There’s only one thing worse than a slow torrent – and that’s a torrent that won’t download at all!
But don’t worry. Because in this article, we’ll help you figure out why your torrent stopped downloading and how to fix it.
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What Makes Torrents Stop Downloading
So, let’s start with the why. Why won’t a torrent start downloading? And what makes a torrent stop downloading in the middle of its progress?
It’s simply not possible to download a torrent without seeders. That means that once people stop seeding a torrent, which often happens with old or more obscure files, it becomes “dead”. You can keep it in your torrent client’s queue for as long as you want, but that progress bar isn’t going to budge.
However, a lack of seeders doesn’t always mean a file is dead. Sometimes the seeders just aren’t active at the moment, and sometimes you just need better trackers to find them.
Network or ISP block
It’s no secret: internet service providers don’t like torrenting. Not only does it use a ton of bandwidth, it puts them at risk of DMCA notices.
So, they’d much rather stop you from torrenting. Of course, most American ISPs won’t limit torrenting completely. They’ll usually be content to slowing your download speed, especially if you’re on a torrenting binge.
Some ISPs in other countries will block torrenting completely. And it’s pretty common on some networks, like in a school or public library.
Issues with client
If you’re having consistent problems with stopped torrents – and it’s not because they’re being blocked – then it may actually be an issue with your client, whether it’s the settings or the software itself.
- See Our 5 Favorite Free Torrenting Software Apps to find an alternative
Firewall or antivirus block
Both a firewall, like the one built into Windows, and an antivirus will try to control what programs and ports have access to the internet.
If they’re not set to allow traffic from your torrent client, this can stop you from downloading.
How to Fix Torrents Not Downloading
By now, you might have an idea of why your torrent stopped downloading. But how the heck do you fix it?
Use a VPN
We always recommend using a VPN when torrenting. Not only will it keep your download history private, but it’ll also prevent a lot of the above problems from happening in the first place.
That’s because your network or ISP can’t detect – and thus block – your torrent traffic when it’s encrypted by a VPN. You’ll be able to access torrent sites and download freely, without stoppages or slowdowns.
A VPN can even help avoid issues with your firewall or ports, as long as it’s set up properly.
Our most recommended VPN for these purposes is PIA VPN. Not only will it help you bypass any torrent blocks or throttling, it'll encrypt your data so your ISP can't see what you're downloading. And it's super affordable.
Add more trackers
Trackers point your client towards seeders for your file, and while most torrents will already come with various trackers attached, you can add (or remove) them for varying results.
This can be done by right-clicking on the file in your client and selecting Edit Trackers, or even by adding another magnet with the same file name. This will add any extra trackers to the existing download.
- See our article on Best Torrent Trackers to learn more
Allow client in your firewall or antivirus
It’s easy to add your torrent client to the list of programs your firewall or antivirus allows to access the internet.
If you’re using Windows 10, you can simply use the search bar to find ‘Allow an app through Windows Firewall’. Alternatively, you can navigate to Windows Firewall from Control Panel > Systems and Security.
Once you’re at the allow apps menu, just hit Change Settings, find the client you’re using (ex. qBitTorrent) and ensure that the boxes for both Private and Public are checked.
If you’re using an antivirus, it’ll probably be managing your firewall for you. But it should be similarly straightforward to allow your torrent client’s traffic, depending on which antivirus you’re using.
Find a new torrent
Depending on the file you’re downloading, there are usually multiple torrents around the web containing that same file. So, check the torrent site for an upload of the same file from a different user – or try another torrent site.
Of course, for some old or less popular files, this may not be possible. In which case, you’ll have to try some of the other fixes.
As we touched on earlier, sometimes a torrent that stopped download isn't dead, it just doesn’t have any seeders online at the moment.
Often, if you just wait a few hours (or even days), enough seeders will eventually join the swarm for you to successfully download the file.
Check your client
If you still can’t seem to get that torrent started, try troubleshooting your torrent client’s settings – or using a new client entirely. Our favorite is qBitTorrent.
It doesn’t hurt to have multiple torrent clients, and you may find that a file that’s not downloading on one might download on another.
If you’re tired of dealing with finicky torrents, switching to Usenet may be a long-term solution worth looking at.
It will cost you a few dollars per month, but you won’t have to worry about seeders, it’s more difficult for your network or ISP to block, and you won’t have to fiddle with torrent clients or firewalls.
Torrent Stopped Downloading: Wrap-Up
We know how frustrating torrents that won’t download can be, whether it’s from a lack of seeders, a network block, or software issues.
So, hopefully, this guide has been enough to fix your stopped torrent. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments.
Until then, happy downloading!