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Daniel Grigoriev
Daniel Grigoriev

How to Speed Up Your Xbox Series X Downloads in Minutes



Odds are, you've experienced the situation where you have a short window to play a new game, or your friends decide to start a new co-op campaign at the last minute, but you don't actually have the game installed. With high-speed internet being more widely available and affordable than ever, you'd think it'd be quick to download and jump right in.


If you're an Xbox gamer, there are a number of reasons why your download speeds can suffer. Stick with us, and we'll clue you in on the various pitfalls that are likely impacting your speed, and the subsequent measures you can take to try to fix them.




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Another possible solution to slow download speeds on your Xbox is to fully exit all of your games and apps. For Xbox Series XS owners specifically, games that are on Quick Resume don't seem to have a significant impact on download speeds, but any game running in the foreground can significantly slow down your download speed. This is because the game or app is using up a significant portion of your console's resources.


Another tip to combat slow download speeds on your Xbox is to try downloading the game at different hours. Especially for hot new releases, the servers may be overloaded with a large number of players trying to download the game at the same time. This can cause slow download speeds as the servers struggle to keep up with the demand. In this case, try to download the game at a different time when the servers may be less busy.


As time goes on, video games become progressively larger, with developers constantly seeking to build bigger, more detailed worlds and stories with greater visuals and graphics. This evolution is great for gamers, but it also means more time spent waiting for these increasingly massive games to download onto our Xbox consoles. At times, these download speeds may slow to a crawl for seemingly no reason, in which case you may feel as if you're out of options.


Whether you're playing on Xbox Series XS or the aging Xbox One generation, use these troubleshooting solutions to rectify slow downloading speeds and ensure you're jumping into another of the best Xbox games as soon as possible.


Among the most frustrating experiences for excited gamers eager to dive into a new video game is the onset of slow download speeds, even when your internet connection should be more than enough to download the title in question swiftly. Before you explore the numerous troubleshooting solutions available, you should first test your network connection to help guide the direction of your efforts.


Download speeds, displayed in megabits per second (Mbps), tells you how much information your Xbox can currently download under optimal conditions and in a certain amount of time. For example, a download speed of 80Mbps translates to 10 megabytes per second (MBps), which in turn translates to approximately 36GB of information every hour. However, this is not the only metric to consider.


Packet loss tells you how much information may be lost when transmitted over your network, and can substantially reduce the effectiveness of even a high-speed network. You can reduce packet loss and take greater advantage of your download speeds by removing network congestion or by using a wired Ethernet connection versus a wireless one.


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Both of these statistics can be compared against other internet-connected devices in your household, which should inform you whether any issues with slow download speeds are a result of your network or router, or whether your Xbox console is potentially to blame.


Once you have a better understanding of your network speeds and connection, there's a wide range of potential solutions you can employ to improve things. Below we've listed simple tips and tricks to get the most out of your network and Xbox downloads, quick fixes for common issues, and even advanced settings changes you can use to optimize your network and ensure it's always performing at its best.


Slow download speeds on your Xbox may not be the fault of your network or your console, and instead may be affected by how you're connecting to the network. Ensuring you're using the best possible connection for your setup could deliver greater download speeds and reduced packet loss when downloading games and apps on your Xbox console.


Wireless, or Wi-Fi, is how the vast majority of devices in today's world connect to the internet. Most modern networks feature two different bands, or kinds, of wireless connection: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If a wireless connection is the way to go for you, understanding the difference between the two bands can be a great boon for achieving better download speeds.


To recap: Use a wired connection if you're able to and do not mind running a physical cable between your console and your router. If wireless is more convenient or your only option, see whether your router offers a 5GHz band connection (it often appears as two separate networks, but some networks are able to switch between the two bands automatically) and whether it's a good fit for where your console is. Your last resort should be a 2.4GHz connection, with the understanding that you'll have to compromise on download speeds.


It may seem like a too-simple idea to be effective, but simply restarting your Xbox console and your router are great quick fixes for a wide variety of temporary network issues you may be facing. If you've noticed your download speeds simply aren't where you expect them to be, or you're experiencing other issues, taking a few minutes to reset everything could be the fix you're looking for.


After everything is turned on and functional again, ensure your Xbox console is still connected to the internet and that everything is running as expected. You can even run another network test to compare your download speeds and whether they've improved after the restart.


Xbox consoles may boast of multiple multitasking features, like being able to download games, apps, and updates while playing games, keeping a game and app running in the background, and more. However, Xbox consoles closely monitor and manage system resources to ensure that everything, including internet bandwidth, prioritizes your gaming experiences. For this reason, having a game running in the background can substantially reduce your overall download speeds.


If you're looking to download something on your Xbox with as much speed as possible, we recommend closing out any open games or apps to free up more resources for downloads. To do this, highlight the game or app in question on the Xbox Dashboard or in the Xbox Guide, hit the "Menu" button on your controller, and look for the "Quit" option listed in the available menu. You may also notice a "Suspend" button when viewing download progress in "My games & apps," which automatically reallocates network bandwidth to downloads from any open games or apps.


A factor that can nonetheless heavily influence overall download speeds and network stability are "peak times," which are periods in which a higher-than-average number of people are actively using the internet and downloading games or apps. A Friday night right after "working hours" in your area, for example, may see more people getting online and placing strain not only on your internet provider, but on the Xbox Network.


Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know when peak times are, since they fluctuate over time as big games launch, holidays occur, the seasons change, and more. Still, being mindful of when players might be logging on en masse, and attempting to download games or apps at other times (for example, early in the morning or late at night, or during the day on workdays), can help improve download speeds and ensure you're up and running as quickly as possible.


With basic tips and information out of the way, we'll now move on to some more advanced solutions you can use to avoid glacial download speeds on Xbox potentially. This includes editing your DNS settings. DNS, or Domain Name System, is a massive behind-the-scenes technology responsible for translating the web URLs we're all familiar with to information that computers and networks can actually understand, or IP addresses. DNS makes using the internet easier, but it's also one area you can potentially make faster.


It takes time for DNS to do its thing in the background, and you can potentially speed up this process by using an alternative DNS service. Unless you've already messed with your DNS settings, you're most likely using the default DNS service from your internet provider. If you're willing to put in the work, you may notice increased download speeds by switching to a trusted third-party DNS. Here's how to do exactly that, and some well-known options you can try.


Quality of Service, or QoS, is a tool employed by many modern routers to automatically manage the allocation of network bandwidth to different devices, to ensure nothing is taking more than is necessary. For example, QoS may reduce the bandwidth for an always-connected smart home device that doesn't require much of a connection, and give more bandwidth to your Xbox console. This can absolutely affect download speeds, especially if you have a lot of internet-enabled devices in your home.


If the Xbox download speed is slow, but the internet is fast on other devices, try restarting your Xbox console. Restarting your Xbox will clear out any temporary files or cached data, and shut down any unnecessary background processes that may be using up bandwidth. This can help free up resources on your Xbox and potentially improve its performance.


However, restarting your Xbox will not necessarily solve all download speed issues, and it may not make a significant difference in cases where the slow download speed is due to a problem with your internet connection or a slow server.


If your Xbox download speed is slow, you can also try changing the DNS server on your Xbox. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a network protocol that translates domain names into numerical IP addresses that computers use to communicate.


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