How to Fix Slow Download on Steam

Are you suffering from a slow download speed on Steam?

As game files grew larger, developers moved away from traditional game discs and switched to digital copies. This is where digital distribution platforms such as Steam come in. 

Today, if you want to purchase a game for your PC, you’ll have to do it on digital platforms like Steam, Epic Games, Microsoft Store, and more. While it’s more convenient, you need to have a fast and unlimited internet connection to download the game files. 

In terms of download speeds, Steam’s servers do a great job delivering content to the users. 

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. 

If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you suffer from a slow download speed on Steam. 

This problem can occur when you download a new game from the Steam Store or install an update from the library. 

Based on what we know, this issue is mostly due to a slow internet connection, but faulty servers and improper system configuration can also cause it. 

Today, we will show you what to do if you experience slow download speed on Steam. 

Let’s jump right in!

1. Check Steam Servers. 

The first thing that you should check if Steam downloads are running slow on your computer is the status of the servers. This way, you can quickly identify if the problem is coming from their side or your system. 

You can do this by visiting third-party sites such as Downdetector, where you can view the current status of Steam’s servers. 

Steam Server Status

If Steam’s servers are currently down, the only thing you can do is wait since server-related issues can’t be addressed on your end. 

On the other hand, proceed to the following method below to troubleshoot the problem on your computer if there’s nothing wrong with Steam. 

2. Change Your Download Region. 

One of the most common causes of slow download on Steam is improper download server selection. While Steam does this automatically for you, there are instances when the app mistakenly chooses the wrong server for your region. 

To fix this, follow the guide below to change your download region on Steam manually: 

  1. On your computer, access Steam and go to the Settings
  2. After that, click on the Downloads tab. 
  3. Finally, click on Download Region and choose the appropriate server for your location. 
slow download on Steam

Once done, try downloading a game on Steam again to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Disable Bandwidth Limit. 

Steam has a feature that lets you limit the bandwidth usage of Steam when downloading games. You may have recently used this feature and forgot to turn it off. 

If you experience slow download speed on Steam, follow the steps below to check your bandwidth limit settings: 

  1. First, go to the Steam tab and click on Settings
  2. Next, access the Downloads tab. 
  3. Lastly, disable the Limit Bandwidth option. 
slow download on Steam

Restart Steam afterward and check if your download speed improved. 

4. Close Unwanted Apps. 

Background applications can also consume network bandwidth on your computer. If you don’t have high-speed internet, we suggest closing unnecessary applications on your computer while downloading or updating a game. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows + X keys to open the Quick Access Menu
  2. Now, click on Task Manager and go to the Processes tab. 
  3. After that, click on the Network tab to see the applications that use the most bandwidth first. 
  4. Finally, close down the programs and applications that you’re currently not using. 
slow download on Steam

Once done, go back to Steam to see if your download speed improved. 

5. Restart Your Router. 

Your network may have run into temporary errors and is currently running slow. To rule this out, try restarting your router to refresh the connection with your ISP’s servers. 

See the steps below to reboot your network router: 

  1. First, locate the power cable of your router. 
  2. After that, unplug your router’s power cable from the outlet. 
  3. Lastly, allow 5 to 10 seconds to pass before reconnecting your router to the power source. 
Restart Router

After restarting your router, start downloading your game again to check if the problem is solved. 

6. Update Windows. 

The current version of Windows you’re using may have an underlying issue related to network connectivity, which causes slow network performance. To rule this out, we suggest updating your operating system to the latest version possible. 

Follow the steps below to update Windows on your computer:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings
  2. Next, go to the Update & Security tab. 
  3. Finally, access Windows Update and click on Check for Updates
slow download on Steam

Once done, restart Steam and check if your download speed has improved. 

7. Disable Your VPN. 

VPNs can also cause slow download speed on your computer. While virtual private networks protect your network and data from harmful entities, they can introduce delays and lags to your internet connection. 

If you suffer from a slow download speed on Steam, we recommend turning off your VPN before starting the download. 

slow download on Steam

However, if you don’t want to go online without protection, you can try using other services such as PureVPN. Compared to other VPNs, it uses high-speed servers across the globe to ensure fast and secured internet connection no matter where you go. 

PureVPN also works great for streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+

8. Turn Off Proxy Server. 

If you’re using proxy servers, turn them off if you experience slow download speeds on Steam. Proxy Servers work almost similar to VPNs, and they can also interfere with your network’s normal flow. 

Check out the steps below to disable proxy servers on Windows: 

  1. On your computer, go to the Start Menu and search for ‘Internet Options’. 
  2. Next, open Internet Options and click on the Connections tab. 
  3. After that, open LAN Settings
  4. Finally, disable the ‘Use a Proxy Server’ option and turn on Automatically Detect Settings
slow download on Steam

Go back to Steam afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

9. Clear Download Cache. 

You can also try clearing your download cache if downloads on Steam are still running slow. This will delete the current files already downloaded for the game you’re installing and restart your download progress. 

See the steps below to clear your download cache on Steam: 

  1. First, open the Steam tab from the menu bar and access the Settings
  2. Next, go to the Downloads tab. 
  3. Lastly, click on Clear Download Cache and wait for the process to finish. 
slow download on Steam

Restart Steam afterward and download your game again. 

10. Report the Problem to Steam. 

If you’re still suffering from slow download speeds on Steam, it’s time that you take the matter to their team. 

Visit Steam Support and contact their customer service to ask for assistance regarding the download issue you’ve been experiencing on the platform. Provide your account details and the game you’re downloading to help their team diagnose the problem faster. 

slow download on Steam

If you experience issues updating games on Steam, please check our dedicated guide regarding this matter to help you out. 

This brings us to the end of our guide for fixing slow download speeds on Steam. If you have questions or other concerns, please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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