One of the perks of Windows 10 is the Windows Store, which is interchangeably referred to as Microsoft Store. The app makes it easy for users to search for and download and install applications and games without having to scour the internet for installation packages.
Naturally, one thing that users want is stress-free processes and they expect it with the Windows Store as well. This is why the issue of slow download has caused serious frustrations, which has led us to see so many different angry posts on many online tech fora. If you’re one of such annoyed users that are facing the issue of sluggish download with the Microsoft Store, and perhaps you’ve made one of those “Why do I have slow download speeds for Microsoft Store” posts without an answer, then you shouldn’t be worried anymore as we’ve extensively covered the reasons for the problem and provided fixes in this guide.
Why does the Microsoft Store download so slow?
The sluggish download speed of your Microsoft Store happens for a number of reasons. We have gone through the reports of many users on different online fora and have also compiled the complaints sent back to us and have found common issues that are causing the problem. You’ll likely find the reason for your Store’s problem among the causes we’ll explain in this article. We’ll also provide fixes for the problem. But first, let’s explain some of the reasons you’re experiencing slow downloads:
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Something else is being downloaded
Sometimes, there’s actually nothing wrong with the download speed of your Windows Store. This is true as another app could be receiving updates and hogging the bandwidth that is allocated to the Store, causing you to find it difficult to use the Store for other purposes.
Microsoft Store bug
A common system bug that is known to plague certain Windows 10 versions, especially old builds, can cause your Store to download things at a really slow pace. You can find out if this is the case by troubleshooting the program. We’ll show you how to do that below, so keep reading.
Problematic Microsoft Store app cache
It’s possible that the Microsoft Store app cache has corrupt entries, which is limiting the bandwidth usage of the app. This exact issue was the reason behind the slow download speed on the computers of many users, and they reported that the download speed had increased when they had fixed the problem.
Bandwidth limit is in play
There’s a hidden policy in Windows 10 that caps the bandwidth of the Windows Store, which could be responsible for the slow download. The feature is originally included in Windows 10 to optimize the bandwidth usage on the OS, but as many users have found, it can be responsible for this frustration.
Windows Store files are corrupted
If some files that are dependent on the Windows Store executable or the executable itself is corrupt, it could be the reason you’re experiencing this lag. Some users found this to be the main cause of their store’s download problem. We’ll show you how to apply the fix so you can get downloading again.
Windows Update is monopolizing the bandwidth
As you might well know, there are times when Windows Update claims all the bandwidth for itself on occasions where an update is being downloaded on your computer, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you head over to Windows Update and find that something is being downloaded when your Windows Store app is struggling to download apps.
Corrupted Software Distribution folder
If the Software Distribution folder, where certain important temporary files are stored, is corrupt, it explains the slow download speed of your Windows Store. If this is the problem, we’ll show the fix for it.
Certain users believe that their ISP’s use of dynamic IPs caused the problem as there could be trust issues between the Windows Store and those IPs.
Interference from 3rd-party antivirus/firewall
Certain 3rd-party system protection and firewall suites have received blame for this issue. Most users noted that when their antivirus (and firewall for many other people) were turned on or running, they experienced the problem.
Now that you know the possible reasons why your Microsoft Store is dragging its feet when it’s downloading apps, it’s time to show you how to apply fixes that will make the problem disappear.
How to fix the slow download speed of Microsoft Store
We’ll show you the fixes that you can apply to make your Windows Store download apps and games with the speed that it should download with. Each step is in-depth and detailed and has been confirmed by users to work for them. We’re not saying that every step here will work for you, we’re simply letting you know that, at least, one solution should fix the issue on your computer.
Be sure to follow the fixes sequentially so that you can catch the likely cause of the problem without applying unnecessary changes to your computer.
First things first: Finalize any Windows update that is outstanding
Windows Update could be hogging your bandwidth, as we explained above, which means you could be facing the slow download if you have updates that are being downloaded and installed in the background. A good reason for this is how Microsoft places updates on Windows 10 as a top priority. It’s also good practice to ensure you have the latest security patches and bug fixes installed on your PC for the smooth running of your system. So, follow these steps to complete outstanding downloads:
- Press the Win+I hotkey to open the Settings app.
- Open Update & Security and then click the Windows Update option in the left pane.
- Under the Windows Update tab, click the Check for Updates button and wait till every pending update completely installs.
Now, you’ve done your computer a huge favor by getting it up to date. You can go ahead and check if the download issue in Microsoft Store has been resolved.
Check if another app is being updated
This fix sounds simple, but you’ll be stunned that it could be the reason you’re finding it hard to use the Store to download. It’s also best to check for the simple issues before you begin to go deeper. If you don’t know how to check for apps that are currently being updated, follow the steps below:
- Click the Store icon in your taskbar or go to the search box beside Start, typestoreand then click Microsoft Store in the results.
- When the Microsoft Store window opens, click your account picture and then choose Downloads and Updates from the drop-down menu.
- A list of applications will now appear; check if there is an application that is being updated and click the Pause button to temporarily stop the update.
After doing this, check if you can now use your Microsoft Store at an acceptable download speed.
Restart your router
If you’re connected to the internet via a router, you can simply try restarting the device to see if the issue resolves. By doing this, you’re not making any changes to your computer at this stage, which is a good way to go. Reports from some users showed that this simple fix had solved the download problem with Microsoft Store.
Restarting your router shouldn’t be a difficult process. You can simply turn it off and on using the power button, or its restart button if it has one. Unplugging the router from its power source and plugging it back in is another way to restart it. Once you turn it on, check for the problem.
If the issue persists, then move on to the next solution.
Fix the issue using Windows Troubleshooter
If the Windows Store has a bug or is affected by a system glitch, then using the in-built Troubleshooter tool on Windows 10 can solve the problem. System glitches happen every now and then, and Microsoft understands this, which is why they added the utility. This fix worked for many users who faced the slow download problem. To use the Troubleshooter, carefully follow the steps below:
- Press the Win+I shortcut and click Updates & Security.
- Click Troubleshoot in the left pane.
Alternatively, open Run (Win+R), type
the dialog box and hit Enter to go straight to the Troubleshoot tab in Settings.
- Under the Troubleshoot tab, scroll all the way down till you locate Windows Store Apps under the “Find and fix other problem” section.
- Click Windows Store Apps and then click Run the Troubleshooter.
- Wait for the Troubleshooter to run a diagnostic, and when it is done and finds a glitch, click “Apply this fix” to allow the tool to resolve the issue.
You can skip to the next fix if the Troubleshooter didn’t detect any problem.
- Once the tool successfully applies the fix, the next step is to restart your computer and check if the issue is solved.
If you continue to experience the slow download, apply the fix below.
Try resetting the Microsoft Store cache
Some users got their Windows Store to download at normal speeds by clearing the program’s cache. If you noticed that your Microsoft Store began to download applications slowly after a Windows update was installed on your computer, then doing this will get the problem solved, just like it worked for users who experienced the same issue and solved it. This fix will also solve the issue if the Store’s files are corrupt for some reason.
Follow the steps we have provided below to clear the Microsoft Store cache:
- Open the search box located right next to the Start button.
- Type “command prompt” (no quotes).
- In the results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. Click Yes when the User Account Control prompts you for permission.
- Once the elevated Command Prompt opens, typewsreset.exeinto the black screen and then hit Enter.
- If the command runs successfully, you should see the following message:
“The cache for the Store was cleared”
: You can also run
without the elevated Command Prompt. All you have to do is type
into the search bar beside the Start button and launch it.
- Once you see the message, try running your Microsoft Store and check whether you’re back to business.
Change the bandwidth cap
There’s a Download Settings menu in Windows 10, which Microsoft did a very good job of tucking away somewhere in Settings. Despite the obscurity of this menu, users have unearthed the bandwidth restriction policy. While the setting is welcome in certain circles because it gives users autonomy on how Windows Update will use their bandwidth, many users found this to be the main issue setting their download speed back and put an end to it by removing the restriction.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to locate the Download Settings and use it to remove the bandwidth limitation:
- Go to Settings (Win+I) and click Updates & Security.
- Go to the Windows Update tab and click Advanced Options in the right pane.
- Scroll down and click the Delivery Optimization link.
- Once the Delivery Optimization window opens, scroll down and make sure the “Allow downloads from other PCs” option is on, then go under it and click Advanced Options.
- When the next screen shows up, check the box beside “Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background” under Download Settings and then drag the slider right till it indicates 100%.
- Now, go to the Windows Store and check for download speed improvements.
Perform a complete reset of the Microsoft Store app
This is another method that many users found effective. If, like these users, you tried other fixes without success, then go ahead with this fix. This solution will help you re-register and reset the Windows Store app, but have it in mind that you may lose certain files associated with the application. You can apply this fix using PowerShell or by going through Settings, and we’ll show you how to use both procedures.
Resetting the app in Settings:
- Press the Windows and I keys simultaneously to open Settings.
- When Settings opens, click Apps.
- You should be under the Apps & Features tab by default.
- To save yourself the stress of looking manually, simply typeMicrosoft storein the search box.
- Click Microsoft Store from the results and then click Advanced Options.
- In the next window, click the Reset button and confirm.
Using Windows PowerShell
- Right-click the Start button and select PowerShell (admin) from the menu.
- Click Yes when User Account Control prompts for permission.
- When the Windows PowerShell opens, type in the command below or copy and paste it and then press the Enter key:
powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.xml
Allow the command to run its course, and once done, go to your Microsoft Store app to check if its download speed has now improved.
Stop the Windows Update service and remove the Software Distribution folder
The Software Distribution folder is where temporary files are downloaded by Windows Update to perform certain update actions on your computer. If the folder is corrupted or problematic, then it can cripple the download speed of your Windows Store.
Some users regained impressive download speeds by stopping the Windows Update service and deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder. The reason this fix is successful is that some of the files that are being downloaded slowly are reloaded to the folder, so deleting it and starting fresh tend to be the answer.
Follow these steps to stop the Windows Update service:
- Right-click the Start button and choose Task Manager from the menu.
- Click the Services tab at the top of the Task Manager window.
- At the bottom of the Services tab, click Open Services.
- The Services window will open; scroll to the bottom to locate Windows Update and click it.
- Now, in the left pane, click Stop at the top.
You can also stop the service using Command Prompt:
- Search for Command Prompt in Cortana, right-click it and select Run as Administrator.
- Click Yes in the User Account Control permission prompt.
- Type the command below into the elevated Command Prompt and then press Enter:
net stop wuauserv
After stopping the Windows Update service, follow these steps to delete the SoftwareDistribution folder:
- Still in the elevated Command Prompt, type the following commands and then hit Enter:
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Now that you’ve deleted the folder, you have to force Windows to create a new Software Distribution folder by restarting your PC.
After the reboot, check if your problem is solved.
Temporarily disable your antivirus software
If you’re using a third-party antivirus program, it could be possible that it’s restricting your Microsoft Store from downloading efficiently. Some users enjoyed improved speeds once they disabled their system protection suite. You can try this out, but we recommend that you turn it back on after you’re done with the Store. If you want to end the problem once and for all, you can switch to a new antivirus program.
We have provided this comprehensive guide to make sure you exhaust and apply every possible fix so that you can get back to using your Windows Store without hassles. To improve the general performance of your computer, we advise that you install Auslogics BoostSpeed so that junk files and corrupt registry entries that are slowing your system down will be removed. If you have any other issue regarding your Microsoft Store app or computer in general, let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll be happy to help you out!