How to Increase Download Speed in Windows 10

Stop multitasking, check your internet speed, and clear space

Downloads taking longer than expected on your PC? Here are some tips for how to increase download speeds on Windows 10.

Why Are My Downloads So Slow in Windows 10?

If downloads are slow and web pages are taking forever to load, the first thing you should do is troubleshoot your slow internet connection. Once you've ruled out any problems with your ISP, router, and modem, move on to troubleshooting your device.

There could be many reasons why a computer is running slow, but if you're specifically having problems with the internet, it could be due to the following:

  • Interference between your device and the router
  • Too many other devices are using your Wi-Fi network
  • Background apps are hogging resources and bandwidth
  • Your connection is metered

Test your internet speed and compare it to what your internet provider promises to see if you're getting the maximum possible speed.

Beams of light representing data flow into a laptop
Getty Images/John Lamb

How Can I Boost My Download Speed?

After checking for issues with your internet connection, try these steps to speed up downloads on Windows 10:

  1. Download one thing at a time. If you download multiple files on different devices (for example, your computer and your game console) simultaneously, each download will be competing with the other.

  2. Use an Ethernet cable or move closer to the router. If your computer has an Ethernet port, connect it directly to your modem. Circumventing the router ensures a stable connection. If that's not an option, remove any obstructions between your computer and the router, making sure they are as physically close as possible.

  3. Delete temporary files. Your computer stores temporary files for programs you often use to speed up its performance, but too many temporary files can slow things down.

  4. Switch web browsers. Your default browser may not be optimized for your internet connection, so try downloading the file in a different browser.

  5. Turn off the metered connection. If you set a metered connection to limit data usage, disable it to maximize download speeds.

  6. Turn off background apps. Applications that run in the background and use the internet can interfere with download speeds, so disable any apps that take up a lot of bandwidth and resources.

  7. Use a download manager. Some download managers can download files from multiple sources simultaneously, allowing for faster download speeds.

  8. Switch DNS servers. Your internet service provider (ISP) chooses your default DNS server, and it doesn't always pick the fastest one. Experiment to find out which server works best for you.

  9. Disable automatic Windows updates. Windows downloads and installs the latest OS updates automatically, so turn off this feature to make sure it doesn't interfere with your other downloads.

  10. Change the bandwidth limit. Windows reserves bandwidth for itself to update Microsoft apps and services. Fortunately, you can adjust the bandwidth limits in your settings to prioritize downloads.

  11. Upgrade your internet plan. Your internet package limits your connection speed. Contact your ISP to discuss switching to a faster one.

Why Is My Download Speed So Slow Even Though I Have Fast Internet?

Technically, download speed refers to how fast your modem receives data from the internet. This data includes streaming, so if you're watching Netflix or using other web-based services, it'll affect your downloads. Just because your internet package promises high maximum download speeds doesn't mean you automatically get the fastest speed. Check with your ISP to ensure you have the right equipment to get the internet speed for which you're paying them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I increase my upload speed on Windows 10? If your upload speeds are faltering, check with your internet provider about what speed your plan provides. You may need to upgrade to a faster plan or switch providers. Try to stagger your internet usage, so multiple tasks aren't competing for bandwidth. Also, make sure you're using a router that broadcasts on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; there may be less interference on the 5 GHz band. If Wi-Fi is your only option, try measures to boost your Wi-Fi signal.
  • How do I increase download speed on my Mac? As on a Windows PC, conduct a speed test to see if your internet is slow or something is wrong with your setup. If your speed tests fine, many of the same tips listed above for Windows PCs will work for you too. Try moving closer to the router, switching to the 5 GHz band, and making sure you're not performing multiple tasks. If browsing is slow, be sure to close unused tabs in your browser.
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