How to speed up Xbox downloads without leaving your current game

Xbox games are updated all the time, so you probably want these updates to run as quickly as possible to minimize interruptions. One of the best ways to do this is to close your current game, but sometimes that’s not an option. Maybe you are in the middle of something important and just can’t stop right now.

Fortunately, now there’s an easy way to speed up downloads of Xbox games and apps while keeping your current game active. Here’s how to do it, along with a few more ways to speed up downloads.

How to Speed ​​Up Xbox Downloads by Pausing Your Current Game

Whether you have an Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S, you can take advantage of a handy feature that lets you pause your game in progress to prioritize active downloads. It’s thanks to an Xbox update that Microsoft released in March 2021. On Xbox Series X | S, you can even take advantage of Quick Resume to pick up when you left off.

To suspend your current game, you must of course have a game open on your Xbox. With another download in progress, press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide. From there go to My games and apps, Then choose View All> Manage> Queue.

Alternatively, if a game being downloaded appears in the guide list, you can select it and choose See the full queue to jump to the same page.

Xbox Manage Queue

On the Manage the queue page, you will see which games are downloading. By the way, if you have multiple downloads running, you can pause some of them to prioritize what’s most important to you.

Most importantly, under the You have a game in progress. Suspend it to help improve download speeds text, choose Suspend my game. This will freeze your game in place, allowing the download (s) to take priority.

Xbox Manage Queue Pause Downloads

Once the downloads are complete, select your game to jump right back to where you left off. Keep in mind that if you were playing an online game, the suspension will likely kick you out of the servers, so you will need to log back in after the resumption.

In case you didn’t know, your Xbox is prioritizing network activity for the game you’re currently playing. So having a game open will always limit background download activity. The traditional solution is to close all running games, but it can cause you to lose your progress if you haven’t saved. It’s a softer solution to that.

Remember that in order to install and apply updates for a running game, you must close the game. So this is only useful when you want to install a new game or run updates for the game. a different title.

Other tips for speeding up Xbox download times

If you want your Xbox downloads to be even faster, there are other tricks you can implement. Consider a few.

1. Restart your console

If you haven’t completely shut down your Xbox lately, it’s a good idea to shut it down completely and let it restart. Like any computer, occasional reboots allow a game console to fix temporary issues and perform at their best.

To restart your Xbox, hold down Xbox button on your controller for a moment. To choose Restart the console, then give it a few minutes to restart completely. Keep in mind that a full reboot (not just putting it to sleep mode) will close all open games, so if you have a suspended game, be sure to save it before restarting.

Xbox restart console

Once it’s working again, see if the download speed improves. This will not magically increase the maximum speed of your internet connection, but it could optimize your Xbox download. Try this whenever the download speed seems much slower than expected.

2. Check the bandwidth usage elsewhere on your network

When your Xbox downloads something, it needs to share the available bandwidth on your network with all the other devices in your home. So if other computers, phones, or game consoles are also using your network, your Xbox download speed will suffer.

The next time you need an Xbox download to complete as quickly as possible, check out the other devices in your home. If someone downloads large files to a computer, streams 4K video from another TV, uploads files to cloud storage, or performs other heavy behaviors on the network, shut them down and see if the Your Xbox download speed increases.

To go further, you can configure the Quality of Service feature on your router. This allows you to specify certain devices or types of traffic that are given priority on your network.

3. Use a wired connection

If you’re connecting your Xbox to your network over Wi-Fi, consider upgrading to a wired Ethernet connection. Even if you only do this temporarily to download an update or a big game faster, it will make a big difference.

Xbox Series S Connection Cables

While Ethernet connections are not as convenient as using Wi-Fi, they are more stable and offer faster download speeds. You’ll get closer to the download speed you pay your ISP for with an Ethernet cable than with Wi-Fi.

If you can’t get your Xbox closer to your router, then buying a long Ethernet cable that you use for big downloads is a low-tech solution.

4. Consider your Internet speed

While all of the tips above help you download Xbox games and updates faster without shutting down your current game, your internet speed is still a limiting factor. If you only have 20 Mbps download speed from your ISP, nothing you do will increase that speed to 100 Mbps.

Use Speedtest.net to check your internet speed

If your entire network is experiencing slow speeds, you need to restart your router and modem, for the same reasons discussed above. Unless there is a temporary hiccup, however, slow speeds are best corrected by upgrading your internet plan.

Check your profile on your ISP’s website or call customer service for other options available. Upgrading your speed will allow you to download Xbox content faster and provide more bandwidth for multiple devices to work at once.

Easily speed up Xbox downloads

With this useful new Xbox feature and a few other tips, you can speed up Xbox downloads even without closing your current game. Hopefully your system downloads most of the updates when the console is in sleep mode, so they don’t bother you at all.

But the next time you need to apply an update as fast as possible, you’ll know what to do. It’s also not a bad idea to explore other options on your router for a better online gaming experience.

Image Credit: Miguel Lagoa / Shutterstock


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Sam D. Gomez