How To Fix Steam Download Slow Issue Quick & Easy Fix

Steam is a popular platform where you can get your favorite PC titles to your computer. You no longer need to go to a store and buy a physical copy of the game as you can just download it straight to your computer which is quite convenient. Although this is a stable platform there are instances when certain issues can occur which we will be addressing today. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Steam download slow issue.

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How To Fix Steam Download Slow Issue

Before performing the recommended troubleshooting steps for this particular problem I suggest that you try restarting your computer first. This will refresh the operating system as well as remove corrupt temporary data and is quite effective in fixing most software related issues.

Compare your ISP download speed with the download speed you are getting from Steam

The first thing that you will need to do in this case is to check if you are indeed getting a slow download speed that is not what you are supposed to get from your ISP. Most ISP’s use bits per second as a measure to advertise their internet connection while Steam uses bytes per second instead of bits per second as an indicator of its download speed. For comparison listed below are the download speed conversions.

  • ISP speed of 3 megabits/second is equal to Steam download speed of 384 KB/s
  • ISP speed of 15 megabits/second is equal to Steam download speed of 1.9MB/s
  • ISP speed of 20 megabits/second is equal to Steam download speed of 2.5 MB/s
  • ISP speed of 50 megabits/second is equal to Steam download speed of 6.25 MB/s.

Based on the data above check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Disconnect other devices from your network

If there are other devices connected to your network then they will also be using the internet bandwidth. You should therefore try to disconnect these devices from the network then check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Take note that there are several factors that can affect the download speed that you will be getting. If your computer is connected using a Wi-Fi connection then the nearer it is to the router the better its signal will be thus improving the download speed. Make sure that you are not streaming a video or downloading files using a torrent software as this will use up a lot of bandwidth.

Change your download location

Steam has several servers around the world that caters to its users. If you are going to download a game then it’s best to get it from the server that is nearest your geographical location. Although the Steam client will automatically detect your region through your network and sets it as default there are times when a server in a specific region can become  overloaded or may be going through a hardware failure. It is therefore a good idea to change the download region in this case as it might fix the problem.

  • Open Steam and click “Settings” on the drop down menu in the upper left corner of the window.
  • Select “Downloads” and navigate to “Download Region”.
  • Select other regions other than your own and restart Steam.

Check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Try clearing the download cache

There are times when the downloaded files are corrupted which can lead to this problem. To fix this you will need to clear the download cache. Make sure that you remember your login credentials before proceeding.

  • Open your Steam client and navigate to Settings. This is located in the top left menu.
  • Locate Downloads in the Settings panel.
  • Click Clear Download Cache. Click OK to confirm your choice and after a while, Steam will ask for your login credentials.

Check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Add steam as an exception in your antivirus software

It’s also possible that the antivirus is constantly scanning the downloaded file of Steam which can affect the download speed. You should place Steam in the exception list so that your antivirus software will ignore  any of its activities thus increasing the download speed.

Windows Defender

  • Click the Windows button and in the search bar type “Windows defender”.
  • Open the application named “Windows Defender Security Center”.
  • Select the option “Virus and threat protection”.
  • Go to Virus and Threat Protection Settings. Windows may prompt you to allow an administrator access to use this feature. If so, press Yes.
  • Search the window which says “Add or remove exclusions”. Click it and you will be navigated to a menu where you can add exclusions. You will need to exclude the whole Steam folder which is located in the directory you downloaded it.
  • Click on the option which says “Exclude a folder” and navigate to your Steam directory. The default location for your steam folder should be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”. Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Bitdefender

  • Open Bitdefender and go to the Protection Window by clicking the shield icon shown below in the picture.
  • Click on the link which says View Modules.
  • Click on the Settings icon which you can see on the upper right corner of the antivirus.
  • Go to the Exclusions tab present in the window.
  • Click on “List of files and folders excluded from scanning”.
  • Click on the ADD button. Navigate to your Steam directory and select the folder named Steam to excluded it from the scanning process. You should also select the Both option before you add an exception
  • Click Add and save changes.
  • You can also add Steam.exe in the exceptions list by clicking on “List of processes excluded from scanning”. When the window pops up, you can navigate to Steam.exe which is present in your main Steam directory. Select both and save changes.

Avast Antivirus

  • Open the Avast interface.
  • Click on Settings found at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • From Settings, browse to General and scroll down the options until you find Exclusions.
  • Expand the section and you will see a dialogue where you can add global exceptions. Navigate to your Steam directory using the option of Browse. The default location for Steam is (C:\Program Files\Steam). If you installed Steam another directory, you can also browse to that.
  • Once you have selected the Steam folder, click on ADD found at the bottom left side of the screen. Press OK and Steam is now added to global exceptions of Avast antivirus.

McAfee Antivirus

  • Open McAfee Antivirus by clicking on its icon present on the toolbar on the bottom right side of your Windows.
  • Click on Manage Security.
  • Select the option of Schedule and run scans option present in the box of Virus and Spyware Protection.
  • Select the option of Schedules scans from the list of options that follow. A new window will open and from there you will see the Add button present under the tab of Excluded Files and Folders. Select Steam directory after clicking Add through the file explorer. The default location for your steam folder should be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”. Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Kaspersky AV

  • Open Kaspersky AV from the icon present in your taskbar at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Navigate to the Settings menu.
  • Select the tab of Additional and select the tab of Threats and Exclusions from the list of options given.
  • Click on the Configure Exclusions present in the middle of the screen.
  • Select the option of Add present in the bottom right of the screen.
  • Now navigate to the Steam directory using the Browse button. The default location for your steam folder should be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”. Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Change the download limit

One of the reasons why this issue occurs is because of a download limit setting in the Steam client. You will need to do a trial and error method to get the setting that gives the fastest download speed.

  • Open your Steam client using the option “Run as administrator”.
  • On the top left corner, you spot a button named Steam. Click it and from the drop-down box, select Settings
  • Navigate to the Downloads Here you will find a drop down window which allows you to limit your bandwidth. Choose a speed and resume your download.

Check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

Refresh your Steam client

If the issue still persists and you have already made sure that your Internet connection is not causing the problem then you will have to refresh your Steam client.

  • Press the Win + R button. This should pop-up the Run application.
  • In the dialogue box write: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
  • If you installed Steam in another directory, you can browse to that directory
  • Locate the following folders: Steam.exe  (Application), SteamApps (Folder)
  • Delete all the other files/folders/applications except the ones mentioned above and restart Steam.
  • Steam will download all the missing files and folders and launch when it’s ready. 
  • Restart your computer

Check if the Steam download slow issue still occurs.

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