How to Make Downloading Faster

By Paul Bright

Updated September 22, 2017

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you're downloading a new game or song on your computer is when the process seems to take as much time as it took to build the Great Wall of China. It can be especially annoying if you have a relatively new computer with at least a broadband connection. There are ways to make your downloading faster no matter what connection you have, be it dial-up or DSL. It just takes some adjusting and re-tooling. After reading this article, you can potentially increase your downloading speed dramatically in less than 20 minutes.

Click on the task manager (usually reachable via the Control-Alt-Delete combo of buttons) and stop any processes that your computer isn't actively engaging in--especially any auto-updaters associated with programs you rarely use. These can sometimes be media-player applications or a program updater for a program you haven't used in years. Click on the process and select "End process tree" to stop it. But be careful--you don't want to shut down anything that your computer needs to stay alive! Stick with the applications you are familiar with first.

Run your start-up configurations on your computer. On the XP operating system, type "msconfig" in the "Run" block to find them. In Vista, the startup configuration is found in the Administrative Tools tab. Check your computer manual if you use any of these programs or other operating systems.

Often you will find programs that you didn't even know you had running silently in the background. For example, some new computers have an iPod updater that automatically starts up. If your iPod isn't connected to your computer, why keep it running? Look for programs you no longer use and remove those applications.

Check for any services that are running, in the same manner as you did in Step 2. The Services tab is typically with the Startup configuration tab. If you aren't actively using a service (as with a virus-scanning program you've already replaced), shut it down. Then restart your computer.

Shut down any applications you aren't directly using. If you're running Windows Vista and have those gadgets on the side, shut them down. Don't forget to check your computer tray at the bottom of the screen to make sure you haven't forgotten any programs.

Use your virus-scanner program to scan the file you are about to download. If it is clear, begin your download. Then close the website from which you started the download, and the virus scanner. Even the page from which you retrieved the program can suck up broadband space. While your download is in progress, do not open any other applications or programs.


Remove any programs that you no longer use. Use the "Add/remove" function of your computer to ensure it is done completely. Consolidate any saved icons to prevent your computer from spending too much RAM on reading them. Consider a download accelerating program once you become proficient in these steps and still feel a need to increase your download speed.