How to speed up your downloads on Steam

Steam Download
Steam Download

The feeling of buying a brand new game is great. But once you realize that you will have to wait, perhaps hours, to unload it, that excitement can begin to subside. You may start wondering if there is a way to speed up the download of your Steam game. And in fact, there is or we can say there are.

All of the methods described here can help you increase the download speed for your Steam games, allowing you to get started playing much faster. Try these tips and find out how much time is left until your next Steam download.

Close other programs

If you have other programs open while trying to complete the Steam download, these can actually hinder your download speed greatly. Especially if some programs are also connected to the internet and are using data, you should try to close them.

To do this, open your task manager by going to Start and searching for it. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager from the menu. You can now see what programs you keep open besides Steam.

If you click on More details, you can see which programs are running in the background. You can also see which programs are using your network connection by looking at the Network column. If another app uses a high percentage of it, you can close it by right-clicking the program and selecting End task.

Improve your Internet connection

Sometimes, your problem may simply be that your internet connection isn’t too good. There are a few things you can do, however, to improve your WiFi connection and possibly increase your download speed.

First, we recommend that you try connecting via an Ethernet cable if you can. This will significantly increase the speed of the internet on your computer. You can also just try moving closer to your WiFi router and see if that makes a difference, as signals can sometimes get weaker in certain areas of the house. Especially away from the router.

Set the priority for Steam

Another simple solution you can put in place to make Steam downloading faster is to set the priority for Steam downloads in the Task Manager. This will tell your computer that you want Steam to have a high priority when it comes to its network connection. To do this, first, open Task Manager, search for it in the Windows Start menu or press Ctrl + Alt + Del.

Find the Steam Client Service and right-click on it, then select Go to Details.

Now, right-click on SteamService.exe and select Set Priority > High. This should prioritize connectivity to Steam and help with downloads.

Change the download region

Steam will automatically select the country you connect to servers from, and if you incorrectly select your area, you may try to download from a server much further away from you. To check the download country, in Steam go to Steam > Settings > Downloads.

In this window, look at the Download Region section. Make sure the region is the closest to where you actually are, as this will ensure the fastest download speeds. Another change we can make here is just below, where it reads Limit bandwidth to. Check this option to choose No Limit, which will allow Steam to use the full extent of bandwidth required to download your game.

Disconnect other devices from the Internet connection

An important part of why the download might be so slow is connecting other devices to the network using data. It could be things like your phone, tablet, or game console. If you want the fastest download speed, it’s best to turn off these devices or disconnect them from the network so that nothing interferes with the connection to your PC.

While you may not be actively using these devices, if they are turned on or in sleep mode, they may still run background programs that use your network. This is why turning them off or unplugging them completely will help avoid this and make Steam’s download speeds much faster.

Disable antivirus software

Antivirus software or firewalls can cause slower download speeds with Steam. This is because these software interact with disk and network operations, which could cause problems or even false alarms. Some firewalls may also prevent Steam from connecting to its servers, again causing problems for you.

If you use a certain firewall or antivirus program, you will need to access these programs and disable them or set exceptions for Steam and your Steam games. If you’re only using Windows security, here’s how you can disable it.

  • Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security
  • Then go to Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. In Virus & threat protection settings, go to Manage settings. Here, find Real-time Protection and set it to Off using the toggle switch. 
  • To allow Steam to pass through the Windows Defender firewall, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Firewall and Network Protection
  • In this window, select Allow an app through the firewall. In the pop-up window, you can scroll through the list to see which apps are allowed by seeing if they are ticked. If you want to change it, click Change settings.

If you don’t already see Steam in the list, you can select Allow another app and search for it on your computer. Make sure you allow your Steam games too.

Download your Steam games faster

Even if you only follow a few of these tips, you should notice a marked difference in download speeds via Steam. While it’s hard to check the strength of your actual internet connection, using these methods you can get the most out of what you can control. So, you should be able to get back to playing your favorite games in no time. 


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