If you are finding that Steam is downloading slowly then these tips might help speed things up.
Sometimes though you might find that Steam just isn't downloading fast enough. This could be down to Steam's servers but it could also be something simple causing a download slowdown. There are numerous things you can do fix this though, so we're here to help you with simple tips and tricks worth trying.
Check Steam's download settings
The first logical thing to do is to check Steam's download settings. Some simple settings in here might be holding you back, but with a few quick changes you can increase your download speeds and reduce your misery.
In order to do this follow these steps:
- Open Steam
- Click on the Steam menu on the top left
- Under settings look for "Downloads" and click that
- Be sure to untick "Limit bandwidth" if it is ticked
- Also untick "only auto update games between" if you want unrestricted downloads all-day
You may also choose to allow downloads during gameplay and unticking "throttle downloads while streaming" if you not using Steam Remote Play. Tweaking these settings may help improve your Steam download speeds but there are other ones to check too.
Change download servers
Under the same Steam download settings menu you'll also find that Steam has automatically selected your download region.
Steam is a cloud-based service and it will automatically select your download area but this might not be the best one, trying some of the others might help improve speed.
- Open Steam Downloads settings
- Under "Download Region" click the drop-down menu
- Look for and select nearby download regions
- If there are several try different local ones to see if any help alleviate your slow download speeds
Another thing to keep in mind here is that Steam will not download at your maximum broadband speed. Your Steam download speed can be influenced by many things including the download region, but also other apps you have running, all the things connected to your home network and more.
If you have a VPN service and are running that while downloading games you might find that the wrong download region has been automatically selected because of this. You could try temporarily disabling your VPN in order to see if local downloads are more successful.
Clear Steam's download cache
Steam has a built-in cache to help with downloads. Although this tool can help with the download process sometimes it can also cause problems, so if you're suffering from slow Steam downloads then it might be worth trying to clear this cache.
To clear your cache do this:
- Open Steam and navigate to settings via the Steam menu
- Click on downloads
- Under all the various settings click the button marked "clear download cache"
- A pop-up will appear that you'll need to agree to
- You'll then be logged out of Steam and need to log in again
This should flush the cache and may help.
Close other apps
Aside from Steam itself having causing issues with downloads it might well be that there are other things throttling your speeds. This includes other things on your network but also apps on your gaming PC.
To check this we'd recommend opening Task Manager.
- Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC on your keyboard and open Task Manager and see what apps are running
- In Task Manager you'll see a column marked network. If you click on that column it'll filter by the apps using the most bandwidth.
- You can then close anything else that might be draining bandwidth and slowing your downloads.
Logically closing other game apps like Epic Games launcher, Ubisoft Connect, Origin and more will stop those apps from downloading and free up some speed.
Head over to your taskbar and click on the upward arrow next to the clock, look for these kinds of other apps and right-click then click to close them.