Increase Download Speed Mac

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Several factors are responsible for slow downloads on your Mac. Some of these can be addressed by you, while some cannot. If you are facing reduced download speed on your Mac, then here are ways to fix the issue and increase the download speeds.

How to Speed Up Downloads on Mac

Before you read, it is essential to know why your internet is slow.

  • Also, in this post, I am mostly talking about increasing download speed on browsers.
  • But many of the tricks here are equally useful if you are downloading files from App Store, iTunes Store, and elsewhere.
  • Why Are Downloads Slow on Your Mac?
  • You must be aware of your internet speeds.

Some fluctuations in download speeds are normal. It depends on the number of users, location, time of the day, and even major events in the country or across the globe! Well, in India, whenever there is a big Cricket World Cup match or top Indian Premier League matches, the net speed of most mobile internet providers drop low.

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This is because a vast number of people are live streaming the game, and thus everyone in the area sees a reduction in speeds.

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At times, it is possible that there may be some technical issues from your network provider’s end.

Uninstall unused appsGet rid of the apps you haven’t used for years
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It is also likely that an update may be downloading in the background that is slowing the download speed on your end.

Some sites also reduce the download speeds or have an inferior server.

14. Update firmware

ISP too may limit speeds for some sites, notably torrents. Similarly, there are multiple such reasons. No matter what the causes are, in normal conditions, if you see exponentially reduced internet speed, then the first thing to do is to run a speed test.

#23. Quit Unused Mac Apps

You may go to fast.com or speedtest.net and see what your download and upload speed on Mac is.

  • If you are disappointed by the result, read on. Here are ways to increase your internet download speed on Mac. If a website has set download speed limits on their end, or if their server is weak and cannot provide fast downloads, then there is not much you can do. In case, there is an alternate website from where you can download the same file, try to use that.
  • Multiple third party sites let you download Mac and Windows software. But try to use only the official websites instead of some third-party marketplace. You will get superior download speeds via the official sites. The first thing to do for better download speed is to restart your Mac. To do so, click on the Apple logo from top-right and then click Restart….
  • Note: Most websites, services, and browsers support resume downloads; however, if you have a big file in pending download that does not support ‘Resume Download,’ then do not restart your Mac.
  • You may lose everything that you have downloaded up to this point. Another easy step to increase download speed is restarting your Wi-Fi router. Use the power button on the router or use the wall outlet switch to turn it off and then turn it on.

7. Test or replace your modem or router

Have too many browser tabs open? Close the ones you do not need. Tabs opened in the background might take up some bandwidth. Sites that show sports score (like Cricbuzz) constantly refresh to keep you updated. Are you streaming a movie on Netflix or watching our tutorials on YouTube? Maybe you are catching that new TV show on Disney+ and also downloading some files in the background?

  1. Well, when you close these streaming sites, the download speed will increase.
  2. If you get less download speed in Safari, change to a different browser.
  3. I would recommend Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera in that order.

Straight up, this will not increase download speed but will increase browsing speeds.

13. Clear your cache

Also, please understand that we and many sites depend and pay our employees from revenue generated by ads. But I agree they are annoying and many rich ads consume a lot of data. So, if you are downloading something and simultaneously browsing, you may consider temporarily using an Adblocker. Managing downloads with a Download Manager app, extension/add-on might increase your download speed. They even let you organize your downloads or prioritize one over another.

4. Disable other devices connected to your router

There are plenty of these on the respective stores of the browsers. For Chrome one that caught my eye is Free Download Manager. Another trick to get a better experience when you are using a browser is to remove unwanted Extensions.

It happens that we install an add-on or extension for a particular task, and then it stays in the browser, even though we do not need it.

  1. How to Remove Extensions in Chrome: Click on three lines icon → Settings → Extensions → and Remove the ones you do not need.
  2. Steps to Remove Extensions in Safari: Open Safari → Click Safari from Menu Bar → Preferences → Extensions → Uninstall unnecessary ones.
  3. How to Remove Extensions from Firefox: Click on three lines icon from the top right → Add-ons → Extensions → three dots icon of an extension → Remove.

11. Scan for viruses

Note: Before you clear cache, cookies, and browser history, make sure the pending download path is not lost. Save the link in notes app if needed. Some browsers like Chrome and Firefox are known to handle it well, but Safari may struggle when the cache becomes too large.

  1. To clear Safari cache, follow the steps here. To clear Cache in Chrome:.
  2. Open Chrome and click on History from Menu Bar → Click on Show Full History → Click Clear browsing data.

In Time range, select All time (or what you like) and click on Clear data. If you click on Advanced, you have some additional options that you can check.

Note: This method also deletes your History and the things selected in Step #2. One privilege of working for a media company is that I get to try several apps, services, and products.

I have used, reviewed, and am acquainted with a dozen VPN apps. Let me tell you straight up, that almost every VPN (even with a premium subscription) slows down your speed.

15. Discover your router’s best settings

So, to increase download speed, disconnect any system-wide VPN app or browser VPN extension you are using. Additionally, if you have multiple VPN apps or VPN browser extensions installed, then consider deleting the unnecessary ones. If you have access to multiple networks around you, then try to switch to a different Wi-Fi network.

There are several reasons that the current Wi-Fi network may be slow and buggy. The second network you connect to may have fewer users and thus less congestion, that will ultimately deliver increased download speeds.

3. Upgrade internet speed

Here in our office, we have multiple Wi-Fi networks. We have the 5-GHz band as well as 2.4 GHz. If you, too, have such available options, then try to connect to the 5-GHz Wi-Fi network. It will yield better download speeds. But make sure you are not physically too far from the router.

8. Change the location of your router

Moving near the router is also a handy and proven way. In case you have a fixed seat, then you may temporarily move to an area near the router for as long as your download is in progress. Do you repeatedly face poor download speeds? It is time to ensure that your Wi-Fi router is not placed in the corner of a room or hall.

If your router is in a corner or too far from where you usually sit with your Mac like study table or bed, then try to change the Router’s location and place it as near as possible.

Run Wi-Fi Network Diagnostics on your Mac to troubleshoot the Wi-Fi issues that you may be facing.

  1. Changing and configuring your network settings to use Google’s Public DNS may also improve your download speeds.
  2. If none of the methods above worked for you, then follow the official Google Steps and change DNS.
  3. Whenever too many people use your Wi-Fi, it is bound to decrease your download speeds.

Set a password for your Wi-Fi network to ensure that it is only you and your family that is using it.

Also, if you believe your neighbors know your current Wi-Fi password, change it immediately. Are you using a Torrent app in the background and downloading something in your Mac’s browser?

5. Disable apps that aren’t being used

Well, Torrent eats up the bandwidth. To have faster downloads in your browser, quit the Torrent app. Wi-Fi has seen various advancements, but still, when it comes to comparison between it and wired Ethernet, the later is faster. So, if your Mac has an Ethernet port, or if you have an Ethernet dongle, try to connect your Mac to it and use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. Is the Ethernet performing poorly?

It can be due to low quality or faulty cable. When we moved to a new (and bigger) office, I switched to Ethernet. The cable I initially used was giving me around 80Mbps speeds, which was far less than office Wi-Fi (and the speed my broadband company provided).

10. Upgrade your cable

I switched to a different cable, and immediately my download speeds touched 360Mbps. We threw the earlier cable away…. Are multiple apps and software running in the background on your Mac? Closing apps can also increase your download speed. If you have automatic macOS updates, then a new version of macOS may be downloading in the background, which you are not aware of.

How to get better Internet speed

To check and cancel this download and increase your other download speed, follow the steps below. Launch System Preferences by clicking on the Apple Logo and then System Preferences….

  1. Click on Software Update and see that nothing is downloading here.
  2. Open Launchpad and see that no updates are being downloaded.

If you notice one, wait for it to finish or cancel the download. To improve the overall performance of your Mac, it is an excellent practice to be on the latest version of macOS.

You may use apps or torrent clients that split downloads into threads. This usually speeds up the download process. Folx is one such app that does this job in its premium version. Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. download updates in the background and, in most cases, install it automatically the next time you restart your Browser/Mac.

  1. It is effortless, and you do not have to bother about being on the latest and most secure version of your browser.
  2. However, this also means that there may be times when this update is being downloaded.
  3. So it is quite likely that for a few minutes, downloads and web browsing inside your browser are slow.
  4. But after the updates are downloaded, your speed will resume to normal.

Finally, when nothing works, it is time to contact your internet service provider and ask for his help. Now, he may change your Wi-Fi router, or change some settings from their end, or ask you to upgrade to a higher and faster plan.

9. Use an ethernet cable

Have a word with their representative and request them to address the issue. These were the ways to increase the download speed on your Mac. Now, one last thing that I did not mention above is switching to a newer device. Most new Macs have better Wi-Fi antennas and can provide faster download speeds.

Improved and next-gen hardware also ensures superior download speeds. For a long term solution, you may consider this. You may also like…. Do you have any additional methods for increasing download speeds on Mac? Share it with us in the comments down below.

Many things can contribute to slow download speed and figuring out the underlying problem to your slow connection can sometimes be tricky.

While it may be a simple fix like checking your internet speed or restarting your computer, some solutions are more complex. Download speed refers to how many megabits (Mbps) per second it takes your server to download data to your device.

2. Test your internet speed

Files, videos, images, and text are all forms of downloads. Any applications you use on your devices, like Spotify, Instagram, and YouTube, all require you to download data.

  • According to the Broadband Speed Guide from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), download speeds of at least 25 Mbps are considered good download speeds.
  • But how can you increase download speed if yours is slow?

It’s important to note that the number of devices and internet users you have in your household can affect your download speeds. If your household usage is moderate to high, meaning you have more than 3 or 4 devices running at a time, you may need to increase your speeds to exceed 25 Mbps. Read on to discover 15 different ways you may be able to increase your download speed. Before you dive into other methods, try a good old restart. Sometimes you may have applications running on your computer that you didn’t know were still being used or you may have too many browsers open at once.

6. Download one file at a time

Simply restart your computer and begin the download with only one browser open. If the problem wasn’t your device, it may be your internet. Your internet speed is measured by the amount of data your connection can transfer per second. The easiest and fastest way to increase your download speed is to run a speed test. This can be done by inputting “internet speed test” into Google.

  1. Click the “run speed test” button for a gauge on what your current download speed is.
  2. If your speed score is fast — around 100-200 Mbps — this indicates that your slow download speed has nothing to do with the internet.
  3. If your speed score is low — below 100 Mbps — this could be an indication that the internet may be the problem.
  4. Keep in mind that your speeds vary depending on the number of users that are on your network at a time.

Depending on your service provider, your internet connection may not be able to handle large downloads. Slow download speed can be frustrating and it may be worth it to upgrade to a plan with higher speeds, especially if your household has multiple people and devices.

  1. Explore your options and see if there are packages available that can support a higher volume of data.
  2. The more people and devices you have connected to your internet, the slower the connection can be.
  3. When downloading, try disconnecting any other devices, like smart TVs, iPads, and phones for the time being.
  4. This may increase your internet and download speed significantly.

#18. Change DNS

Similarly, you should disable any applications on your device when downloading. The applications you have running on your computer can take up a good chunk of your bandwidth, which can contribute to slower speeds.

  1. For example, video streaming services like Netflix use a heavy amount of bandwidth.
  2. Temporarily disable the apps and see if that helps.

When downloading multiple files at once, it’s not uncommon for your download to fail.

This could be because your device isn’t compatible with downloading large files. To make it easier, try downloading one file at a time. Though this may seem counterintuitive, it can end up saving time. If you want to connect multiple devices to your home’s internet, you need to connect a router to your modem.

A router not only allows you to connect multiple devices, but it also acts as an antenna to extend the range of the Wi-Fi throughout your home. The modem you have is typically provided by your service provider. Sometimes the fix can be as simple as restarting your modem.

12. Limit bandwidth usage

If your download speed has been significantly slow and you saw no change in speed after restarting, it may be time for a new modem. The best way to check your modem’s signal strength is to put your device close to it. If your speed increases when you are directly next to the modem, this is a good sign, in which case your router may be the issue.

As mentioned, the router allows you to extend your connectivity range.

#15. Move your Mac Near the Router

If your device is too far away from the router, this could be impacting your download speed. The location of your router can have a major impact on your download speed as well.

Be mindful of where you are placing your router as some areas in your home may not have a strong connectivity signal.

  1. If you have a large house, consider getting Wi-Fi extenders that can boost the range and increase your internet speed.
  2. Avoid putting your router in basements, bathrooms, cabinets, on the floor, or near microwaves and other home appliances.
  3. Your router should be in a central location so the connection can reach throughout the entire home.
  4. Sometimes Wi-Fi can be tricky, in which case connecting to an Ethernet cable can quickly increase your download speed.

To do this, connect the Ethernet from your modem to your device.

  1. Since this is hardwired and you don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi, this option can deliver the fastest connection for your download speeds.
  2. If you opt for the fast solution by using an Ethernet cable but still don’t see a change in download speeds, you may need to check the cable.
  3. If the cable is too long or if it is outdated, try upgrading to a higher-quality, shorter cable.
  4. Sometimes this slight change can make all the difference.

Viruses on your device can cause a multitude of issues.

  1. These viruses can run in the background, using your internet and increasing your bandwidth usage, which results in slow download speed.
  2. To prevent this, consider installing antivirus software to protect yourself from viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  3. Aside from installing virus scanners, you may also want to limit how much bandwidth is being used on your device.
  4. Bandwidth is a measurement that refers to the amount of data that can be transferred within a network.

#7. Switch to a Different Browser

  1. All of the applications, downloads, and updates that happen on our network can take up our bandwidth, causing download speed to suddenly slow down.
  2. If this is the case, manually disable automatic updates by going to your device’s system preferences.
  3. You can also manually limit how much bandwidth is being used by updating your device settings.
  4. Cache is what stores your internet data to help website browsers and apps load faster.
  5. Sometimes your browser cache will become full and can cause download speeds to run slower.

While you may not want to clear your cache completely, you can choose what data to clear.

Why is my download speed so slow?

You can clear your browsing history, computer cookies, and cached images and files. Go into your browser settings, check the boxes with data you wish to clear, and hit “clear data.” You can also download browser plugins to help keep your cache clear regularly.

Your router’s firmware should be updated often to keep the performance and speed of your devices up to par. Over time, the software performance can start to decline, making it important to update regularly.

You can do this by accessing your router’s settings through the brand’s web page.

Once you are logged in, update the current settings and you may be able to fix any issues associated with download speeds.