Steam downloading while playing a game

Is there a way to get steam to download a game while you play another Steam game? What you used to be able to do is run your game, which would pause downloads. Then you would pause and unpause your download to resume it while play your game. Now steam pauses it, and I can’t see a way to unpause it in the new interface.

There’s a button to move the download in the queue. Press it, and it should start downloading (at least it did for me).

Where exactly is that button?

The downloading will stop automatically when you enter a game. I then alt-tab out of game, bring up steam library, right click on the game I am trying to download then choose resume downloading. Sometimes it will look like it is still downloading even though it is not, so you have to right click and stop download then right click again to resume.

In the Downloads view, when a game is Queued, all the way to the right, below In Queue, above View News, there are 2 Buttons. One to move up the queue, one to remove.

There is still no way to turn this incredibly annoying feature off. You need to start a game, alt-tab, resume the download, then alt-tab back into the game.

Some games hate alt-tab… so you can’t do it at all.

I understand why they do this- if they didn’t, people would try to play Counterstrike and their ping would skyrocket. They then would think the game was broken because they’re idiots. Instead of constantly fielding complaints, Valve just decided to cut their losses and implement this system.

They need to allow us to disable this. Put it in a deep menu, and give people a window that says “NETWORK GAMES WILL SUFFER ARE YOU OK WITH THIS” that they have to accept.

The only problem then is if Steam recognizes a new update and you’re playing an online game it will start downloading it and kill your ping. Another simple solution would be to not allow Steam to autoupdate anything while you’re in-game.

There, solved.

I did alt-tab out of the game and hit pause / resume and nothing would restart it. It USED TO work, but no longer.

I can’t remember for sure, but I think I have to select the pause resume 2x after I start up a new game to play.

Yea, I’d be happy if it just didn’t pause already running downloads when I start a game.

I think they borked it lately. Now you need to hit the little up button to add the game to the current queue rather than hitting resume all.

If hit the “play” button for the game you want to download, it forces it to resume. Just be sure “launch when complete” is unchecked. PCGamer has reported that Steam added a way to toggle on background downloading, but I don’t see it.

Maybe it’s part of their Beta updates since I always opt-in, but you can set this on a per-game basis now. Right-click a game in your library, select Properties, and on the General tab tick “Allow Steam to download other updates while this game is running”.

I do not see that option in my general tab on the properties of a game I was playing.

You need to opt-in to the beta.

I think they borked it lately. Now you need to hit the little up button to add the game to the current queue rather than hitting resume all.

Yeah, this. I had a hell of a time trying to get my AssFlag download to resume while playing another game until I realised it wanted me to move AssFlag up in the download queue (in which it was the only item) rather than just resuming the download. And there’s no way to right click resume updating from your library any more. They really messed up this update.

Just a PSA you can now globally allow this under your main steam settings under downloads. Maybe people already know this but I didn’t and it put a little smile on my face this morning over coffee. Not sure when it was added - maybe I should actually read steam patch notes.

It seems to be a little glitchy still. A couple of times I’ve been playing DotA and it’s started stuttering badly. Alt-tabbing out shows Steam starting and immediately stopping an update, over and over.

Mine does that as well, but that seems to be because the red “Disc Busy” button is turned on? I have a 5600 rpm harddisk so I though that was why, but its a recent thing that I never noticed before.

Most of my games (including DotA) are on an SSD.

monocle drops into martini