Steam is well known to have several downloads running simultaneously in the background even if you have not opened it specifically. The engine consumes a lot of data and resources and may place strain on the system itself as well.
What is the default background download setting?
By default, Steam disables background downloads whenever you are playing a game so you won’t experience bad internet or frequent spikes. This setting is ideal for people who don’t have enough bandwidth available for their gaming.
However, for others who have a very fast internet connection, and would prefer that all of their games get updated the moment they are released, they can easily change the settings.
How to change this setting?
It is very easy to customize this option regarding any game.
- Open your Steam client and navigate to your Library. Here all of your installed games will be listed.
- Right click on the game of interest and select Properties from the list of options available.
- Once in the Properties window, navigate to the Updates tab. Now you will be seeing two headings of interest; Automatic updates and Background Downloads.
- You can change the Automatic updates option by clicking it and select any one of three options from the drop down menu. If you want to prioritize some game, you can select the last option. This will always update this game first before others.
- You can change the background downloads setting by clicking on the drop down menu. There are three settings available. The default is to stop all backgrounds downloads while you are playing a game to maximize the performance.
The other two settings allow you to either always allow the background downloads to happen or to block them from happening forever.
Save whichever setting that seems fit and press ok to save changes.