Problems With the 4.0 Patch Background Downloader?

It seems that many people are having a big problem with the Blizzard Background Dowloader when trying to update to patch 4.0.0 from patch 3.5.5; I feel your pain, as I was as well. With slow download speeds placing my patch time at around 4 DAYS, I thought I’d hunt around for a solution. And lo, the solution is easy!

1. Start your background downloader by either starting your game or double-clicking ‘Background Downloader’ in (World of Warcraft folder location)> World of Warcraft.

2. Let the Background Downloader run until you’ve achieved at least 1% of the download. If your Background Downloader is hidden, double-click on the Blizzard icon in your system try (bottom right of your screen) to embiggen it. Once you’re at 1% or more, right-click on the icon to exit out of the Background Downloader.

3. Open the folder (World of Warcraft directory)>World of Warcraft>Cache and locate the BackgroundDownload.torr file. If you can’t see the “.torr” part, that’s okay.

4. Open your favorite torrent downloader. I like BitComet, myself.

5. Pull the BackgroundDownload.torr file into BitComet. Click ‘Download Now’.

6. Enjoy the lightening-fast download speeds.

7. When the file is complete, locate the BackgroundDownload file in Cache and move it to the folder labeled ‘Updates’.

8. The End.


  1. Hmm that reminds me that I haven’t even checked if mine is downloading as it should. I’ve been too busy crashing (and burning) the Beta client instead. I must not forget the live client. Now, is Cataclysm here yet? /taps foot impatiently

    Thanks for the fix for people with problems btw. I now have to check when I get home if I have one. (Problem I mean.. with patching.. problems I got plenty!)


  2. So wait, I have a question. This is working great, my download time has been cut 1/5th based off what utorrent is estimating. But your instructions say just move the “BackgroundUpdate” file to the Updates folder; is that just the torrent file? Because I have 4 gigs of “WoW-” files being downloaded into my utorrent file directory. Do I need to do anything with those? Or are those the files your saying to copy to Updates?


    • *Those* are the files you copy to Update. When they finished for me, I moved them over and didn’t have any trouble with the downloader. Before I moved them over, the downloader kept trying to re-open itself, which was, as you might imagine, endlessly irritating.


      • But wait until they’re totally done! They’ll stop being a torrent file and start being a … blast, I can’t remember, but they switch into being a different type of file when the whole thing is done.


    • Once they’re finished, have you moved them over to the (World of Warcraft directory)>World of Warcraft>Updates folder? The section of download being pushed by Blizzard can change from day to day, so it might help to clear out everything in your (World of Warcraft directory)>World of Warcraft>Cache folder, restart your background downloader, and then start again from step 1. Let me know if that doesn’t work and we can cogitate.


  3. Um, I’ve downloaded BitComet, and moved the BakgroundDownload.torr to it and it seems I’m the only one trying to download the file..? Nothings downloading… HELP!
    Oh and this might have something to do with it… I’m with EU wow…


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