Are you struggling with a Steam slow download speed problem? As the largest gaming platform available, Steam is used by over 120 million players monthly. And with a library of over 30000 games, that adds up to a lot of people accessing a lot of content. This inevitably will, at times, put a strain on the servers, as they try to keep up with all the data that needs to be moved around.
It's really important that you try to have the strongest and fastest connection possible, to avoid frustrating delays while trying to download a game. So without further ado, here are some top tips to help you download from Steam as quickly as possible.
Why is Steam downloading slowly?
There are lots of different reasons for this. As we highlighted above, there is an enormous amount of data being exchanged at any given time on Steam. So if you live in a region which is experiencing particularly heavy traffic, that could be a factor. Similarly, your home internet connection could be throwing up some issues. Your router may be an issue, your connection might not be the best, or you might have lots of different devices online at once.
Happily, there are some relatively simple tweaks you can make to your set-up, to try to speed up your downloads. We'll run through those next.
How to fix Steam slow download speed
The first place to look is the Steam app itself. There is a setting on the app which will restrict the speed at which you can download. To check this:
- Open the Steam client.
- Click on the Steam tab at the top
- Select Settings
- On the left hand side, click on Downloads
- On the main part of the screen will be a check box labelled Download Restrictions. Make sure this box is not checked, because if there is a limit set, you won't be able to download any faster than that limit.
- Also check your Download Region. The region you select should be the one closest to you, to enable the fastest download speeds. However, if your region is especially busy, then switching to a different region with less traffic, might speed things up for you. To check how busy different regions are, you can use the Steam downloads map, which shows you where traffic has been busiest over the most recent 7 days.
Clear The Steam Download Cache
Clearing the cache can help to speed things up, and is relatively easy to do:
- Open Steam, and go to Settings.
- From the menu on the left hand side, choose Downloads.
- This will open a new window. Towards the bottom of that page, look for and click the button that says Clear Download Cache.
- Hit OK.
Once the process has finished, check to see whether your download speed has improved.
Check your computer and home internet
So you've made sure you have the optimal settings on Steam, but what about your computer? There are a few things to check here as well.
Start by checking your firewall and AntiVirus settings. If Steam is not on the approved list, this can restrict download speeds. So double-check your settings and add Steam to your safe list, to avoid this.
It's also really important to make sure your home internet connection is as strong as possible. We've already highlighted the major issues, but it bears repeating here:
- Start by checking that you don't have lots of other devices and apps competing for bandwidth. If you're trying to download a game while also watching movies, or streaming podcasts, this will inevitably slow things down. This is especially true with higher resolution content such as 4K video.
- The second big thing to do, is to try to get your computer as close to your router as possible, for maximum signal strength. Having lots of walls between your router and computer can cause a barrier to the signal. Best of all is using an Ethernet connection instead of WiFi.
Last, but by no means least, is adjusting your computer settings to give Steam priority treatment. To do this on Windows:
- Right click on the Windows logo in the taskbar
- Click on Task Manager
- Select Details to open all the current processes
- Track down Steam.exe
- Right-click and then choose Set Priority
- Click High
This means that Steam gets priority over other processes. This, along with the other tips we've given you will help to give Steam all the bandwidth it needs to ensure the fastest possible downloads.