. This will help you understand which apps or processes are using the most bandwidth.


  1. If you have my photo stream this is going to take up bandwidth. To help control the bandwidth on this app you will follow the next steps.
  2. Click on system preferences (it all goes back to the system preferences)
  3. Find iCloud option by the photos.
  4. Make sure that it is unchecked.
  5. By disabling this it may help reduce the use of bandwidth.

*Note: You can go to Photos click on Album then on My Photo Stream to view your photos. *


  1. When you are backing up to iCloud do not do it once a month. This will cause you to use a lot of bandwidth. Do it in small steps.      

As always Apple support will help you if your Mac is not taking updates or you cannot figure out what is wrong. https://getsupport.apple.com/

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