How to keep Steam downloading games overnight?

In modern times, some games are massive in file size; this can cause many users not to be able to download games in a reasonable time and play them. For people with subpar internet, most will have to resort to downloading games overnight and not playing them until the next day.

This applies to PC gaming and console gaming, and both have the option to download games overnight by leaving your device on with the correct settings while you sleep. Sleep mode doesn’t work because it freezes applications and stops downloads.

Method – Options to change to download games overnight

  • Go to “Settingson Windows.
  • Go to “System.”
  • Visit the “Power & Sleep” sections.
  • Click “Screen” and click “Never.
  • Click “Sleep” and click “Never.”

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How to keep Steam downloading games overnight

Sometimes you might need to download or update games overnight, depending on how big the game is. You might worry that leaving your device powered overnight could be dangerous, but you shouldn’t worry because it is very safe. It may be warm, but it shouldn’t cause any issues to your device as long as it is powered and cooled. As a machine, it is made to withstand more heat than we would feel comfortable in, so there is nothing to worry about as modern PC components are more power efficient. On both console and PC, you need to change some options; otherwise, your device will go to sleep after several hours of inactivity instead of staying on. Your PC will be completely fine after being left on for over a day as it is meant for playing games, not being left on standby while downloading.

While you may want to use Sleep mode to save power, Sleep mode halts all processes and limits the power to your CPU; it works similarly to shutting the lid to your laptop as it will stop shutdown functions and limit power. You would be better off ignoring Sleep mode and locking your computer instead. Locking your device keeps everything open in the background and provides security by requiring a password or pin to get onto the device. This would help if you are surrounded by people or have to leave your device somewhere and don’t want a friend or family member to access your device. Before this method, you need to disable the options that will put your device to sleep after being idle for a set amount of time.

How to disable sleep options on your PC

You need to disable the sleep options so it will not turn your computer off after leaving it on overnight; otherwise, it will shut down. You can avoid this by searching the Windows settings and finding the correct options.

Disable the sleep options

  • Click the Windows search bar and look for settings.
  • Click “System.”
  • Go to “Power & sleep.”
  • From here, change the “Screen” and “Sleep” options to “Never.” This will disable your device’s idle shutdown options.
  • Go back to your download and let it download overnight.

How to lock your PC

Since sleep mode is out of the question, you should at least lock your computer in case someone tries to access it. It is unlikely to happen, but it is added security as it will still download, but people cannot access it unless they sign in. Locking your Windows PC can only be done by pressing a shortcut key and cannot be found while searching on the Windows bar. After locking it and leaving your download overnight, you will need to sign back in, and then you can check your download, which should be complete.

How to lock your Windows PC

  • Use “Ctrl + Alt + Delete.”
  • Choose the “Lock” option.
  • Sign back in when you want to access your device.

How you can improve download speed

To get the most out of your download, you should look for ways to improve your download speed. This will ensure that your game downloads entirely when you next want to play them or download them quickly, so you don’t need to do it overnight. In the remainder of this article, I will discuss four ways to improve your download speed.

Ways to better your download speed

  • Unlimit your bandwidth
  • Use a wired internet cable
  • Clear the download cache
  • Switch download server

How you can remove the download limit

This feature should be disabled unless you have needed to do this before, but Steam allows you to limit your bandwidth for downloads, allowing users with terrible connections to use less data. You should check either way and disable the option.

Limit bandwidth

  • Open Steam.
  • Press “Steam.”
  • Press “Settings.”
  • From here, press “Downloads.”
  • Find the option “Limit bandwidth” and untick it. This will leave your bandwidth alone and not bottleneck it.

Use an ethernet cable

If you have a good internet connection and your device is within range of your router, you should consider using a wired connection. This is because an ethernet cable will direct your internet into your computer and is faster and more secure than a wireless option.

Clear the download cache

Another option that can improve your download rate is empty the download cache. The download cache is full of temporary files from previous downloads, and if you have issues with downloading, like game downloads not starting, you should clear it. This is done on the settings page under downloads.

Clear the download cache

  • Visit “Downloads.”
  • Find and pick “Clear download cache.”
  • Finally, click “OK.”

Change the download region

The final method I will discuss here is how to switch your download region. Steam allows you to do this as it has servers all over the globe; you can do this if you have moved or are connected to the wrong server.

Go to the downloads section, click “Download region,” and pick a server from the list.

After swapping servers, press “OK.”


If you need to download a game overnight, you should know that you need to change your device settings; otherwise, it will turn off after a few hours. You can do this on the Windows settings page and swap the options to “Never.” You should know that “Sleep mode” will not keep your games downloading and will freeze all processes; instead, lock your computer as it will keep it secure.

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