Download speeds may differ from one site to the next or from one app to the next. Steam, in particular, frequently has this issue. Overloaded Steam servers, not your internet connection, are sometimes to blame. Your device or network, on the other hand, could be to blame. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of causes and solutions to this issue.
Begin with troubleshooting.
The first thing you should do if you notice a sluggish Steam download is this. Always compare Steam’s download speed to that of another website or app. For example, you can launch Uplay, Blizzard Battlenet, Origin, Epic Games Launcher, and other platforms to test your download speed.
You can also test your download speed on an official, high-speed site like NVIDIA’s driver download page. Try downloading a graphics card driver and seeing if your download speed improves. If it is, the issue is on your end.
There are numerous solutions to this scenario, as well as numerous reasons why your internet download speed is slower than usual. Remember that Steam’s servers can become overburdened at times because they can only handle so many user requests at once.
How to Accelerate Steam Downloads
It’s infuriating when you’re eager to play a new game but have to wait hours for the download to finish. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to accelerate Steam downloads.
The sections that follow will teach you how to speed up your Steam downloads in various ways.
Change to Ethernet
Using Ethernet rather than WiFi is one of the simplest ways to speed up your connection. If you already have an Ethernet connection, you can skip ahead.
Ethernet connections are not only more secure, but they are also more reliable. The reason for this recommendation is that on a WiFi network, your data must pass through the router before reaching your computer. An Ethernet connection, in effect, eliminates the middleman, resulting in faster download speeds.
Of course, this isn’t the only thing slowing down Steam, so we’ll look at some other options as well.
Change the Location of Your Steam Server
Steam has servers located all over the world. It is possible that your downloads will be slowed if you are using a server that is too far away or if the closest one is experiencing problems. Here’s how to change the location of your Steam server:
- Open your Steam desktop client and select Steam from the menu at the top.
- Select Settings.
- Select Downloads.
- Select Download Region from the dropdown menu.
Select the nearest region from the dropdown menu and try downloading again.
Check that Steam does not have a bandwidth limit.
Users can limit their bandwidth usage in Steam’s settings. The idea is to put gaming ahead of downloads. This, however, may result in slower download speeds. Here’s how to disable Steam’s bandwidth limit:
- Launch Steam and click the Steam button in the upper left-hand corner.
- Select Settings.
- Select Downloads.
- Examine the download restrictions options. Make sure the limited bandwidth and throttled downloads boxes are unchecked.
Try installing the new game again after prioritizing bandwidth to support the download.
Close All Unnecessary Computer Processes
Another source of slow downloads is having too many open tabs, browsers, and apps on your computer. Closing unnecessary apps and browsers can help you download faster. Here’s the quickest way to see what’s running on your computer and close it down:
- Navigate to the Windows Task Manager.
- To highlight everything you’re not using, use the Shift + Click shortcut. Then, click Finish task.
- Retry your download after closing some programs.
Remove Steam’s Cache
Cached data are temporary files that can slow down Steam. If none of the previous methods have worked, try clearing the cache. Here’s how it’s done:
- Start Steam.
- Launch the Steam menu from the top-left corner of your screen.
- Choose Settings.
- Select Downloads.
- Select and confirm the Clear Download Cache option.
- After that, you must re-enter Steam because it will log you out.
Now that there are no temporary files clogging Steam, try your download again.
Questions and Answers
Anyone who enjoys PC gaming should check out Steam. Here are the answers to some additional questions about Steam downloads.
My download was never finished. Who should I contact?
If you are unable to download a purchased game, the first step is to troubleshoot. There is an excellent article here that will walk you through the various troubleshooting techniques.
Perhaps you bought a game that is incompatible with your hardware, or you’ve had so much trouble downloading that you’re ready to give up. Whatever the reason, you can contact Steam at help.steampowered.com to request a refund.
How much time does it take to download a game from Steam?
Unfortunately, answering this question is nearly impossible. However, many users have inquired whether other players have faster download speeds, and the answer is most likely yes.
Keep in mind that download speeds vary depending on the size of the game, your internet connection, the distance between you and the nearest node, and other factors.
Those with slower download speeds will need to plan ahead of time for a download. For the best download experience, start the installation before leaving for work or school, or before going to bed at night. Let’s be honest: staring at the download icon as it slowly crawls to completion is excruciatingly painful. If you can’t speed up your internet, starting a download when you know you’ll be gone for a while is the best option.
Sometimes the cause of a slow download is Steam, and in some cases, you can fix it. As previously stated, you cannot resolve server-side issues on Steam. These necessitate the expenditure of time, resources, and access to Valve’s computers and networks.
Valve’s Additional Suggestions
Valve recommends removing Steam from your computer and reinstalling it. Go to the official Steam page and select Install Steam. Once the setup is complete, you can log in using your previous credentials.
A fresh install is the same as updating the Steam client to the most recent version. Many things can be messed up by these updates, including download speed. Valve also advises users to exercise caution when using third-party apps such as antivirus, firewall, VPN, security, and other software.
Torrenting may also result in extremely slow Steam downloads. IP blockers and other programs that limit traffic on your computer do not work well with Steam. Download management programs, like Steam, are also bad for your connection, as are any programs that claim to speed up your connection.
Don’t worry about it.
There are times when there is nothing you can do to speed up Steam downloads. If none of our suggestions work, there is probably no way to resolve this problem. You have no choice but to let it go. If you can, do something else while Steam is running in the background.
When the servers become more responsive, i.e. when traffic slows down, the game will eventually download. Feel free to leave a comment in the section below.