Steam slow? Try these two tips to speed up browsing

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 17, 2013

The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing and while I personally think that it is severely lacking in comparison to previous sales, it manages to drive Steam's resources to the limits. The store goes down for some time when the new daily deals are pushed to the live server, and some time after, browsing is rather slow and it is common to get occasional errors while you do so.

This can happen while you check out the latest games on Steam, or while you are trying to make a purchase. I recommend you wait a couple of hours before you do so, as you will have a much smoother experience after the initial rush ends.

If you cannot or do not want to wait though, you may find the following two tips useful to cope with the situation.

1. There are two ways to browse Steam

steampowered website slow

Most Steam users from what I have gathered are using the Steam client software to browse the store. While it is using the WebKit engine to render things, it is not the fastest implementation of it, especially if the servers are under full load because of the hits they get.

It may be a good idea to switch to the Steampowered website instead using your favorite web browser to navigate the store in the browser. Not only do you get better navigation controls, like access to a back and forward history, but also the option to load additional store pages in tabs so that you can compare offers or open a game review site in another to check out reviews for the game on sale.

You can log in to the Steam website using the same account information that you enter when you sign into the Steam client. Games can be added to the cart and purchased right on the Steampowered website, so that you do not need to use the client for that at all.

While you do need it to install and play games, you do not need it at all to browse the Steam store and buy games.

Note that this won't resolve issues when the entire store goes down, but if it is up, you are usually faster when using the website and not the client.

2. Network settings

steam lan settings speed up

Steam uses the WebKit engine to render pages, and uses network settings of Internet Explorer on Windows for that. Some users have reported that they were able to increase their store browsing speed by making a small change to those settings in the Internet Options.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key and enter Internet Options into the search / run box.
  2. Load the first result. This should open the Internet Properties window on the screen.
  3. Navigate to the connections tab and locate Lan settings here. Click on the entry.
  4. Uncheck "Automatically detect settings" and click ok.

You can now close the Internet options again. This method does not work for everyone though, but it is definitely worth a try if you prefer to use the client software and not the website to browse the store.


Tutorials & Tips

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