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Managing Steam Downloads & Updates

Steam will automatically download updates for your games based on the Steam client's download settings. Downloads can also be manually controlled from the Download Manager within your Steam client.

Managing downloads & updates

Downloads and updates can all be managed via the Download Manager in the Steam client. From here you can track the progress of your downloads, schedule updates, re-order your update queue and see which updates have been completed.

How to access the Steam Download Manager:

  • The Downloads link at the bottom of the Steam client
  • Or, from the View dropdown at the top of the Steam client, select Downloads
  • Or, from the Library tab at the top of the Steam client, select Downloads

How to access Steam downloads settings:

  • From the Steam client, select Steam > Settings > Downloads

Setting Bandwidth Limits

If you'd like to limit the amount of bandwidth that Steam can use when updating and downloading your games, a bandwidth limit can be setup from your Steam settings. The bandwidth limit will be displayed in the upper right corner of the Download Manager, as well as the update dialog for any game you are attempting to launch.

From your downloads settings (Steam > Settings > Downloads) select a corresponding limit from the dropdown. Note that these limits are based on whether you have Steam set to display downloads in bytes per second or bits per second.

Customizing settings per game

Games are automatically put into your download queue when a game releases an update. Here's how you can customize updates per game:

  • Open your Steam Library
  • From a game's library page, select Manage > Properties.
  • Select the Updates tab and make your choice from Automatic updates

Available settings:

  • "Always keep this game updated"
  • "Only update this game when I launch it" - will temporarily disable game updates
  • "High Priority - Always auto-update this game before others"

There's also a per-game setting to allow/prevent the downloading of other updates while you're playing.

Disabling automatic updates

If you'd like to stop Steam from automatically updating a game, select "Only update this game when I launch it" from the game's Library page > Properties > Updates.

Scheduling automatic updates

Your queued downloads can be manually re-ordered from your Download Manager.

You can also limit the times during the day when Steam updates your games. From your downloads settings (Steam > Settings > Downloads) check the Only auto-update games box and specify the time when Steam should perform auto-updates. For example, selecting '12AM' And '8AM' would mean that Steam will only download auto-updated games between midnight and 8 AM your local time.

You can override this, and tell Steam to download the update immediately from the Download Manager. Launching the game will also force the game to update immediately

Moving game installations

If you are running out of space, or simply want to move some games to an alternate location, Steam Library folders can be used to manage game installations across multiple hard drives.

Once you've setup alternate Library folders, you can move existing games there without requiring new downloads. You can also pick the install location from all of your existing Library folders when downloading a new game.

  • Right-click a game in your Library and select Properties...
  • Select the Local Files tab
  • Click Move Install Folder... and select the new location for the game installation

Issues with Downloads & Updates

If you are experiencing an issue with a download or update, please visit the following help articles:

Problem with Steam?

Help Me With My Issue