How To Limit Download Speed In Chrome [Guide]

Browsers have a basic download manager that can download files and scan them for harmful content. Compared to desktop download manager apps, a browser’s download manager is bare on features. It has little to nothing to offer other than its interface. Firefox lets you resume a failed download but Chrome doesn’t. If you use Chrome to download files but don’t want it to hog all your bandwidth, you can use a little trick in the web developer tools to limit download speed in Chrome.

Limit Download Speed

This method has no side-effects and nothing is permanent however to keep your work from being interrupted, it’s a good idea to create a separate Chrome profile and download files through it when you want to limit the download speed.

Open a new tab in Chrome and tap the F12 key. This will open the web development tools. Select the Network tab.

On the second row of options, click the little dropdown next to ‘Online’. The dropdown features two preset speeds; fast 3G and slow 3G. These are for test purpose so they probably won’t do the trick for you. You need to create a custom network throttling profile. To do that, click the Add option in this same menu.

This will open a new panel called Network Throttling Profiles. It will be empty. Click the ‘Add custom profile…’ button.

Give your custom profile a name, and enter the maximum download and upload speed you want to allow the current Chrome tab to have. You can leave the Upload and Latency fields blank and just enter a download speed in kb/s. Click Add.

Close the panel and return to the Network tab. Again, click the dropdown next to Online and select the new network throttling profile you created from the menu. Next, start your download and the speed will be limited as per the profile you created.

Disable Network Throttling Profile

Once you’re done, you can disable the network throttling profile in one of two ways; just close the tab. Other tabs will not inherit this same network profile. Alternatively, if you don’t want to close the tab, simply click the dropdown next to current network profile and select the ‘Online’ option from the menu to return the download speed to normal.

The network throttling profile works on a per-tab basis and doesn’t apply to all tabs or the entire Chrome window. Ideally, you should be able to limit download speed in one tab and continue working normally in a different tab or window. You might accidentally close the tab though, or try to browse in it which, given the limited download speed, will be slow going. That’s why it’s a good idea to do this in a separate Chrome profile.

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