Having slow download speeds on Steam? Here’s the fix!

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
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  • Steam is one of the most convenient ways to buy and play games nowadays. But with game sizes ever increasing, it's taking gamers longer and longer to download their games.
  • Whilst Steam should download at the full speed of your internet connection, sometimes you will find that the download speed is considerably lower than what you're used to. Our guide will show you the reasons for this and how to fix them.
  • Join our Steam section for more troubleshooting guides about this gaming client.
  • Visit our Gaming Hub to discover games, reviews, tips, and tricks.
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 slow download speeds on Steam.

This is a big problem that affects the majority of the gaming community in one form or another, and today we’ll take a look on how to solve it.

What can I do if the download speed on Steam is slow?

First of all, we’ll have to determine if your speed is actually 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.

QUICK TIP

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 a regular browsers.

How is that possible? Opera relies on its own advanced parallel downloading technology which splits files into smaller parts. These smaller parts are then downloaded simultaneously.

More so, after the download is complete and you start playing your games, you can leave Opera GX running in the background, because its built-in gaming mode helps it use few resources so that you can enjoy a lag-free gaming experience.

So, if you want to enjoy fast download speeds on Steam, install Opera GX on your computer.

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How do I make Steam download faster?

1. Clear the Download Cache

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

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. In the left panel, choose Downloads.
  4. In the right section, on the bottom of the page you will see a Clear Download Cache button. Click on it.steam slow download speed on windows 10
  5. A new window should appear. Hit OK and wait for the process to finish.
  6. Now re-login with your credentials and check if your download speed has increased.

2. Change the Bandwidth limit

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:

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. In the left panel, choose Downloads.
  4. Under Download Restrictions, you will see a Limit bandwidth to drop-menu.limit bandwidth steam slow download windows 10
  5. Set it to No Limit and click OK.
  6. Resume your download.

Although this is a good choice on a stable connection, on an unstable connection you should set it to an appropriate value close to your ISP connection.


An error occurred while updating Steam game [FIX]


3. Change the Download Region

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

Sometimes, the servers in your region can be cluttered or may malfunction from a hardware problem. To change the download location, do the following:

  1. Launch Steam.
  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.steam download region slow download speed windows 10
  5. Click on the drop-down menu and choose a different server.
  6. Click OK.

Note: 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.


What to do if Steam doesn’t recognize installed games?


4. Lower the Disk usage

Many users are reporting that the download in Steam on Windows 10 slows down, and in some cases stops, because of high disk usage. There are some specific WPR items running in the background that are causing the issue.

To fix this problem, just press Windows key + R to start Run > type in cmd and hit Enter > and in cmd type WPR -cancel.

It’s worth mentioning that some users fixed the issue by disabling Connected User Experiences and Telemetry.

To do that, just open cmd and type stop-service diagtrack. If you want disable the start-up process as well, type set-service diagtrack -startuptype disabled.

As you can see, some solutions are simpler and other more complex. Try the ones that you’re comfortable with and let us know how you did in the comments section below.


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 like Private Internet Access. It uses modern VPN protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, 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.

set up split tunneling for Steam in PIA

Moreover, Private Internet Access supports split tunneling mode.

It makes it possible to use the VPN outside of Steam if you want to enjoy secure browsing, safe torrenting, and unrestricted Netflix streaming while your game is downloading.

More about PIA:

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • To make Steam download games faster, switch from Wi-Fi to wired mode, disable any unused Windows processes or services that take up the network bandwidth, and try other possible solutions outlined in this article.

  • 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.

  • Your Steam client could be running slow due to an unstable Internet connection, especially when it comes to multiplayer games. Or maybe there are too many processes and services running in the background. Follow our easy instructions to optimize the Steam client and games.

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1 comment

you solved my problem with a very simple statement. 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.

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