How To Increase Download Speeds for Steam Games on Windows 10 PCs

Key Takeaways:

  • Close unnecessary programs and background apps to free up bandwidth for Steam downloads.
  • Disable bandwidth throttling and download limiting options in Steam settings.
  • Change your Steam download region to a closer server for better speeds.
  • Clear the Steam download cache to remove any corrupted data.
  • Prioritize Steam downloads by disabling other bandwidth-intensive apps and services.

Downloading games on Steam can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re stuck waiting for hours or even days for a large game to finish downloading. Slow download speeds can be caused by various factors, including your internet connection, network congestion, and even your computer’s settings. In this article, we’ll explore several tips and tricks to help you increase your Steam download speeds on Windows 10 PCs.

Close Unnecessary Programs and Background Apps

One of the easiest ways to improve your Steam download speeds is to close any unnecessary programs or background apps that might be hogging your internet bandwidth. These programs can include web browsers, video streaming apps, torrent clients, and even some system processes.

To close unnecessary programs, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager, then navigate to the “Processes” tab. Here, you can see a list of all running processes and their network usage. Right-click on any process that you don’t need and select “End task” to close it.

Additionally, you can disable background apps that run automatically on your Windows 10 PC. To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Background apps and toggle off the apps you don’t need running in the background.

Disable Bandwidth Throttling and Download Limiting in Steam

Steam has built-in options that can limit your download speeds, either to prioritize other tasks or to prevent your downloads from using too much bandwidth. However, if you want to maximize your download speeds, you’ll need to disable these options.

To do this, open the Steam client and go to Steam > Settings > Downloads. Here, you’ll find several options related to download speeds:

  • Limit bandwidth to: Ensure this option is unchecked to allow Steam to use your full internet bandwidth.
  • Throttle downloads while streaming: If you stream games on Steam, this option can throttle your download speeds to prioritize streaming. Uncheck this option to prioritize downloads instead.
  • Allow downloads during gameplay: Enabling this option can help you download games while playing other games, but it may impact your in-game performance.

Change Your Steam Download Region

Steam automatically selects a download server based on your location, but this server may not always be the fastest or most reliable. To potentially improve your download speeds, you can try changing your Steam download region to a closer server.

To do this, go to Steam > Settings > Downloads and click on the “Download Region” dropdown menu. Here, you’ll see a list of available servers sorted by their proximity to your location. Try selecting a server that’s closer to you or experiment with different servers to find the fastest one.

Clear the Steam Download Cache

Over time, Steam’s download cache can become cluttered or corrupted, which can lead to slower download speeds or even failed downloads. Clearing this cache can help resolve these issues and potentially improve your download speeds.

To clear the Steam download cache, go to Steam > Settings > Downloads and click on the “Clear Download Cache” button. Confirm the action, and Steam will restart and clear the cache.

Prioritize Steam Downloads

If you’re still experiencing slow download speeds after trying the above methods, you can try prioritizing Steam downloads by disabling or limiting other bandwidth-intensive apps and services on your computer.

One way to do this is to disable your Windows Firewall or antivirus software temporarily while downloading games on Steam. However, be cautious when doing this, as it can leave your computer vulnerable to security threats.

Another option is to disable any active VPN connections, as these can sometimes throttle your internet speeds. You can also try disabling Windows Update delivery optimization, which can use your internet bandwidth to distribute updates to other devices.


Why are my Steam downloads so slow?

There could be several reasons why your Steam downloads are slow, including a slow internet connection, network congestion, bandwidth throttling by your internet service provider (ISP), or interference from other programs or services running on your computer.

How do I check my internet speed?

You can check your internet speed by visiting websites like or These sites will measure your download and upload speeds, as well as your ping (latency).

How do I prioritize Steam downloads over other programs?

To prioritize Steam downloads, you can try closing unnecessary programs and background apps, disabling bandwidth throttling in Steam settings, and disabling other bandwidth-intensive services like Windows Update delivery optimization or VPN connections.

Should I use a wired or wireless connection for Steam downloads?

Generally, a wired (Ethernet) connection will provide faster and more stable download speeds compared to a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. If possible, use a wired connection for large Steam downloads.

Can my antivirus or firewall software slow down Steam downloads?

Yes, antivirus and firewall software can sometimes interfere with Steam downloads and cause slower speeds. You can try temporarily disabling these programs while downloading games, but be cautious as it can leave your computer vulnerable to security threats.

By following these tips and tricks, you should be able to significantly improve your Steam download speeds on your Windows 10 PC. Remember, a fast and stable internet connection is crucial for optimal download performance, so consider upgrading your internet plan or contacting your ISP if you’re still experiencing slow speeds after trying these methods.