Is your Steam download slow? Here’s the fix!

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • With game sizes ever increasing, it's taking longer and longer to download games, so Steam download might also get slow
  • If you face this issue, make sure you clear the app's download cache.
  • Changing the bandwidth limit managed to solve this issue in less than a few minutes.
  • Customizing the download region might also work if the Steam download is slow.
How to solve steam slow download speed on windows 10

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Steam is the main gaming portal for Windows 10 users. Despite other platforms emerging from time to time, it’s still the preferred choice of most gamers.

A big reason for that is the plethora of games and huge titles included in the app library.

As compelling as it may be to buy the latest and greatest games, a lot of users are complaining about Steam download speed being slow.

This is a big problem that affects the majority of the gaming community in one form or another. Is your Steam download slow? If so, we’ll take a look at how to solve it.

First of all, we’ll have to determine if your speed is slow or not. An Internet connection is usually measured in multiples of bits per second.

But Steam downloads, like many other file downloads, are measured in multiples of bytes per second.

Multiply your Steam download speed by 8, and if the result is close to your known connection speed then you don’t have any issues.

How can I pick the fastest Steam download server?

When picking the sever, you should consider several factors:

  • Server location – A server that is far away might have bigger latency thus causing the download to be slow.
  • Load – If your selected server is in a high-activity region, this might negatively impact your download.

You should know that common Steam errors can negatively affect your experience, so make sure that you fix them.

Disk space problems can also make Steam patching slow, so make sure that you have enough space on your drive to download games.

All these issues can make your Steam download stop, thus reducing the overall download speed.

What can I do if the Steam download is so slow?

1. Clear the download cache

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Steam, then open the first result.
  2. From the top-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. In the left panel, choose Downloads.
  5. In the right section, at the bottom of the page, you will see a Clear Download Cache button. Click on it.
  6. A new window should appear. Hit OK and wait for the process to finish.
  7. Now re-login with your credentials and check if your download speed has increased.

This is the first thing that you should try, as most downloading problems with Steam on Windows 10 can be solved in this way.

2. Change the bandwidth limit

  1. Launch Steam then from the top left corner of the window click on the Steam option.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. In the left panel, choose Downloads.
  4. Under Download Restrictions, you will see a Limit bandwidth to drop-menu.
  5. Set it to No Limit and click OK.
  6. Resume your download.

In some cases, the bandwidth limit doesn’t coincide with that of your ISP, and this can alter your download speeds. If you have a stable connection, follow the steps described above.

Note icon
If used on an unstable connection, you should set it to an appropriate value close to your ISP connection.

3. Change the download region

  1. Launch Steam, then from the top-left corner of the window choose the Steam option.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. In the left panel, choose Downloads.
  4. You should see a Download Region section with a drop-down menu beneath.
  5. Click on the drop-down menu and choose a different server.
  6. Click OK.

Steam has many servers across multiple regions in the world. As a default, Steam detects automatically your region through the network.

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Sometimes, these can be cluttered or may malfunction from a hardware problem, thus requiring you to change the download location.

Note icon
This isn’t an exact science and there isn’t a certain universal server that can work for everybody.

You will have to experiment and try different servers to see which fits best your needs. We recommend starting with those closest to your actual location.

4. Lower the Disk usage

  1. Hit the Windows key, type cmd, then right-click on the first result and choose to Run as administrator.
  2. Then, input the following command: WPR -cancel
  3. It’s worth mentioning that some users fixed the issue by disabling Connected User Experiences and Telemetry.
  4. To do that, just open cmd and type: stop-service diagtrack
  5. If you want to disable the start-up process as well, type: set-service diagtrack -startuptype disabled

Many users are reporting Steam slow download issues, and in some cases, it can be due to high disk usage. Some specific WPR items are running in the background that is causing the issue.

5. Disable your VPN or proxy

If you’re currently connected to a VPN or proxy server, the encryption overhead could hamper your Steam download speed.

Make sure to disable any VPN or proxy service before downloading a game on Steam. It’s only a temporary fix, though, since you need to re-enable the secure tunnel once the download finishes.

As a long-term solution, consider investing in a premium VPN service that uses modern VPN protocols, which minimize damage to your download connection speed.

You can even disable encryption while staying connected to a VPN server, although it won’t help protect your online privacy.

What browser can I use to get the smoothest experience on Steam?

If you don’t have the time to go into complex troubleshooting steps, there is a quick solution that may come in handy.

You can install Opera GX, the world’s first gamer-oriented browser that allows you to download files faster compared to regular browsers.

Opera relies on its own advanced parallel downloading technology which splits files into smaller parts.

These smaller parts are then downloaded simultaneously. So, if you want to enjoy fast download speeds on Steam, install Opera GX on your computer.

Get Opera GX

As you can see, some solutions are simpler and others more complex.

Feel feel to try the ones that you’re most comfortable with and let us know how it went for you by reaching for the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • To make Steam download games faster, switch from Wi-Fi to wired mode and disable any unused Windows processes or services that take up the network bandwidth.

  • Yes, the Steam client is completely free to use. A lot of Steam games are also free. But, generally, you have to buy your own games.

  • Steam slowness can be caused by an unstable Internet connection, or maybe there are too many services running in the background. Follow these easy steps to optimize the Steam client and games.

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