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Windows Phone Using Vast Amounts of Data for Backup

There’s a problem which has been plaguing many users of Windows 10 Mobile – and this is one which is actually having financial repercussions.

First reported by a user on Reddit, it was found that the operating system had used up gigabytes of network data even when the phone was connected to Wi-Fi. It’s been discovered that the System app will rack up hundreds of megabytes per day in consumption. For many, this is unknowingly causing them to go over their network’s data contract, landing them with hefty bills.

The feature that is causing this issue is the SMS and MMS utility. Of course, the more text messages you have, the greater the amount of data that is being backed up. This has meant that some users are finding years of texts being sent into the backup server, which is heavily eating into their data plans.

Normally, the app should abide by the user’s request to only backup when Wi-Fi is enabled, but it seems that a bug is causing it to ignore this, which means that it’ll backup when on a standard network connection too. Phone networks are often keen to take advantage of their customers who exceed data allowances, charging them extortionate amounts for doing so.

Luckily, some users have their data automatically capped by their network or device, meaning it’s impossible for them to go over their limit without their explicit permission. Some users, however, haven’t been quite so lucky.

It’s simple to check if your phone is consuming vast amounts of data. Go to the Settings menu, then navigate to Network & Wireless. From here, select Data usage, and then select Usage details to have data usage broken down per app. You’ll usually find the listing for System at the bottom of the list.

If you’ve found that your System is milking your data usage dry, there’s a way to stop it doing so. This can be done by disabling the automatic backup and restore feature. For this, navigate to Settings > System > Messaging, then toggle off Sync messages between devices.

An alternative method would be to turn off your phone’s network connection entirely or to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1, but neither of these are ideal. It’s suggested that you use your above solution and use a third-party app to back up your data in the meantime.

The Windows team have acknowledged this problem on Reddit and they advise users to locate the listing on the Feedback app and to vote it up to increase visibility and priority.

Windows 10 Mobile is still a new operating system and it’s only available on new phones at the moment, so it’s understandable that it will have bugs. It hasn’t had the chance to be fully tested by a wide consumer base. However, this particular bug is more than just a minor inconvenience, it’s one that can put people out of pocket. Hopefully Microsoft can work quickly to get this one resolved speedily so that users can re-enable their backup.


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