Do Steam Games Download In Sleep Mode?

When a computer goes into sleep mode, it suspends all programs to save power. So, do Steam games download while in sleep mode? Unfortuntely not. Whilst there are no ways to make this possible, you can leave your PC running overnight with a few energy-saving tips so as to not be wasteful. Whilst it is still not ideal, it’s possible and completely safe to do.

Can I Safely Leave My Computer On Overnight?

Yes, you can leave your computer on safely overnight without any consequences. In fact, people will leave computers running over very long periods. The main uses of shutting down a computer are to clear all of its short-term memory storage and allow programs to update. As long as this is done every so often then it’s not an issue to keep it on. In fact, putting into sleep mode does not fully do the same job, so keeping a computer on overnight and then shutting it down completely is better for the computer than only putting it into sleep mode overnight.

Computer with a vertical monitor as is often used in game development.
Photo by Josh Sorenson from Pexels

Downloading Steam Games In Low Energy Mode

The main reason that most people will not want to leave their computer on overnight is the energy cost, especially if they are using a powerful gaming computer that eats power. But there are some ways to limit the amount of power use the computer if you need to leave it on overnight. Depending on where you live and the internet speed you have, one night might be enough to download even the biggest games.

The first thing you can do to save power is turn off your monitors. Although modern monitors are very efficient, having something producing a wall of light constantly can use a fair amount of energy over time, this is multiplied if you use multiple monitors or have your computer connected to a TV. Alternatively, you can turn down the brightness to reduce power cost, but if you are not using your computer overnight you might as well turn them off.

Another easy thing to do is to change the power mode on your computer. Most computers and especially laptops will have a power setting mode, that allows them to run while using less energy. Incidentally, if you are using a laptop, leaving this unplugged wastes less energy, but if you do this, make sure you have enough charge to last the night.

Ensure that all unnecessary programs and all external devices such as USB devices should be closed down and removed. Always check there are no programs running in the background as well, using the system tray or the task manager. Whilst this is not quite the same as downloading Steam games while in sleep mode, it’s essentially doing what sleep mode would do, whilst keeping the programs we need active.

You can set your computer to shut down at a certain time automatically, so if you know the game will download by 3am, you can shut it down then to save power for the rest of the night. The downside to this is that internet speeds can vary or even drop out for periods and so it is unpredictable and you may fin that the game has only partially downloaded when you start it back up. If you are interested in this technique then check out this great guide to set it up.