How to Speed Up Xbox Series X or S Downloads

Start playing your new games faster with these tips

What to Know

  • Test your internet speed and don't download in the background.
  • Restart your hardware and disconnect other devices from your network. Use a wired internet connection.
  • Position your Xbox near the router. Confirm the Xbox has the most current system update. Restart the Xbox.

This article contains troubleshooting tips for speeding up the downloads for your Xbox Series X or S.

How to Speed Up Xbox Series X and S Downloads

Xbox Series X and S game files are typically massive due to the high quality graphics, as you’re downloading everything needed for 4K resolution regardless of which console you have. If you’re suffering from sluggish downloads, you can use these tips to speed up your Xbox Series X or S downloads and get into the game faster. 

To speed up your game downloads as much as possible, and start playing sooner, try each of the following troubleshooting tips.

These tips apply to both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Some may not apply depending on the way your home network is set up, so skip anything that isn’t relevant to your own setup.

  1. Test your internet speed. If your internet speed is exceptionally slow, then nothing you do with your Xbox Series X or S will help: your downloads will continue to be slow until you address your internet connection issues.

  2. Stop downloading in the background. The Xbox Series X and S are both capable of downloading games in the background, while you do other things with your console, but that slows down the process. If you want your game to download as fast as possible, close all other games and apps.

    To close games and apps:

    1. Press the Guide button on your controller.
    2. Highlight the game or app to close.
    3. Select Menu (three vertical lines).
    4. Select Quit.
  3. Restart your network hardware. If you find that your internet connection is slow overall, then try restarting your modem, router, and any other hardware in your home network. This fixes a lot of internet connectivity issues and may help with download speeds.

    If your internet connection is still slower than it should be after resetting your hardware, try these tips to speed up your internet connection. If it’s still slow after that, contact your internet service provider and let them know you aren’t getting the level of service that you’re paying for.

  4. Disconnect other devices from your network. If you have a lot of devices, like computers, phones, tablets, and streaming devices all running on your network at once, there may not be enough bandwidth left over for your Xbox. Try disconnecting everything else from the network, or shutting down bandwidth-intensive applications like torrents and video streaming on your computers and other devices.

    If you’re connected via a wireless network, Xbox Series X|S download speeds will tank whenever other devices are using a lot of bandwidth. Check to see if your router is dual- or tri-band, and it it is, try connecting your Xbox to one band and everything else to the other to provide your console with the least congested connection possible.

  5. Use a wired internet connection. If you’re connected wirelessly, try connecting your Xbox to the modem or router via a wired Ethernet connection. Even if you have to use a long ethernet cable to reach the modem or router, you’ll typically achieve faster download speeds than wireless.

  6. Move your Xbox or your router. If a wired connection isn’t possible, then make sure your Xbox Series X or S and your router are as close together as possible, and that there are as few obstructions between them as possible. Move the router to a high shelf if possible, and don’t place the Xbox in a confined space like an enclosed television stand.

  7. Restart your Xbox Series X or S. In some cases, a download can become bugged and won’t progress any further. If it seems like the download is slower than it should be, or that it has stopped completely, then restarting your Xbox may help.

    Here’s how to restart your Xbox Series X or S:

    1. Press the Guide button.
    2. Navigate to Profile & system.
    3. Select Power.
    4. Select Restart Console.
  8. Make sure your Xbox is updated. In some cases, outdated system firmware can cause issues like slow downloads. If your console is trying to download a system update, that can also have an adverse effect on other downloads.

    To rule this out, check for updates:

    1. Press the Guide button.
    2. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings.
    3. Navigate to System > Updates.
    4. Select Update if it is available.

What if Xbox Series X or S Downloads Are Still Slow?

If your downloads are still slow after trying all of these troubleshooting tips, there’s a chance that there is an issue with Microsoft’s servers or with the connection between those servers and your internet service provider (ISP). Network congestion can also cause this problem. In any case, you may want to check social media sites like Twitter to see if other users are experiencing issues, and report the problem to Microsoft and your ISP.

The problem will typically go away once Microsoft or your ISP fixes the problem, or the congestion abates, as long as your own internet connection is fast and there aren’t any problems with your network or console.

What Causes Slow Xbox Series X and S Downloads?

The primary cause of long download times is the game file sizes are so big. Even with a fast internet connection, and everything else being perfect, games will take more time to download than they did with older consoles. In addition to the reality of file sizes, slow internet connections, internet problems, downloading in the background, and even bugged downloads can all cause a decrease in game download speed on the Xbox Series X and S.

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