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How to increase your Xbox One's download speeds

How to speed up Xbox downloads: General tips for faster downloads

1. Make sure automatic updates are enabled. While this won’t actually speed things up, it will mean that the console does all the update admin when you’re not around.

2. Use a wired connection. Yes, Wi-Fi may be more convenient, but your connection will be more stable and your downloads faster.

3. Make sure other devices aren’t eating up all your bandwidth. Downloading, uploading or streaming elsewhere will have a knock-on effect on your Xbox’s download speed.

4. Consider upgrading your internet. If your internet isn’t fit for purpose, then consider an upgrade. Here’s how to find out what internet speed you need.  

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Restart Your Xbox One to Fix Buggy Downloads

If your game download seems unusually slow or has completely stopped, resetting the Xbox One console can correct any connectivity issues the specific download may be having.

  1. Press the Xbox logo button on your controller to activate the Guide.

  2. Press right on the D-pad or joystick three times to navigate to the System pane.

  3. Highlight Restart console and press A. Your Xbox One restarts and the download should continue as normal.

Upgrade your equipment to improve download speeds

There are routers on the market that can improve your gaming experience and speed up your Xbox One downloads. You’re not stuck with the router that your ISP provides. There are a few things to consider when shopping for an internet router. 

Select a QoS Gaming Router

Routers designed for gaming have Quality of Service (QoS) features. These routers, also called gaming routers, let you prioritize your Xbox over the other devices using the internet in your house. This means that your Xbox will have priority if multiple people are trying to use the internet at the same time. When you’re gaming and your roommate is watching Netflix at the same time, your Xbox will get first dibs on the bandwidth so you won’t experience lag.

Ensure that your router has a 5GHz band

Routers have either a 2.4 or 5 GHz band. For those that are using a Wi-Fi connection for gaming instead of a wired ethernet connection, we’d recommend a router with a 5 GHz band. The 5 GHz band enables faster and more reliable Wi-Fi speeds than a 2.4 GHz band. By upgrading to a router with a 5Ghz band, your Xbox One should run faster. The only drawback to 5 GHz bands is that they work best over short distances. You’ll want your Xbox to be as close to the router as possible to avoid any connection issues. 

Make sure that your internet router can support your download speeds

Routers are only designed to handle a certain amount of download speed, and some routers can handle more than others. If you’re paying for an internet plan with download speeds up to 500 Mbps, but your router can only handle speeds up to 250 Mbps, you will never get download speeds faster than 250 Mbps. This is a waste of money because you’re paying for twice the speed that you’re actually getting. To find out if your router can support your internet plan’s download speeds, google your router’s make and model. This information should be printed on the back of your router. 

Pause Other Xbox One Downloads

Downloading multiple games or apps at the same time naturally slows the download speed on an Xbox One console. However, you can pause other downloads so that your preferred game or app downloads first all by itself. Here's how.

  1. Press the Xbox logo button on your controller to bring up the Guide.

  2. Press down on the D-pad or joystick once to highlight My games & apps.

  3. Press A.

  4. Highlight See all and press A.

  5. Scroll down the left menu to Queue.

    You should see all of your active downloads. If this section is empty, that simply means that you currently have no active downloads.

  6. Highlight the download you want to pause and press the Menu button on your controller.

  7. Highlight Pause and press A.

Close Xbox games and apps when youre not using them

If you’ve opened any other games or apps on your Xbox, they may still be downloading in the background while you’re playing other games. Closing games and apps when you’re not using them can help speed up Xbox One download speeds. To close games and apps follow these steps:Hover over the game or app’s icon on the hom

  1. Hover over the game or app’s icon on the home screen
  2. Tap the Menu button on your Xbox One controller. It’s the black button with three horizontal lines on the left side of the controller. 
  3. Select Quit. The option to Quit will only show up if the app is open. If it doesn’t show up, it means the app or game is already closed. 

You’re Using Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi technology used on the Xbox Series X and Series S is older generation Wi-Fi 5 technology. The Xbox Series X does not have Wi-Fi 6. This limits the download speeds to about 300 Mbps. This is also a best case scenario with the router placed very close and with no obstructions whatsoever. Most people using Wi-Fi will be lucky to get 200 Mbps of bandwidth. While these speeds are plenty fast for most people, if you want faster speeds you will need to used a wired ethernet connection.

If you are using Wi-Fi make sure you are using the 5Ghz frequency band. If you are using the 2.4 Ghz band your speeds will be severely limited. This is the single best thing you can do to improve your Wi-Fi connection. In many cases it will double or even triple your download speeds.

Most routers made in the last 5 years support the 5 Ghz Band. It is generally a matter of simply changing a few settings. If your router does not support the 5 Ghz band it is likely quite old and due for an upgrade anyways.

The Xbox Live Servers are Overcrowded

If non of the above applies to you and you are getting fast speeds on all of your other devices than the problem may be beyond your control. Often times downloads speeds are limited by Microsoft because of excess traffic on their servers. This is often an issue that peaks with the release of a new AAA game title or after the holiday season.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about this type of slowdown. You are most likely to notice this if your internet speeds are faster than about 200 – 300 Mbps. Remember that Microsoft has to provide downloads to millions of users and only has a certain amount of bandwidth capacity. The speed that Xbox Live downloads games and updates is actually much faster than many other downloads. The issue is the ever increasing size of the downloads. Unfortunately the level of detail that is present in todays games dictates that downloads can only be made so small.

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