I currently have poor internet for downloading games or anything large (i.e. around 150 KB/s maximum download rate).

When I subscribed to a very large Skyrim mod (SMIM) via the Workshop, the mod never got downloaded.

After an hour of playing Skyrim without it, waiting for Skyrim to sync and the works, it never started downloading. Data Files on Skyrim's launcher showed clear lack of any SMIM .esp files and refused to acknowledge that SMIM wasn't downloaded or installed.

Eventually, I had to unsubscribe on the workshop and download it via the Skyrim Nexus.

I don't want to do this, because I like how easy the Workshop is, especially since I have multiple computers that I play Skyrim on.

This brings me to my question: When does Steam Workshop mods download/sync? Can I force-sync Workshop mods?

Note: The Skyrim launcher didn't work for syncing mods. As a matter of fact, it said I was "All up to date!"

edit: This question is under the assumtion that all Steam workshops are managed the same through the Steam client.

  • It depends on the game.
    – Powerlord
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 22:41
  • This varies greatly between games as @Powerlord has said.. I do however believe that while you had a hiccup, it is the launcher that syncs the files, you just have to leave it open... Not an answer though as I have been using Mod Organizer and Skyrim Nexus for some time and well, my launcher does not launch for me to confirm that is where the synching message showe dup.
    – James
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 23:43
  • @James I figured each game would be nearly the same, since all workshops are integrated with Steam and its servers. Not sure now :/ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 4:41
  • Usually, workshop items sync the moment you have an update for a mod, has something new to download, or when the game is closed. However, restarting the client clears all in-progress syncs, and don't restart for quite a bit.
    – aytimothy
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 5:11
  • Skyrim, I believe, works this way. Your only best bet is to leave Steam running long enough to download it, since restarting client is known to reset progress of the currently-downloading workshop item.
    – aytimothy
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 5:13

2 Answers 2


Here is a possible workaround, according to a reddit thread :

Change your download region (Settings >> Downloads >> Download Region), restart Steam. The downloads should start.


I had the same problem. My skyrim data files didn't show any mods except dlcs. It is because of the mods don't download to steam/common/skyrim/data file. First of all I unsubscribed all mods than downloaded dawnguard dlc. After that I changed my download region to US New York. Than I restarted my steam. I subscribed my mods. And here we go. My mods are in there data files. Thanks Ealhad.


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