I'm a little confused how the Steam Download Restrictions work. It says there's an option to "Limit auto-updating schedule" and to pick a time, and then an option to limit bandwidth to various speeds.

Here's a screenshot of how it looks:
Steam Download Restrictions: Limit auto-updating schedule from 8AM to 12AM; Limit bandwidth to No limit

Is that the time when it limits auto-updating or when it does auto-update? Does it stop all auto-updating or just limit it? Does the bandwidth limit apply all the time or only during the time you set or don't set?

1 Answer 1


They are 3 independent options:

  • Limit auto-updating scheudule: If you check the box, it will only download updates during that time window, no other
  • Limit bandwidth to: The bandwidth will be limited to the chosen amount, when ever downloads occur (may be limited to the window of time set if it is set)
  • Allow downloads during gameplay: If you have this box unchecked, steam will NOT download updates while you are in game, you will notice any downloads pause as you start a game. Previously steam did this by default, this option allows you to opt in to downloads while you are playing games (if you feel your bandwidth is sufficient to handle both the requirements of the game and downloading).

To answer your specific questions:

  • That is the time that it does the auto-updating (only)
  • It stops all auto updating unless you are in that window of time
  • The bandwidth limit will apply to downloading updates only, not in game bandwidth. It applies all the time if you do not have the schedule box checked, otherwise if it is checked, it is effective only during the time window (since that is the only time update downloading will occur).

In short, these features give you finer control over the way game updates are downloaded.

  • 4
    Might want to specify which options you're talking about, rather than just numbering them. It's a little confusing at first. (Numbering usually implies a sequence of actions, rather than going through the UI options one at a time.)
    – user98085
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 1:20
  • Although the wording in the application is obvious it was only when I came to reading this question that I realised it is '''updating''' that this limited and not installation. I was confused when my games continued to install on demand with the limiting set. The DOWNLOADING screen uses a more generic set of terms of "AUTO-DOWNLOADS LIMITED TO" which still implies that the manually triggered game installs should go ahead.
    – TafT
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 8:10

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