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Slow PS4 Downloads & Updates: A Deep Dive into the Problem

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As a dedicated gamer and PlayStation 4 aficionado, nothing annoys me more than encountering slow downloads and updates. I know I’m not alone in this; countless fellow gamers share my frustration when it comes to this seemingly never-ending issue. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of why slow downloads and updates occur on our beloved PS4s, and more importantly, what can be done to alleviate this vexing problem.

The Root Causes of Slow Downloads and Updates on PS4

Internet Connection Quality

The most obvious factor that can affect download and update speeds on your PlayStation 4 is the quality of your internet connection. This primarily depends on two factors: bandwidth and latency. Your bandwidth determines the maximum data transfer rate, while latency is the delay in data transmission. If either of these is compromised, you’re likely to experience slower download and update speeds.

Congestion and Throttling

Another possible reason for slow downloads and updates is network congestion. When too many devices are connected to the same network, the available bandwidth is divided among them, leading to slower speeds. Additionally, some internet service providers (ISPs) may throttle your connection during peak hours or when you’ve exceeded a certain data limit.

PS4’s Network Card

The PlayStation 4’s network card is also a potential bottleneck. With a theoretical maximum download speed of 1000 Mbps, it can struggle to keep up with high-speed internet connections. This hardware limitation, coupled with software inefficiencies, can contribute to slow download and update speeds.

Solutions and Workarounds to Boost Download and Update Speeds

Test Your Internet Connection

Before attempting any other solutions, it’s essential to first test your internet connection. Make sure you’re getting the speeds you’re paying for by running a speed test on your computer or smartphone. If your connection is slow, consider contacting your ISP to discuss possible issues and solutions.

Wired vs. Wireless

One quick way to boost your PS4’s download and update speeds is to use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi. Ethernet connections are generally more stable and faster than wireless ones. If a wired connection isn’t possible, try to improve your Wi-Fi signal by placing your router closer to the console or using a Wi-Fi extender.

Adjust DNS Settings

Changing your PS4’s DNS (Domain Name System) settings can also lead to faster downloads and updates. By default, the console uses your ISP’s DNS servers, which may not always be the fastest. You can manually set your DNS to use more efficient servers like Google DNS ( and or Cloudflare DNS ( and

Pause and Resume Downloads

This might sound counterintuitive, but pausing and resuming a download can sometimes lead to a faster connection. When you pause a download, the PS4 looks for a better connection to the download server. Resuming the download may result in a faster, more stable connection.

Optimizing Your PS4’s Settings and Configuration

Update Your PS4’s Firmware

Sony frequently releases firmware updates for the PlayStation 4, which can include performance improvements and bug fixes. Make sure your console is running the latest firmware to ensure optimal performance.

Use Rest Mode

Putting your PS4 into Rest Mode while downloading or updating can lead to faster speeds. In this low-power mode, the console dedicates more resources to downloads and updates, potentially speeding up the process.

Disable Automatic Downloads

By disabling automatic downloads, you can prevent your console from downloading updates in the

background while you’re using it. This can help avoid any potential slowdowns caused by simultaneous downloads and gameplay. To disable automatic downloads, go to Settings > System > Automatic Downloads and uncheck the box next to “Application Update Files.”

Scheduled Downloads and Updates

A useful feature to consider is scheduling your downloads and updates during off-peak hours when there’s likely to be less network congestion. Late at night or early in the morning are ideal times to schedule your downloads, as there will be fewer devices competing for bandwidth. To do this, you can take advantage of your PS4’s Rest Mode, which will automatically download updates while the console is in its low-power state.

Alternative Download Methods

Another option to explore is downloading game updates or content on your computer and transferring them to your PS4 using a USB drive. While this method may not be faster than downloading directly on the console, it can be a helpful workaround if you’re experiencing connectivity issues with your PS4. Keep in mind, however, that this method may not work for all games or content, as some updates may require a direct download through the console.

Keep an Eye on Your Console’s Storage Space

Another factor that can affect download and update speeds on your PS4 is the available storage space. If your console’s hard drive is near capacity, this can result in slower downloads and updates as the system struggles to allocate space for new data. To prevent this issue, regularly check your PS4’s storage and delete any unnecessary game data, screenshots, or saved videos to free up space.

A Look Towards the Future: PlayStation 5 and Improved Download Speeds

While this article focuses on the PlayStation 4, it’s worth mentioning that the PlayStation 5 has made significant improvements in terms of download and update speeds. Thanks to its custom SSD and more powerful hardware, the PS5 boasts faster and more efficient downloads and updates compared to its predecessor.

While upgrading to a PlayStation 5 might not be a viable solution for everyone right now due to availability and cost, it’s worth keeping in mind that future consoles will continue to evolve and address these issues. For now, though, we can make the most of our PlayStation 4 experience by implementing the tips and tricks shared in this article to minimize the impact of slow downloads and updates.


Slow downloads and updates on the PlayStation 4 can be a nuisance, but there are several ways to mitigate the issue. By testing your internet connection, using a wired connection or optimizing Wi-Fi, adjusting DNS settings, and optimizing your PS4’s settings and configuration, you can potentially boost your download and update speeds.

It’s also crucial to remember that the PS4’s hardware and software limitations can contribute to slow speeds. As such, it’s essential to keep your expectations realistic and be patient during those unavoidable large downloads and updates.

So, the next time you’re faced with a frustratingly slow download or update, don’t despair. Try out some of the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, and you might just find yourself back in the game sooner than you think. Happy gaming!

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