Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (2024)

Download speeds may vary from site to site or from app to app. Steam, in particular, often has problems in this regard.

Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (1)

Sometimes, the issue is overloaded Steam servers, not your internet connection. On the other hand, your device or network might be to blame. Read on for an extensive list of reasons and solutions for this problem.

Start With Troubleshooting

If you notice that a Steam download is sluggish, here is the first thing you should do. Always compare the download speed on Steam with some other site or app. For example, you can launch Uplay, Blizzard Battlenet, Origin, Epic Games Launcher, etc., and observe your download speed on those platforms.

Additionally, you can test your download speed on an official, high-speed site such as NVIDIA’s driver download page. Try downloading a driver for your graphics card and see if your download speed is still slow. If it is, then the problem is on your end.

There are plenty of solutions for this scenario and plenty of reasons why your internet download speed is slower than usual. Remember that sometimes Steam’s servers can get overburdened since they can only take in so many user requests at a time.

How to Speed Up Downloads on Steam

It is frustrating when you’re excited to play a new game, but you must wait hours for the download to complete. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to speed up Steam downloads.

The following sections will teach you various methods to speed up your Steam downloads.

Switch to Ethernet

One of the easiest ways to speed up your connection is to use Ethernet rather than WiFi. If you’re already running on an Ethernet connection, skip ahead.

The Ethernet connection is not only more secure but it’s also more reliable. The reason for this recommendation is that on a WiFi network, your data must transmit through the router and then to your PC. An Ethernet connection cuts out the middle-man, so to speak, which results in faster download speeds.

Of course, this may not be the only thing slowing down Steam, so we’ll review some other options too.

Change Your Steam Server Location

Steam has servers all over the globe. If you’re using a server that’s too far away or the closest one is having issues, it may slow your downloads. Here’s how to change your Steam server location:

  1. Open your Steam desktop client and click Steam at the top.
    Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (2)
  2. Click on Settings.
    Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (3)
  3. Click Downloads.
    Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (4)
  4. Choose the dropdown next to Download Region.
    Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (5)

Now, select the nearest region in the dropdown menu and attempt the download again.

Ensure Steam Doesn’t Have a Bandwidth Limit

The settings in Steam allow users to limit the usage of their bandwidth. The idea is to prioritize gaming over downloads. However, this can lead to slower download speeds. Here’s how to turn off the bandwidth limit in Steam:

  1. Open Steam and click on Steam in the upper left-hand corner.
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  2. Click on Settings.
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  3. Click on Downloads.
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  4. Review the options under Download Restrictions. Ensure that the limited bandwidth box and the throttle downloads box are unchecked.
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After prioritizing the bandwidth to support the download, try to install the new game again.

Close All Unnecessary Processes on Your Computer

Another issue with bandwidth that causes slower downloads is too many open tabs, browsers, and apps on your computer. Closing unnecessary apps and browsers can speed up your download. Here’s the fastest way to see everything running on your computer and close them out:

  1. Open the Windows Task Manager.
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  2. Use the Shift + Click shortcut to highlight everything you’re not using. Then, click End task.
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After closing some programs, retry your download.

Clear Steam’s Cache

Cached data are temporary files that can cause Steam to run slower. If the methods above haven’t helped, try clearing the cache. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Open the Steam dropdown menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
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  3. Select Settings.
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  4. Click on Downloads.
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  5. Select the Clear Download Cache option and confirm.
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  6. After that, you need to log back into Steam because it will log you out.

Now that no temporary files are bogging Steam down; try your download.

Frequently Asked Questions

Steam is an excellent resource for anyone who enjoys PC gaming. Here are the answers to more questions you may have about Steam downloads.

My download was never completed. Who do I contact?

If for some reason, you can’t download a game you’ve purchased, the first step is troubleshooting. There is a great article here that will walk you through the various troubleshooting tips.

Perhaps you purchased a game that isn’t compatible with your hardware, or you’ve had so much trouble with the download that you’re ready to give up. Regardless of the reason, you can contact Steam to request a refund at help.steampowered.com.

How long does it take to download a game on Steam?

Unfortunately, this question is nearly impossible to answer. But many users have asked if other players get faster download speeds, and the answer to that is likely yes.

Keep in mind that your download speeds vary depending on the size of the game, your internet speeds, how far you are away from the nearest node, and other factors.

Those with slower download speeds will need to prepare for a download ahead of time. It’s best to begin the installation before leaving for work or school or before going to bed at night for the best download experience. Let’s be honest, staring at the download icon slowly crawling to completion is incredibly unpleasant. Starting a download when you know you’ll be away for a while is the best possible scenario if you can’t speed up your internet.

Sometimes the reason for slow download can reside with Steam, and in some scenarios, you can fix it. As mentioned before, you can’t resolve server-side issues on Steam. Those take time, resources, and access to Valve’s computers and networks.

Additional Tips from Valve

Valve recommends that you delete Steam entirely from your computer and install it again. Visit the official Steam page and click on Install Steam. Once the setup is complete, you can log in with your credentials, just like before.

A clean install is equal to updating the Steam client to the latest version. Sometimes these updates mess up many things, including the download speed. Valve also warns its users to be careful with third-party apps, such as antivirus, firewall, VPN, security, and other software.

Torrenting may also cause very slow Steam downloads. Programs that limit the traffic on your computer, such as IP blockers, also don’t play well with Steam. Download management programs are also bad for Steam and any programs that claim to speed up your connection.

Don’t Stress It

Sometimes, there is simply nothing you can do to speed up Steam downloads. If none of the advice we gave you works, there is probably no fixing this issue. All that you can do is let it go. Play something else if you can while allowing Steam to run in the background.

The game will eventually download when the servers become more responsive, i.e., when the traffic slows down. Feel free to leave a comment below in the comments section.

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Why Is My Download So Slow on Steam? Here's How To Fix (2024)


How to fix Steam slow download speed? ›

If Steam downloads are going slower than expected, please double check your current download region:
  1. Start Steam.
  2. Go to. Steam. > Settings. > ...
  3. Under. Download region. , select the region that you are in or that is closest to you.
  4. You can also try various regions near your location to see if a better connection is available.

How do I force Steam to download faster? ›

How to Speed Up Steam Downloads
  1. 1 Close out of other programs.
  2. 2 Use an ethernet cable instead of WiFi.
  3. 3 Allocate more bandwidth to Steam.
  4. 4 Remove Steam's own bandwidth limit.
  5. 5 Clear Steam's download cache.
  6. 6 Select a different download server location.
  7. 7 Disable Windows' metered connection.
  8. 8 Turn off your VPN.
Sep 16, 2023

How to fix slow download speeds? ›

10 steps to make your internet faster
  1. Restart your equipment. A simple reboot can solve many speed issues. ...
  2. Move your equipment. ...
  3. Change your Wi-Fi password. ...
  4. Disconnect some devices. ...
  5. Plug your device into the modem. ...
  6. Update your equipment. ...
  7. Contact your provider. ...
  8. Add a Wi-Fi booster or extender.
Jan 5, 2024

How do I fix Steam download problems? ›

The specific reason for the error will be shown in the parenthesis at the end of the error message.
  1. Basic Steam Troubleshooting. ...
  2. Restart Computer. ...
  3. Clear Download Cache. ...
  4. Repair Library Folder. ...
  5. Verify Local Files. ...
  6. Change Download Region. ...
  7. Reinstall Steam. ...
  8. Move Game Folder.

How to clear Steam cache? ›

In the Settings panel, select the Downloads tab and you'll find the "Clear Download Cache" button at the bottom. Then select "OK" to confirm and acknowledge that you'll need to login to Steam again.

Does Steam limit download speed? ›

If you notice connection problems during Steam downloads, or want to limit how much bandwidth Steam can use, you can find these settings by doing the following. Limit bandwidth to: setting. If you enable it you can set the limit you would want.

How to increase download speed on PC? ›

How to improve download speed on your PC
  1. Restart your PC. This should be your first port of call. ...
  2. Close unnecessary apps and programs. ...
  3. Cache and cookies. ...
  4. Check your router and Wi-Fi signal. ...
  5. Use an Ethernet cable. ...
  6. Disconnect other devices. ...
  7. Scan for viruses. ...
  8. Download managers.
Feb 8, 2023

How to make Steam run faster? ›

If you're noticing poor performance, we recommend removing unnecessary startup programs and manually stopping any unnecessary applications through your task manager (in Windows: CTRL+Shift+Esc, on a Mac: Command+Option+Esc). Be sure to have plenty of available RAM when running games.

What is a good download speed? ›

A good download speed is at least 100Mbps, and a good upload speed is at least 10 Mbps. With 100Mbps, you can stream movies, attend Zoom meetings, and play games online all on several devices at the same time. Some people can get away with fewer Mbps, and others need more.

Why is my download speed so slow even though I have fast internet? ›

It could be your inefficient router, internet service provider (ISP) bandwidth throttling, outdated devices, or even malware. While speeding up your internet connection on your computer is not always easy, there are ways to optimize it.

Why does my PC download games so slowly? ›

Too many cache files. Connecting too many devices to the network. Outdated network driver. Running several high-demanding programs at a time.

Why is my 100 mbps internet slow? ›

Things like outdated hardware, distance from the router, or interference from neighbouring devices can all contribute to sluggish internet speeds. Improve your internet speed and enhance your online experience by troubleshooting these issues.

Why is my Steam download speed so slow? ›

Check Steam's bandwidth

Other ways to increase Steam's bandwidth are by closing certain browsers, ensuring that any streaming website is not open, and shutting down other apps that use the internet. You can also do that by deleting running apps on Task Manager.

Does deleting Steam delete your games? ›

The Steam client is removed: You won't be able to access your library, launch games, or use Steam features. Game files remain: Your installed games remain on your computer, but you can't play them without Steam.

Why is Steam download speed dropping to 0? ›

Old or corrupted Steam download cache data could prevent the download process, as a result, Steam download drops to 0. You can go to clear the cache to get rid of the issue – in Steam Settings, go to Downloads and tap on CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE.

Why is Steam throttling my Downloads? ›

Steam offers an option that lets you throttle your download speeds when you're streaming. This option may be enabled, causing your Steam files to download at a slow speed. In this case, turn off that option, and your issue is resolved.

Why are my game Downloads so slow? ›

Things like congestion on your home network, your physical location in relation to the content server, the size of downloads or updates, whether you have a game running (even in the background), or Remote Play connections from your PC to your console, among other things.

Why do Steam games run so slow? ›

Game performance problems, such as slow frame rates or occasional slow frames, can be caused by bugs or inefficient coding in the games, or by hardware problems. Before contacting Steam Support to report game performance problems it is worth doing some testing to see if your computer is the source of the issue.

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