Setting a metered connection in Windows 10 is necessary for many users. Whether you have limited Internet or just want more control over Windows updates, a metered connection is a useful feature. At least, it’s useful until you try to connect your Bluetooth headphones, keyboard, or other device. Then, you might get a Bluetooth metered connection error. The problem isn’t your device but the connection, which is easy to fix.
Why It Happens
The Bluetooth metered connection error occurs because Windows 10 tries to automatically download the latest drivers and device updates every time you connect a Bluetooth device. This makes setting up a device easier than manually searching for drivers, if you even need them.
The problem is, if you have a metered connection, Windows won’t download anything. Since nothing can be downloaded, Windows gives you an error saying: “Setup incomplete because of a metered connection.”
If you turn off your metered connection, you may forget to turn it back on. This leaves Windows updates free to install, whether you want them or not. There is an easy workaround, though.
Some devices, such as keyboards and mice, work even if you get this error. If everything’s working fine, you don’t need to change anything. However, you can get the latest device drivers by using the method in the next section.
Allow Bluetooth Downloads
The easiest fix is to allow Bluetooth device drivers to download even with a metered connection. These are typically small files that won’t hurt your data plan. If you’re worried, check with the device manufacturer to see how big the driver files are.
Go to “Settings -> Devices.”
Bluetooth should be the default tab open, but if not, select “Bluetooth & other devices” in the left pane. Scroll down on the right side until you see “Download over metered connections.” Check the box to allow downloads over metered connections.
Your device(s) should start to pair. If a compatible driver is already on your system, the pairing should be almost immediate, if your device is in pairing mode. If Windows 10 needs to download drivers, your device will pair as soon as the download is complete and installed.
Considerations After Pairing
This is where things get a little tricky. The Bluetooth metered connection error disappears after your device has successfully paired. That’s the good news. However, if you uncheck the download over metered connections setting, the error reappears the next time you try to pair your device.
Depending on the device, Windows may allow it to pair, even without turning on the download setting. For instance, I’m able to connect my Logitech mouse and keyboard each time with no problem. However, I can’t pair my Philips speaker without checking the download box. In over a year, Windows hasn’t downloaded anything for my speaker, but Windows still wants to check for updates every time, no matter what.
If you’d prefer not to leave the setting turned on, create a shortcut to the Bluetooth settings on your desktop. Uniform Resource Identifiers allow you to create shortcuts to many Windows settings.
For Bluetooth, right-click on an empty area of your desktop and choose New > Shortcut.
Copy and paste the following in the shortcut location box – ms-settings:bluetooth
Press Next and give your shortcut a name. Then, click the shortcut on your desktop to quickly jump to Bluetooth settings to turn the download option on and off.
If you’re still getting the Bluetooth metered connection error, you may have to turn off the metered connection completely until the device pairs. This happens rarely, but some users do have trouble with certain devices.
When you turn off your metered connection, give your device a few minutes to successfully pair. If you’re afraid of updates trying to install, pause Windows updates to freeze updates temporarily. The default is seven days. This setting is under “Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.” Scroll down until you see “Pause updates for 7 days.” Select this to prevent updates.
Just remember to reset your connection as metered once your device pairs. In most cases, your device should continue to pair after this initial setup, although you may have to allow downloads over a metered connection within your Bluetooth settings.