Players who have pre-loaded Starfield and are now beginning the process of unpacking it on Steam may find it to be a very slow process.

If you have pre-loaded a game on Steam, as opposed to downloading it once it has been released, you will need to unpack it once it comes out.

Fortunately, if unpacking Starfield is proving to be slow for you, there are some solutions, which you will find below.

How to Fix Starfield Unpacking Slow on Steam

If it is taking a long time to unpack Starfield on Steam, it is most likely due to your SSD or HDD’s size and overall write speed.

There are various possible ways to fix Starfield unpacking slowly on Steam. They are:

  1. Switch the device Starfield is installed on
    • If you can, switch to a larger and faster SSD or HDD, as this will help Steam unpack Starfield much faster.
  2. Remove your pre-load and download Starfield
    • If you don’t have a fast SSD or HDD but do have fast internet, you can just remove the pre-loaded Starfield and redownload it. This will rely entirely on your internet speed and not on your CPU and storage device’s speed.
  3. Get a larger and faster SSD or HDD
    • If neither of the above is possible, then you could invest in a better SSD or HDD for your PC. However, this is expensive and not really worthwhile. Waiting until it’s unpacked is a better solution.
  4. Turn off write caching for your SSD
    • Right-click on the Start button (or press Win + X) and select ‘Device Manager’.
    • Expand the ‘Disk drives’ section.
    • Right-click on the SSD for which you want to change the setting and select ‘Properties’.
    • Go to the ‘Policies’ tab.
    • Under ‘Write-caching policy’, you’ll see an option that says ‘Enable write caching on the device’. Uncheck this box to turn off write caching.
    • Click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.
    • Keep in mind that while turning off write caching can increase data integrity (reduce the chance of data loss during a power outage or system crash), it might decrease the overall performance of write operations on the SSD. Always be cautious when changing hardware settings, and understand the implications of what you’re doing.
The player shooting a gun in Starfield

Unfortunately, the speed at which Steam unpacks a game is entirely dependent on your CPU and storage device’s speed.

However, if it is still unpacking slowly or downloading it wouldn’t be any quicker, it doesn’t hurt to do the following, just in case:

  • Check your internet
  • Restart Steam
  • Restart your PC
Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.