8 Way To Fix If Steam Keeps Queuing Downloads

Valve’s gaming client can run for years with only a few problems hindering your experience. One of these is when Steam keeps queuing downloads. It means you won’t be able to get new content until you fix the issue. 

Either within or outside Steam, you can try tons of solutions. Often, fixes make your Steam’s cache, and download functions work better. Luckily, you won’t need to reinstall the program.

The Steam Download Queue System

steam queu system

Steam has a natural download system. It will put the game, app, and update downloads on the queue. So, after it downloads the first in the line, it proceeds with the second one, and so on. 

You can change the queue order yourself and set your priorities. Otherwise, Steam will decide the order and even put a “schedule” on the rest of the items after considering your download speed. 

The queue system will happen anytime Steam has more than one download pending. You may enable these downloads manually, or these downloads may be automatic. 

Then, these downloads should finish automatically, one after the other. Yet, if Steam keeps queuing downloads without actually downloading anything, you may see one of these two status messages: 

  •  “Download Queued
  • Update Queued” 

If this is the case, the update or download might be stock. In other words, it goes for long periods without any activity. 

Why Does My Steam Keeps Queuing Downloads?

There’re not many explanations for the problem, but these are the common issues:

  • The Windows Firewall is blocking the client’s internet functions.
  • Your internet connection is weak or unstable. For example, you’re using WiFi too far from the router.
  • Steam has problems with the internet connection itself. Even if your relationship is good for everything else, it may have compatibility issues with your Steam.
  • A game data is corrupted.
  • The game or app you’re downloading got an update while your computer was off or not downloading anything.

An adjacent problem is Steam re-starting your downloads. Perhaps you’ve seen the download bar on, for example, 70%, but after you shut down and open Steam again, the download is back on none percent.

This secondary problem is very similar, so it has the same causes and the same solutions.

How to Fix Steam Keeps Queuing Downloads?

The solutions are about making a more stable connection for your Steam via different PC configurations.

If you have a slow connection, you probably know you could get a better provider. We’re not recommending that, though, as there’re other things you can do first.

You can try our solutions one by one until you find the one that works for you. These fixes won’t mess up with any other systems on your PC. But if none of them work, you’d have to uninstall and re-install the client.

Restart Steam

Before you begin the troubleshooting, please follow this preliminary advice:

  • Log out from Steam
  • Restart your computer
  • Log back in

To log out from Steam, here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click the Steam button at the top left.
  3. Select Change account. It will prompt a log-out message. change account steam
  4. Click on Log-out.
  5. Close the app after you log-out.
  6. Restart the PC.
  7. Open Steam again, and enter your credentials.

By this point, you could also restart your modem and your router to improve your connection.

Adding an Exception to Windows Firewall

Steam’s issue may be because the Windows Firewall is blocking incoming connections. This is a known issue and one of the first solutions we’re sharing. 

Steam downloads in the background while using your PC for something else. It means the client has access to several systems on your PC, but it doesn’t work as intended if it doesn’t have proper access.

Windows Firewall may mark these processes as malicious, and it blocks Steam. The solution is adding Valve’s software as an exception to the Firewall: 

  1. Type Firewall on the Windows search bar.
  2. Open Firewall & network protection.
  3. Click on Allow app through Firewall. allow app through firewall
  4. Click on Change settings. change settings firewall
  5. Click Allow another app. allow another app
  6. Click on Browse. browse steam
  7. Search for the Steam client on your PC.
  8. Select the Steam.exe file. steam exe

The Steam client is typically at this address: 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam

Add Steam to Your Anti-virus Exceptions

It’s best to add Steam as an exception on your antivirus.

I use Windows Defender, so I’m showing the steps on the built-in software. You may find similar steps if you use another program.

  1. Type Windows Security on the Windows search bar.
  2. Open Windows Security. windows security
  3. On Virus & threat protection, click Manage settings. It opens the Virus & threat protection settings. manage settings
  4. On Controller folder access, click Manage Controlled folder access. manage controlled folder access
  5. Click on Allow an app through Controlled folder access. allow app through controlled access
  6. Click on Add an allowed app.
  7. Click on Browse all apps. add exception to anti virus
  8. Search for the Steam.exe file (same as above) and select it. steam exe
  9. Go back to Virus & threat protection settings. virus and threat protection settings
  10. On Exclusions, click on Add or remove exclusions. add or remove exclusions
  11. Click on Add an exclusion.
  12. Select Folder. exclusions add
  13. Select your Steam installation folder, and click on Select Folder. steam folder

Your antivirus shouldn’t give you any more problems with Steam.

Clear the Steam Download Cache

An easy solution is clearing Steam’s download cache. It’s the easiest way to solve Steam download issues.

Here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click Steam at the top left.
  3. Select Settings. steam settings
  4. Select Downloads.
  5. Click the Clear download cache button.clear download cache steam
  6. Click Ok. confirm clear download cache on steam

Check the Integrity of Game Files

When you see your download queue stuck on Steam, it may mean the first game in the line is corrupted.

The solution is to verify the integrity of the files. You’ll do it for the game currently downloading and every other item on the queue list.

The process will verify the entire data Steam has downloaded. If it finds any issues, it will re-download what it needs. That said, each verification may take a while.

Here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Go to the Library.
  3. Right-click on the game currently downloading.
  4. Select Properties. steam game properties
  5. Select Local file.
  6. Select Verify integrity of game files. verify integrity of game files steam
  7. Do this for every item in the queue.
  8. Clear the download cache as I explained above. clear download cache steam

Flush the DNS

The next step is resetting your internet settings. It works by the Flushconfig command on your PC’s Command Prompt. 

Operating systems cache DNS records. But if the DNS has changed recently or if it changes recently, you may need to flush it to avoid issues with your client software. 

Removing your local cache will obtain the most recent cache your Internet Service Provider uses. 

Here’re the steps: 

  1. Press the Windows key plus R to open the Run application.
  2. Type: “steam://flushconfig” and press Ok.flush steam
  3. Steam will pop a window to confirm your action. Press Ok.
  4. Type “Command” on the Windows search bar.
  5. Right-click the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator. run command prompt as administrator
  6. Type “ipconfig /flushdnsflush dns steam
  7. Press Enter and close the Command Prompt after it finishes.
  8. Open Steam again and type your credentials.

Check Your Date, Time, and Region

Steam has a date counter, and scheduled downloads can’t start if the time is incorrect. In other words, your time and date should be according to your region. 

Moreover, it divides its service into various geographical regions. So, different servers work at other locations by default, and you should use the closest server to your area.

To check your date and time, here’re the steps:

  1. Type Date on the Windows bar.
  2. The Date & Time menu will show up as a result. Left-click it to open it .date and time menu
  3. Set Time automatically, and Set zone automatically should be on (move the sliders if they are not). date and time
  4. If you’re getting the wrong times with the automatic detection, move the sliders to Off. turn off date and time sliders
  5. You can now set the time zone automatically by selecting your city from the drop-down menu. choose time zone
  6. You could also press Change and select the time yourself. change time manually

Then, you can change the download region from the Steam client. We recommend setting your country. 

Here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click on Steam at the top left.
  3. Select Settings. steam settings
  4. Click on Downloads.
  5. Select your country and region from the Download region drop-down menu. download region

Disable Bandwidth Limit

Game clients often find issues when placing a bandwidth limit for their downloads.

For example, Battlenet may put extra pressure on the CPU, or Epic Games may fail to update entirely. On Steam, it may put games in an endless queue.

The solution is disabling the download speed limit. This is the default configuration, so it doesn’t work if you have never set a limit before.

Either way, here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click on the Steam button at the top left.
  3. Select Settings. steam settings
  4. Go to Downloads. download menu steam
  5. Ensure the “Limit bandwidth to:” button is unchecked. limit bandwith
  6. On the same menu, select Clear download cache. clear download cache steam
  7. Click Ok. ok steam donwload settings

Cancel All Downloads and Stop Automatic Updates

A more direct approach is managing your downloads yourself, rather than letting Steam do the job.

In particular, if your connection is unstable, your downloads take too long. Then, suppose you have multiple downloads in the queue, and they are taking too long. In that case, it may render Steam’s automatic system unstable.

It happens because the Steam client can become overwhelmed by the number of requests it needs to process. 

So, first, you have to cancel all of your current downloads, even if it means you’ll lose the progress you have. 

Here’re the steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Go to Library. library steam
  3. Select the content that’s downloading on the left side.
  4. Click on Pause. pause  steam download
  5. Click on View at the top.
  6. Select Downloads. view steam download
  7. Hover your mouse to each item on the queue, next to the Play / Pause button.
  8. Click on the  X to select Remove from the queue. remove from queu

After removing all items from the queue, you must disable automatic updates for everything on your Library:

  1. Go back to your Library.
  2. Right-click on an item in your Library.
  3. Select Properties. properties steam
  4. Select Updates. updates
  5. Click the menu below Automatic Updates.
  6. Select Only Update this game when I launch it. only update when launch
  7. Do this for every item.

Now, your Steam is not downloading anything. Rather than putting all of the items in the queue, you must download each one individually and manually.

First, though, clear the download cache, as I explained above. Then, to download each item, here’re the steps:

  1. Go back to your Steam library.
  2. Select any game with a pending download.
  3. Select either Update or Install. install game on steam
  4. Wait for the game or app to fully download before downloading anything else. 

If your internet is unstable or slow, we recommend you manage Steam this way.

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