Steam is probably the best cloud gaming library for PC. Steam is the undisputed leader when it comes to digital game distribution. While the platform is more reliable and useful than other competitors, it’s not exactly perfect. You can often run into annoying bugs on Steam. The most common of these errors is the Steam slow loading issue.

With the increasing size of games and the development of technology, it takes more and more time to download games. Thus, download speed can be one of the problems for most players who buy digital copies of games. If you don’t have high speed internet, you may have to wait hours for the game to download.

On the other hand, what is even more annoying is that your download does not reach the correct speed even if you have a fast internet connection. Unfortunately, this issue is a common issue that many gamers on Steam are facing and has been troubling many users over the years. Luckily, you can fix this annoying error by avoiding the Steam slow loading issue with a few simple fixes.

If you feel like download speeds should be faster, there are a few tweaks you can make in Windows and Steam settings. In this troubleshooting guide, we will share tips on what to do if you encounter a connection speed issue when downloading games or updates on Steam. In this guide, we have listed the best solutions to fix slow download speeds on Steam…

Why can Steam load slowly?

Steam slow loading issue can have multiple causes. The most important reason that is often overlooked by players may be on the side of the Steam servers. Sometimes changing the Steam download region can help resolve the issue.

There may also be serious reasons that affect the problem of slow loading of Steam. Many reasons can be added here, from technical errors in the network connection to the fact that your computer was exposed to malicious software. But in general, the problem of slow loading on Steam can be solved by the solution methods that we will give you in the near future. Without further ado, the solutions for users who frequently experience slow loading issues with Steam are as follows 👇

#1 Make sure your network connection is good

steam slow download

Each player can immediately think of the problematic operation of the Steam client. Before blaming the Steam client, make sure your internet connection is fine. Along with checking the speed of your internet connection, you should make sure that Steam isn’t causing the download to take longer than usual.

Testing your connection speed is the best way to verify this. You can test your connection on any speed test site. If your download speed is slower than usual, try contacting your ISP. If your internet speed is normal and everything is loading as fast as it should besides Steam games, it’s time to dig deeper into our solution guide.

#2 Check internet traffic

steam slow download

Other apps may be downloading large files while Steam is downloading your game or updates. Be sure to check if other applications are active that could potentially download large files. Possible culprits running in the background and taking up enough bandwidth could be:

  • Windows Update
  • app torrent
  • Cloud storage apps (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • Other game stores (Epic Game Store, Origin, etc.)
  • High bandwidth applications (Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, etc.)

These and similar applications can significantly slow down your Steam download speed. If you notice similar applications running in the background, be sure to close them before rechecking the Steam slow loading issue.

Similarly, multiple devices connected to the network can also cause Steam slow loading issues. Other devices on your network may be consuming your connection’s bandwidth, causing slow downloads. If you’re experiencing slow download speeds on Steam, try disabling them first. Finally, instead of a wireless Internet connection, you can choose a wired connection.

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#3 Disable Windows metered connection

steam slow download

Windows provides users with a metered connection option to limit their bandwidth usage. While this can help you save data if you’re under a data cap, it can limit how applications use the available bandwidth. This is why a metered connection can slow down downloads on Steam. To make sure it’s not enabled, follow these steps:

  • Right-click the Windows Start button and go to Settings.
  • Select Network and Internet from the left sidebar.
  • Click on WiFi.
  • Click on your Wi-Fi connection.
  • Turn off the switch next to metered connection.

#4 Try temporarily disabling VPN, antivirus and Windows Defender

steam slow download

The encryption and protocol of your VPN, as well as your distance from the server, can greatly affect your internet speed. Therefore, if you log into the Steam client with VPN enabled, the game may take a long time to load. It might be worth disabling the VPN and see if that helps.

Disabling Windows Defender with third-party antivirus programs can also help increase your internet speed. Steam uses a lot of bandwidth when downloading games to your computer. Due to such high disk and network usage, antivirus programs may flag it as malware. To avoid this, try briefly disabling Windows Defender with third-party antivirus software while downloading games on your computer. Once the download is complete, you can turn it back on.

#5 Give Steam a High Priority

steam slow download

If you are unable to close some applications, you can set Steam to a high priority. Thus, most of your network bandwidth is given to Steam. With this setting, Steam will download games faster than normal priority, although it won’t be able to use all the bandwidth. To make Steam a high priority, follow these steps:

  • Open Task Manager.
  • Go to the Processes tab.
  • Find Steam in the list of applications running on your system.
  • Right-click on Steam and select a new priority from the Assign Priority tab using your mouse.
  • Here you can change the priority from “Normal” to “Above Normal”, “High” or “Real Time”.

Return to Steam and see if your download speed improves after giving the program a high priority.

#6 Make sure Steam isn’t limiting its own bandwidth

steam slow download

Steam allows users to limit bandwidth to give more space for other applications to use the internet. While convenient, you should disable this limitation if you want faster downloads. To remove the Steam bandwidth limit, follow these steps:

  • Launch Steam.
  • In the upper left corner, click on the Steam tab and select “Settings”.
  • Select “Downloads” on the left sidebar.
  • In the right pane, clear the Limit Bandwidth check box.

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#7 Clear Steam Download Cache

Like many applications, Steam stores temporary download data in the download cache. The download cache can affect Steam performance. This can prevent the application from working properly and slow down the download. Therefore, clearing it can speed up the download again. But be careful before deleting. If you have downloaded any game mods in your Steam library, completing this step will remove them. So, if you have recently downloaded the mod, you can skip it.

To clear the Steam download cache, follow these steps:

  • Launch Steam.
  • In the upper left corner, click on the Steam tab and select “Settings”.
  • Select “Downloads” on the left sidebar.
  • In the right pane, click Clear Download Cache.
  • Restart the application after the process is complete.

#8 Change download server location

Steam download speed is greatly affected by the location of the server where you download them. By default, Steam connects you to the closest server to provide the best connection, but may not provide the best speed under heavy traffic.

With the global traffic map on the Steam Download Statistics website, you can see which servers are closest, have the least traffic, and offer good download speeds. Once you have decided on the server, follow these steps to change the region on Steam:

  • Launch Steam.
  • In the upper left corner, click on the Steam tab and select “Settings”.
  • Select “Downloads” on the left sidebar.
  • Select your preferred region from the Download Region drop-down menu.

Although other servers offer better download speeds, you can wait for the nearest server to reduce load and download the game later. However, if changing the region doesn’t improve your download speed at all, move on to the next step.

#9 Disable Steam Download Limit

If you set this up while streaming, the Steam app will slow down your downloads and allow you to stream at maximum speed. This means that you will get good performance at the expense of slow download speeds. If your downloads are getting very slow, this may explain the problem.

To disable load throttling, follow these steps:

  • Launch Steam.
  • In the upper left corner, click on the Steam tab and select “Settings”.
  • Select “Downloads” on the left sidebar.
  • Clear the checkbox to limit downloads while streaming.

See if disabling the restriction will help speed up Steam loading. If the issue persists, the last resort is to update your network drivers.

#10 Update network drivers

steam slow download

Outdated or corrupted network drivers can also affect the quality of your connection, causing Steam to load slowly.

To check for available updates for your network drivers, follow these steps:

  • First, press the Windows and X keys on your keyboard and click Device Manager.
  • Click “Network adapters” and select the current network drive.
  • Right-click the network driver and select Update Driver.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest drivers for your device and reboot your system.
  • Come back to Steam later to check if the download speed has increased.

You can speed up Steam loading by applying the fixes listed.

If none of the methods we suggested work, the problem might be with your network or your computer. If you solved the problem in a different way, you can let us know in the comments section below.

Sources: 1, 2

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