How To Prioritize File Downloads In uTorrent

Martin Brinkmann
May 22, 2012
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
File Sharing, Tutorials

When you load a torrent with multiple files into the uTorrent Bittorrent client, you will notice that uTorrent by default will not prioritize any file in particular. While that may not be an issue most of the time, especially not if the torrent is well seeded. There are however situations where you may want to prioritize files in the program, for instance when you download a media file that you want to preview this way. You could do that by downloading the beginning of the first file right at the start, to preview the media file that way.

Another reason for downloading files in priority is if you want to have them available at the very earliest moment. Instead of download files left and right without order, you might want to download files one by one instead so that you have the complete file on your hard drive. This may be important for accessing as soon as possible, but also if you fear that the original seeder might shut down the seeding. Instead of being left with incomplete files, you would have at least some finished files on your computer.

The Bittorrent client uTorrent offers several configuration options, some automatic, some manual, that you can use to prioritize file downloads in the client.

Probably the biggest option that you have at your disposal are only available manually, unfortunately. You can highlight specific files in a torrent and change their priority. The client by default supports the three priority ratings high, normal and low, which you can increase to 15 with a click on Options > Preferences > UI Settings > Use fine grained file priorities.

utorrent prioritize by file order

The second option, still manual, is the Prioritize by file order option that you see in the screenshot above. This basically prioritizes downloads based on the order of files in the file listing. If you select all files, uTorrent will try and complete the first file before it jumps to the second, then third, and so on. There is unfortunately no option to automate this setting in uTorrent.


Open the preferences again, and select Advanced this time. Here you find several advanced configuration options. Locate bt.prio_first_last_piece here and set its value to true. This is an automatic setting that makes uTorrent prioritize the first and last piece of a file over everything else. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that the whole file will be prioritized. It is mainly there to provide users with a way to preview media files as soon as possible.


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  1. Abhi said on November 22, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Hi, think i have a torrent file of 20 gb which has 20 episodes in it and when i download it, the torrent will start downloading all the episodes at once, I want to set the torrent to download one episode after another, so that i can watch episode 1 while the episode 2 downloads instead of waiting for the whole 20 gb to download.
    Is there an option in utorrent to set it to download 1 episode after another in a large single torrent file.

    1. Anonymous said on December 29, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Click on the torrent you want, on the lower right corner click on the 2 arrows pointing up, select files.
      Now right click on the files you don’t want and select do not download. Once you want them you can right click on each and Select Priority>Normal.

      You also can select only the first file when adding the torrent and do the right click priority step when the time comes to download the rest of the files.

  2. dds said on July 8, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    well done .thnx

  3. Arthik said on April 30, 2014 at 7:39 am

    i tried the file by order option but its still downloading the same way tht it always had been…parts for each file….infact some later files hav been completely downloaded even b4 the first one…help? :/

  4. Chusto said on August 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

    That was very useful. Thanks!

  5. Saeed said on April 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm


    Nice tutorial, You save my time ;)

  6. Ron said on November 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Is there an option in uTorrent to add torrents first in queue (by default, all new torrents are added to the end of the queue).

  7. pd said on May 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Good article, thanks.

  8. Gordon said on May 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    This is kind of weird.. I don’t see the option to set a priority to a torrent when I right click it. I don’t see the option to “prioritize by file order” either. I am using uTorrent 3.2 Beta build 27239.
    Is there something I have to do to get this option?

    1. gloomandglow said on November 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      A bit late, but:
      This is for prioritizing files inside each torrent, not the torrents themselves. ;-)
      You need to left-click the torrent, then look for the Files-tab, normally below the torrents. There you right-click the files to choose priority.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on May 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      I did not make any configuration changes

  9. Stevan, Belgrade said on May 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    bt.prio_first_last_piece – works anyway set on true or false, and it gets anoying. Even if some files in torrent get high priority uTorrent first goes through all files for first and last piece. uTorrent 3.1.3 build 27207

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Interesting point, thanks for mentioning that.

  10. boris said on May 22, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Just use BitSpirit. It has all options you need for torrent downloads.

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