Why Is My Steam Download Speed So Slow

I understand how frustrating a slow download speed can be on steam when you’ve been waiting too long for just one game to finish downloading.

As much as you want to blame steam for your slow download speed, the problem might not entirely be from them.

In this article, I will give you seven reasons why steam download speed is so slow and what you can do to fix it

Here’s why,

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Content servers are available all over the world and steam takes advantage of this by selecting the best servers based on your location for faster download.

If your steam downloads speed is going so slow, there’s a chance you are connected to a server that is not close to your location.

The idea here is to choose the region were the content server steam is using is close to you.

The closer you are to the region, the faster you can download on steam.

Here’s how to change your region on steam,

  1. Start Steam.
  1. Navigate to settings.
  1. Click on the downloads tab by your left-hand side.
  1. In the download region, choose the region you are close to.
  1. Click on OK.
  1. Test your download speed.

If your download speed is still slow, then you should try experimenting with other regions to see which region downloads faster.

All servers aren’t the same and, in some cases, you can find a server that is far from you but really works better than the one closer to you.

2. You Are on a Slow Network

You can’t exactly blame your slow download speed on steam if you are on a poor network.


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Steam has done everything they can to find the best content servers close to your region to give you the best out of their service and if you are experiencing a slow download on steam, your network might be the problem.

The only way to find out if your network is the problem is to compare your network speed with steam download speed.

Here’s how you can compare them,

Terms that will be used:

  • KB/s – Kilobyte per second
  • MB/s – Megabits per second

The first thing you should have in mind is that your network connection speed is mostly measured in multiples of bits per second while steam download speed is measured in multiples of bytes per second and a byte is a group of 8 bits.

This simply means that when your download speed on steam is 435KB/s, then you are getting 3480KB/s or 3.4MB/s download speed from your network.

How did I arrive at 3480KB/s you ask?

It’s simple. I multiplied steam download speed by 8 to get the network download speed.

Here’s an example of download speed conversions,

download speed conversions

Now that you have understood how to compare your network speed with steam download speed, you should be a little bit curious about your actual internet connection speed.

To check your actual internet connection speed to see if your network is strong enough to download fast from steam, head over to Fast.com.

3. You Haven’t Cleared Your Cache

Cache files accumulate overtime the more you use and download from steam.

If you haven’t cleared your cache before, you should go ahead and do that now because that might be the reason why your steam download speed is so slow.

Here’s how to clear your download cache on steam,

  1. Launch Steam.
  1. Navigate to settings.
  1. Select the downloads tab by your left-hand side.
  1. Click on clear download cache now at the bottom of the page.
  1. Select Ok when a new window appears.
  1. Click on OK.
  1. Download something to check your speed for improvements.

If for some reason, your download speed still happens to be slow, then you should try clearing the cache on your computer.

4. Your Bandwidth is Limited

Sometimes, your internet service provider might not tally with your bandwidth limit, and this can cause your download on steam to be very slow.

Setting your bandwidth to unlimited can significantly improve your download speed.

Here’s how,

  1. Run Steam.
  1. Navigate to settings.
  1. Select the downloads by your left-hand side.
  1. Locate limit bandwidth to in the download restriction section.
  1. Set limit bandwidth to no limit.
  1. Click on ok.
  1. Check your download speed for improvements.

If you find out your internet connection isn’t stable, then you should set your bandwidth limit to a given value based on the speed you are getting from your ISP.

5. Your Disk Usage is High

High disk usage can cause your download speed to slow down and to make matters worse, it also slows down your computer generally.

A lot of steam users have complained about this and was able to resolve the download speed problem after lowering their disk usage.

Here’s how,

  1. Launch run box with the following command:
WIndows key + R
run box in windows
  1. Type in the following into the run box and hit enter to open command prompt:
cmd run
  1. Inside command prompt, copy and paste the following and hit enter
WPR -cancel
lower disk usage with cmd

You can also go even further by disabling both connected user experiences and telemetry, and the startup process.

Type in the following inside command prompt to disable connected user experiences and telemetry:

stop-service diagtrack
disableing startup processes in cmd

Disable the startup process with the following command inside command prompt:

set-service diagtrack -startuptype disabled
disableing startup processes in cmd

6. You are using a VPN

Don’t get me wrong. Using a VPN for steam is not a bad idea but it’s only a bad idea if the VPN you are connected to is causing your download speed to slow down.

Not all VPN are the same and it’s a common thing for a selected VPN to slow down your download speed.

So, if you are using any VPN on your computer, you should disable it before attempting to download from stream.

7. Incompatible Third-Party Programs

There are different types of program that interferes with steam which might be installed on your computer.

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These types of program will cause your download speed to become slow with steam.

A simple way to find these programs is to follow this guide that reveals programs that interfere with Steam.

Once you find those programs, then you want touninstall them from your computer.

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Solomon Omolabi is a seasoned IT professional with 10 years of industry expertise. As the owner of bestsoltips.com, he provides meticulously researched and comprehensive articles that effortlessly tackle any technical challenge. Solomon's contributions have earned him recognition on esteemed professional platforms, making him a trusted authority in resolving complex IT issues. Read more.

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