Sony’s PS4 is notorious for slow download speeds, particularly the original 2014 model. This isn’t always down to hardware—software running in the background, Wi-Fi problems, and other network issues all play their part.
Quick Speed Up Tips
Follow a few basic tips to improve your download speeds on any device—not just the PS4. Your internet connection shares its bandwidth among all your devices. Downloading a file on your laptop or streaming Netflix in 4K on another device can slow things down. For maximum speed, pause any other downloads and streams and let your PS4 consume all the bandwidth it wants.
Queuing up multiple downloads on your PS4 has a similar effect. The console has to share what bandwidth it has, so if you’re keen to get a particular download finished its best to pause your other transfers.
Finally, don’t play online games while downloading in the background. As you’ll see below, this will drastically limit your download speed. It’s also likely that the download itself will negatively impact your performance, introducing lag spikes and connection problems that can put you at a disadvantage.
Kill Any Running Apps
One of the quickest ways of increasing your download speed is to kill any running processes. We’ve seen this dramatically speed up downloads for ourselves, and all it takes are a few button presses:
- With the PS4 running, press and hold the PS button on the controller until you see a menu appear on-screen.
- Highlight “Close Application(s)” and tap X.
This tip has its roots in Juho Snellman’s blog post from 2017. The systems programmer discovered that the console’s “receive window” shrinks considerably whenever a game or other application is running.
Sony likely engineered this behavior to give priority to games and other software, which is why you’re able to download items from PSN and still play online games. If you’re in a hurry for a download to complete you’re better off killing any running games or apps and doing something else for a bit.
Pause and Resume Your Download
Another tip that we’ve seen work for ourselves is pausing your download, then resuming it again. If it feels like your PS4 is dragging its heels over a large update or new game download, this tip might help move things along.
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