# Is there a way to set a custom Steam Download speed?

My internet is 5MB/s, which is exactly one of the steam's download speed option. The next lowest option is 3MB/s.
I.e. I can't choose 5MB/s - it is too high since it spoils my browsing experience while steam is downloading. But 3MB/s is also not good since it is much lower than necessary. Something like 4.5MB/s would be ideal.
Is there a way to do it? A way to edit steam files may be, and to change the default options list?

• Just to clarify question, closest Steam options are 3MB/s and 5MB/s, OP wants something in between Oct 18, 2019 at 17:14

As of October 7th, 2020, you can now specify an exact speed simply by inputting the amount you desire. Go to Steam → Settings → Downloads and in the "Download Restrictions" part of the window, check the "Limit Bandwidth to" checkbox and input the amount you wish (in KB/s). 4500 KB/s would equate to 4.5 MB/s.

I found (and slightly redacted) this solution on SuperUser, which was copied verbatim from Reddit, whence it was sourced from the Steam community:

• Go into your Steam directory, and open the config directory [C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\config by default.]

• Go into the config directory and open the "config.vdf" file.

• Find the DownloadThrottleKbps setting, and set it to the desired speed (take the amount in Mb/s you want to set it to, and multiply it by 8000 - e.g. 4.5 Mb/s makes 36000).

• Save the file, open Steam, and verify that it is working.

Make sure to set the "config.vdf" file to 'Read-only'. Steam changes the file on start-up and exiting (when set to be run as administrator).

Note that the file contains more settings, so customizing other settings might require the file to have the 'Read-only' flag disabled.

Works with the New Steam Library update

• I can confirm it works. Thank you. Oct 19, 2019 at 7:30
• Although this setting will be lost if you change the speed. It can also sometimes get lost in a steam update. I wish there was a way to add it to a permanent list of custom speeds. Oct 21, 2019 at 8:48

Based on the answer by Joachim, I created a little Python script that sets the DownloadThrottleKbps in the config.vdf file, so you don't need to redo it manually everytime the setting gets overwritten. Recommended use: create a shortcut to the script with the bandwidth in Kbit/s as first the argument.

Example: To set a bandwidth limit of 4.5MB/s, in the shortcut's properties, edit the Target of the shortcut as: C:\path\to\bandwidth-limit-script.py 36000

Note 1: Close Steam before running this.

Note 2: I hardcoded the path to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\config\config.vdf, so change that line of code if you've installed Steam to a custom location.

Note 3: I used f-strings so you need Python 3.6 or higher.

# Set Steam download bandwidth limit (for Windows)

import argparse
from time import sleep

# Config
configpath = "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Steam\\config\\config.vdf"

# Make the user at least see error messages when launched from a shortcut
# Please don't judge me for my lazy exceptions XD
try:
# Parse bandwidth argument
help='Bandwidth limit in Kbit/s. 0 = no limit.\n\
Recommended use: create a shortcut to the script with bandwidth as first the argument.')
args = parser.parse_args()
bandwidth = args.bandwidth[0]

except:
input('Press Enter to exit')
exit()

try:
# Open config file
with open(configpath, 'r') as f:

for n in range(len(contents)):                  # Loop over lines of config
contents[n] = f'\t\t\t\t"{throttlestr}"\t\t"{bandwidth}"\n' # Replace line
break                                   # Exit loop

# Write new config to file file
with open(configpath, 'w') as f:
f.writelines(contents)

except:
input(f'Error during file access of {configpath}\nPress Enter to exit')
exit()

print(f'Steam bandwidth limit was set to {bandwidth} Kbit/s')
sleep(1)


Apart from editing the config.vdf file, another option is mentioned on Reddit:

1. Enable the Steam Console: either start Steam with the -console argument or open the link steam://open/console in your browser
2. Click on Console which appears at the top, right next to your name.