How to Make Steam Download Faster

With Steam being the largest game distribution platform available today, there’s practically no game you can’t download using this service. Having well over 30,000 available titles and tens of millions of players worldwide, there’s a lot of online exchange going on every minute.

Considering all that traffic, it’s no wonder their servers can become overloaded at times, especially when a popular new game gets its release. That’s why it’s important to make sure you get the best connection to Steam you can, so you can achieve the fastest download speed possible. Luckily, this article is here to help you with that, providing a couple of options you can try.

How to Make Steam Download Faster

Although it might appear that you can’t do anything about the download speed, this actually isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, there are many ways to do improve this, as you can see from the list below:

  1. Make sure the Steam app is properly set up to maximize your download speed.
  2. Check if there are any anti-virus or firewall restrictions on your computer.
  3. Disconnect any unnecessary devices from your internet connection.
  4. Set your router to prioritize Steam traffic.
  5. Switch from a Wi-Fi to an Ethernet connection.

Tweaking the Steam App for Faster Downloads

As mentioned above, when trying to improve your Steam downloads, the first place to start is the Steam client app itself.

  1. Open the Steam desktop client app.
  2. Click on the “Steam” tab at the top.
  3. Click on “Settings.”
  4. Click on “Downloads” from the menu on the left.
  5. In the main portion of the screen, under the “Download Restrictions” section, make sure that the option “Limit bandwidth to” is set to “No limit.” If there’s a limit to your connection, your downloads won’t be able to perform faster than that.
  6. In this section, there’s also the “Throttle downloads while streaming” option. Make sure to keep this one checked, so that background Steam downloads don’t take over your connection when streaming your gameplay.
  7. Next, check the “Download Region” section. In most cases, you should set this option to the region where you reside, or at least the one closest to your location.

As a general rule of thumb, the closer the region, the better the connection speed you can achieve. However, that is not always the case. If you’re living in a region with a lot of Steam traffic, you might experience slower download speed due to the overcrowding of servers. In that case, you can choose another server that currently has less traffic.

To know which server to choose, you can use Steam’s download stats map. There, you can see all the countries in the world and how much traffic they have had in the past seven days. This is a great way to know which region to choose in order to avoid too much traffic.

Checking Your Computer

If you’ve tweaked your Steam app as described above, but still experience issues with download speed, then perhaps something in your system may be causing the issue. The first culprit, in this case, could be a firewall you are using on your computer.

Since there are many different firewall apps out there, each one can have its own approach to this issue. However, all of them should have a list of apps they’re monitoring and allow you to add or remove certain apps from the list. If that is the case, simply remove Steam from this kind of list, and your download speed should significantly improve.

The next on the list is the anti-virus software. Similar to firewalls, these apps can also reduce your traffic speed in order to check everything your computer exchanges with external servers. Although this makes you much safer when online, it can have a negative effect on your Steam download speed. To make sure this is the case, try making an exception for Steam in your anti-virus software and try downloading something.

Finally, you can set the Steam app to have a priority treatment in your computer’s operating system. For example, Windows users can do this easily in Task Manager.

  1. Right-click on the Windows logo in the taskbar.
  2. Click on “Task Manager.”
  3. Click on the “Details” tab to show all current processes with more details.
  4. Sort everything by name. To do so, just click the “Name” column at the top.
  5. Start typing “steam” and the related entries should appear.
  6. Now, right-click on Steam.exe.
  7. Click on “Set priority.”
  8. Click on “High.”

This will make the Steam client app use more resources than other apps, thus making sure it has all the bandwidth it needs.

Checking Your Internet Connection

Now that you’ve tweaked your Steam app and made sure your computer works in unison with Steam, it’s possible you’re still experiencing drops in download speed. So, now is the time to check your Internet connection.

First of all, you should check if there are any other devices connecting to the same network you’re using. If someone else is downloading something over your home internet connection, it’s normal to experience slower speed on your end. Another common example is when your family watches Netflix. Since there’s a lot of 4K content on this streaming service, this can cause significant drops in download speed too.

The main reason behind this is the fact that home internet routers treat all devices in the network the same. That’s why everybody can use your home Wi-Fi at the same time. However, if you want to prioritize Steam traffic over everything else, you might be able to do so if your router has such an option. To make sure if that’s possible and how to do it, check your router’s manual to learn more about it.

If you’re sure there aren’t any additional devices that are using your internet connection, then you should check your Wi-Fi signal. Sometimes, objects in your house can block the signal and interrupt your connection. To avoid any suspicion, try using an Ethernet cable to directly connect your computer to the internet router at your home. This will provide you with a stable, uninterrupted connection at all times.

Additional FAQ

Why is my download speed so slow on Steam?

There are many reasons why you might have a slow download speed on Steam. For example, you might be using a download region that’s currently experiencing a surge in downloads. There could also be another device connected to your network that’s using a lot of bandwidth. One common example is when someone at your home is streaming 4K content on Netflix using the same connection.

Other reasons may include poor Wi-Fi signal, firewall restrictions, or even issues with your internet provider. Whatever the cause, be patient, and work through the list of possible causes, one by one. Eventually, you’ll find out what the problem is, and thus be able to address it.

Does Steam cap your download speed?

Although Steam has the option to limit the maximum download speed, this one is set to “No limit” by default. If you find this option set to any other value other than “No limit,” make sure to sort that out immediately.

How do I improve my download speeds in Steam?

To learn how to improve your download speed in Steam, check out the sections above, which go into much detail about potential solutions.

Downloading at Steaming Speeds

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn how to make Steam content download faster. Thanks to all these tweaks, you’ll be able to get the latest updates and newest games as fast as possible. All the advice mentioned in this article is universal for almost all platforms, be it Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.

Have you managed to improve the download speed for your Steam account? Which trick brought most improvement? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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