Why is Steam downloading so slow? – Common Reasons

Steam is a popular platform that hosts a variety of video games, which are available for purchase and playing. In order to play the video games you’ve purchased, you must download them from your Steam library.

Each game will take different lengths of time to complete downloading. These varying lengths are usually dependent upon the game’s file size. The bigger the game, the longer it will take to download it.

Why is Steam downloading so slow?

The most common reason why your Steam download speed is usually your network connection. If this doesn’t work, you can also try some download cache clearing and adjusting your settings.

You can also simply restart Steam to see if this resolves the problem too, as well as closing the background applications on your device.

Sometimes, a game’s download speed may seem slower than it should be. There are various factors that could be causing these slow download speeds.

We’ll go through these different factors, along with some solutions that could help increase your download speeds.

Check Internet Connection

Firstly, check your internet connection. Your download speed will be dependent upon your internet quality. The worse your connection, the slower your connection speed will be.

To start with, make sure that your internet is working. Try going on YouTube to see if your internet is functioning.

You can even check your internet router to see if the indicators are green. If so, your internet should be working and you should be able to connect to the network.

See Also: Can’t Connect to Steam Network

If you’re still unsure about your internet quality, you can try restarting your router. Afterwards, attempt downloading your game once more to see if the download speed has improved.

Alternatively, there may be an issue with how you’re connected to the internet. Check your device’s internet status to ensure that you’re connected to the right network.

You can also try disconnecting from the network, and reconnecting to it. This should restart your internet connection.

Finally, try wiring your device to the internet to improve your connection quality as opposed to using a wireless connection.

This should make for a more secure connection than going wireless, which can slow speeds down somewhat – competing with other devices can throttle downloads, and give you a slow download speed.

Restart Steam

Try restarting your Steam Client by closing the app, and opening it again. Make sure that Steam doesn’t continue running in the background when you close it.

Check the Task Manager to see whether this is the case. You can access it by pressing Windows-Key + ‘x’ and selecting ‘task manager’.


If Steam is in the Task Manager, select Steam and click ‘end task’ to close it. If you have another Steam account, you could try logging into that to see if it resolves the issue.

Related: Can You Change Steam Username?

There’s also a chance that an unstable connection could be caused by the data that the app has accrued over time.

Clear Download Cache

You can accumulate download cache in Steam, which may be slowing down your connection speed. Try clearing the download cache to see if it solves the issue.

Open the Steam app and go to Steam > Settings > Downloads. Click the ‘clear download cache’ button. When you click the Clear Download Button, you’re essentially deleting all of the saved temporary files Steam has saved, some of which could be corrupted.


Now, try downloading your game again to see if the download speed has improved. If it helps, this means your Steam download cache has been affecting your connection.

Close Background Applications

Background applications, especially heavy ones, may be hindering your download process. Try closing all your background applications so that your device can focus more of its power on downloading your game.

Double-check that you don’t have any applications still running despite being closed. Open the Task Manager by pressing Windows-Key + ‘x’ and clicking ‘task manager’. Look at the list of programs. If you wish to close a program, select it and click ‘end task’ in the bottom right.


Turn Off Proxy/VPN

Connecting to a proxy server or VPN can interfere with your download speed. The encryption overhead may decrease your download quality.

If you’re currently using a proxy server or VPN, try disabling the service. Then, you can start downloading your game once more to see if the download speed has increased.

Constantly disabling your VPN/proxy server can be quite annoying to do. If this was indeed the solution to your speed issue, think about switching to a more high-end VPN service.

Some premium services use modern protocols, which don’t impact your download speeds as much as other services do.

Alternatively, you could turn off encryption for your VPN service. This will impact how your VPN functions in regards to protecting your privacy so be careful when doing this.

Alter Bandwidth Settings

Altering your bandwidth limit could help improve your download speed. This will remove some of the download restrictions in Steam.

Go to Settings > Downloads.


Look in the ‘download restrictions’ section. There should be a ‘limit bandwidth to’ option. Make sure that it’s set to ‘no limit’.

Only do this if you’re on a stable internet connection. If this is not the case, set the bandwidth limit close to that of your ISP (internet service provider) connection.

Once you’re done changing the bandwidth settings, click ‘ok’ to confirm the changes. Now, try downloading your game again to see if the download speed has improved.

Edit Download Region

Try changing your download region in the Steam app. Doing so can sometimes improve your download speed as different regions use different servers.

Open your Steam Client, and go to Settings > Downloads.


Look in the ‘download region’ section. There should be a drop-down menu that showcases different regions.

Your current region should be selected. Click on the region to view the different regions available. Click the one you wish to change to, and click ‘ok’ once you’re done changing the settings.

You can experiment a bit with different download servers to see which one best suits you. Begin by choosing regions close to your current location, and expand from there if necessary.

Steam does occasionally increase restrictions on region switching, as some users abuse it in an effort to level up their Steam account, though you should be fine to change it for this reason.


In conclusion, there are many factors that could be hindering your download speed. Ensure that your internet connection is stable and functioning well, as your download speed largely depends on your internet quality.

You can also try clearing your download cache, or alter your download settings in Steam. Doing so can help improve your download speed.

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I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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