Why is my uTorrent downloading so slow?

Updated April 17, 2017

Users of uTorrent sometimes experience the frustration of files taking weeks to download. Some find that all their downloads are slow. Unfortunately, as file sharing involves many different technologies and connections, there is no single simple answer to why your downloads are moving slowly. There are many different aspects of the system that need to be checked in order to resolve this problem.


It's important to try to narrow down the causes of a slow download by examining the behaviour of all the torrents you currently have in your queue. If only one torrent is slow, then it's possible to home in on that torrent to try to improve its speed. If there are very few seeders of a torrent, you are less likely to get a speedy download. The higher the number of seeds for a file, the better the chance of downloading it quickly. Look around for other trackers for the same file. You can do this by searching on the name of your torrent. If you find another copy of the same torrent, try to load the .torrent file for it into your client. It will recognise that this is a file you already have in the system and will ask you if you want to add the trackers from the new file to the current torrent. You do.


If everything is slow then you need to investigate your firewall. You can nominate exceptions in a firewall and this will stop it blocking incoming connections for the named applications. The navigation menus of each firewall program are different. Look through your firewall’s help system to find out how to add uTorrent to the exceptions list.

Internet connection

Some Internet service providers take steps to limit file sharing on their networks. This might apply to your service. Look through your ISP’s website to see if it has a policy on this issue. If all your downloads are slow, it could be that you need to upgrade your account to a faster service. If you have a friend who also uses uTorrent, email the .torrent file to yourself, go and visit him and try out one of your slow downloads on his system. If it goes faster there, then either your Internet connection, your computer or your client settings are causing the problem.


An overloaded computer will not provide proper service to your uTorrent client. You may have many programs running on your computer that automatically check for updates and download them without your permission. Do nothing on your computer for a few minutes and check the traffic on your connection by double clicking on the computer connection symbol in your system tray. If there is a lot of activity, you need to work through all the programs currently running on the computer and turn off their ability to automatically check for updates.


Click on “Preferences” in the "Options" menu of uTorrent and select the “Connection” page. You don't want the program to use random ports, so uncheck “Enable UPnP port mapping” and “Randomise port each start.” Enter a port number for incoming connections. This should be any number between 40,000 and 50,000. Click the “Apply” button when you've made these changes.

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About the Author

Stephen Byron Cooper began writing professionally in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computing from the University of Plymouth and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems from Kingston University. A career as a programmer gives him experience in technology. Cooper also has experience in hospitality management with knowledge in tourism.