How to speed up game downloads on the Xbox app for Windows

The Xbox app on Windows is where you can buy, manage, and play PC games. It’s also the app that lets you access Game Pass, which gives you access to over a hundred games through a monthly subscription.

While there are plenty of amazing games at your fingertips on the Xbox app, it’s not uncommon to experience slow download speeds. No matter how fast your connection is, you may find yourself tapping your watch while waiting for a game to finish downloading.

To help you out, we’ve put together all the troubleshooting steps you need to follow to speed up downloads on the Xbox app for Windows. Take each in turn and your speed should pick up.

1. Restart the Xbox app

It’s the most basic tip ever, but it’s still worth it: restart the Xbox app. You’d be surprised how often a good old “turn it off and turn it back on” solves the problem.

By default, closing the Xbox app just minimizes it to your status bar. To close it completely, right click the Xbox icon in your status bar and click Stop.

You should also try restarting your entire computer. This will clear the system cache, close any programs that won’t open on startup, and give the Xbox app a cleaner slate.

2. Clear your network

It’s important to check that slow Xbox app downloads aren’t a sign of a larger network issue. Visit a website like to check your internet speed. If the result is far from what you pay for, you may need to contact your ISP for assistance.


You can try to fix this yourself. An easy step is to reset your router. Simply pull the plug, wait a minute, then plug it back in.

Also, stop all other activity on your network. Don’t download anything to your browser or stream on Netflix while using the Xbox app; your bandwidth is split between all tasks and you want to focus all resources on downloading the game.

Keep in mind that games on the Xbox app are unlikely to download at the maximum speed provided by your ISP. Indeed, you are at the mercy of various factors such as your distance from Microsoft’s servers and their congestion.

3. Disable the Xbox Insider Program

Joining the Xbox Insider Program gives you early access to Xbox app features and bug fixes. However, this can sometimes cause instability, including impacting your download speeds.

If you’re a member of the Xbox Insider program, you should quit it and see if that improves your speeds. Don’t worry, you can always re-subscribe later if you find it doesn’t make a difference.

To unsubscribe from the Xbox Insider Program:

  1. In the Xbox app, click Your username on the top corner left.
  2. To select Xbox Insider Program.
  3. From the left menu, select Previews.
  4. Under Joinedto select Windows Games.
  5. Click on Manage.
  6. Click on Exit preview.
  7. To confirm the action, click Carry on.
  8. Restart the Xbox app.

4. Do not allow downloads from other PCs

Windows includes a setting called Delivery Optimization, which is designed to improve the speed and reliability of Windows updates, Microsoft Store app updates, and Xbox app game downloads.

As part of this, there is a feature that not only allows you to grab download files from Microsoft, but also from other PCs that are downloading the same files. The download is split into multiple parts, with each part taken from the fastest and most reliable download source.

While the intentions behind the delivery optimization are sound, some users report that it actually slows down game downloads on the Xbox app. As such, it’s worth disabling it to experiment:

  1. Hurry Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. To select Update and security.
  3. From the left menu, select Delivery Optimization.
  4. To glide Allow downloads from other PCs for Disabled.

Surprisingly, other users report that enabling this feature improves their download speeds. So if this is already disabled on your system, try dragging On instead and select PC on my local network and PC on the Internet.

5. Remove Bandwidth Limits

By default, Windows dynamically optimizes your bandwidth when downloading games from the Xbox app. You can also limit the amount of bandwidth used by Windows, which is useful if you have a data throttling plan.

Some users found that Windows incorrectly throttled their bandwidth, even though their settings suggested that this shouldn’t happen. To overcome this:

  1. Hurry Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. To select Update and security.
  3. From the left menu, select Delivery Optimization.
  4. Click on Advanced options.
  5. To select Percentage of measured bandwidth (measured against update source).
  6. Check both boxes and set the sliders to 100%.

This specifically tells Windows not to apply any limits; For some reason some users are experiencing a bug where the slider percentages are applied even without the option selected.

The Microsoft Store isn’t faster

Some online tips claim that you can get faster download speeds through the Microsoft Store. However, this is misleading. In reality, both apps download at the same speed. Indeed, one displays the speed in megabits, the other in megabytes. So while the numbers may look different, the actual download speed is the same.

If you have the latest version of the Microsoft Store, you will not encounter this problem. Indeed, the Microsoft Store now directs you to the Xbox application to complete your purchase and start the download.

Spend less time downloading and more time playing

It’s incredibly frustrating when you want to play a new game and find yourself sitting there for hours twiddling your thumbs while the game downloads. Don’t let that happen to you. Hopefully the tips above fixed the problem and you can download through the Xbox app at the correct speed.

Remember, the Xbox app is your gateway to Xbox Game Pass. If you can play a few games a month, that’s amazing savings and more cost effective than buying the games outright.

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About the Author

Sam D. Gomez