Why does my download stop before it is finished?

Updated: 05/16/2020 by Computer Hope
Laptop computer downloading from the Internet.

When a user experiences an issue while downloading files, it is usually a problem with the connection to their Internet service. Consequently, the best solution is to contact your ISP (Internet service provider) for further information. However, there are a few situations where the issues can be cleared up on the user's end.

The following sections contain different solutions that may help fix download termination issues. Review each section to troubleshoot the download failures you are experiencing.

Download termination and latency

As mentioned previously, many problems are caused by issues with your Internet service provider. Usually, these issues result in high latency or lag, which in turn cause your download to fail. One solution is to clear the temporary Internet files under the History section in your browser and try the download again. To do so, visit out history definition for a list of links to pages containing instructions for various browsers.

Internet connectivity or stability issues

If you have a broadband connection, and connect to the Internet through a router, the Internet connection may be unstable. Issues with Internet connectivity and the stability of the connection can cause downloads to fail, especially if the Internet connection is interrupted. When an Internet connection is unstable, it may disconnect and reconnect intermittently. Even a disconnection lasting a fraction of a second can cause the failure of a file download.

To fix Internet connectivity and stability issues, you can try the following.

  1. Unplug the power cord from the broadband modem and the router.
  2. Wait ten seconds, then plug in the power cord to the broadband modem.
  3. Wait several minutes for the broadband modem to fully cycle and start up again.
  4. Plug in the power cord to the router.
  5. Wait several minutes for the router to fully cycle and establish an Internet connection through the broadband modem.
  6. Try downloading the file again to see if it completes successfully.

Download manager

For users who commonly encounter intermittent connectivity issues or download failure, a download manager may help. A download managers is a third-party application that monitors, and if needed, resumes a download from where it stopped previously. There are hundreds of download managers, including many that are free.

Antivirus software or firewall

This solution is a bit tricky, in that users shouldn't normally download files without some protection active. If you fully trust the site from which you are downloading the file, you can try disabling the Windows firewall or disabling your antivirus software before attempting again.


Whether or not you can complete the download, remember to turn your security back on afterward.

Try a different server or mirror

Many sites that host hundreds of different files keep them on multiple servers or mirror sites. If you have difficulty downloading the file, try getting it from a different server.

Try the download later

If the file you are attempting to download is popular or was recently released, the server could be overloaded with simultaneous user requests or be experiencing problems. Try downloading the file later, when the server load may be less or the server problems are resolved.