Torrents: Why You're Not Seeding/Uploading

Updated on January 30, 2015

Having Problems Seeding? UTorrent Not Uploading?

If you're reading this tutorial, it's because you are having trouble seeding on a tracker site. Before I explain why you can have everything set up properly and still have trouble seeding, you need to make sure everything is indeed set up correctly and that you are able to seed by following these steps.

These instructions will work on most torrent sites, such as the Pirate bay, Torrentleech, SceneAccess,,, Passthepopcorn, and so on.

Follow These Steps to Solve Your Seeding Problems and Be Connectible!

1. Make sure you're using an approved client. A full list of approved clients can be found on your site's FAQ.

2. Configure your client properly and make sure it's optimized correctly. If you're on uTorrent follow this tutorial. If you're on Azureus / Vuez, you will need to follow this tutorial. One of the most important configuration options that needs to be made is that you must disable DHT. If you do not disable DHT, it is possible to have your stats report incorrectly to the tracker.

3. Get connectable. To do this, you can follow this tutorial: Getting connectable with To test that you are connectable, you can use the external checker. The connectability checker available within most clients is unreliable at best. For example, the uTorrent checker along the bottom bar only indicates whether you are actively connecting to peers, as opposed to a reliable checker which would indicate whether or not you can connect to peers and are therefore connectable.

4. Make sure you're actually seeding things from your site. In your client, you should somehow be able to see what tracker the torrent is from. If it's not from your tracker site, you won't receive upload credit for it on here.

5. Fix any error messages you get. Note that these are not typical error messages that pop up in a window with the message inside—the tracker status is independent for each torrent and therefore, you will need to find it wherever you can see information for that torrent. In uTorrent, it's in the tabs near the bottom. If you get a tracker status that isn't "working" then something is wrong. Depending on the message, several things could be wrong. Below is a list of common tracker status messages. Note that the wording may be different depending on your client. If you get a different error message, Google it and you will find your answer.

a. Failure: Unregistered Torrent: This message has three possible explanations.
1. The torrent in question has been deleted from the site for either a rule violation, being dead, or it was trumped.
2. You uploaded the torrent but you did not make it correctly and now you need to re-download the .torrent file from the site and reseed the files in your client.
3. it is an error with the tracker and you should re-download the .torrent file and reseed the files in your client to see if that fixes the error. If it does not, there could be a problem with the tracker and you should go to IRC and see if anyone else is experiencing this error.

b. Offline (timed out): There are lots of reasons for this showing up. If you are on a university network, it is possible that they block BitTorrent on their network. If you are getting this message on some of your torrents but not others, try manually updating the tracker and that might fix the problem. The last explanation I will give for this error is that it's possible that the tracker itself is experiencing problems and is no longer functioning. If you believe this to be the case, come onto to IRC as instructed above. Once there, you should read the topic and if there is nothing about the tracker being down, you should ask someone for help resolving your issue.

c. No connection could be made to the remote host: This is much like the above error message except it's more common for this message to mean that the tracker is down than anything else. When the tracker is down, you will usually see a mixture of this message and the Offline (timed out) message. To fix it, follow the instructions for the previous error message.

d. Error: Files missing: This message is given if you have changed the files in the torrent somehow. If you use iTunes or WMP, they will automatically change tags in the files when you import them, so that can be a problem. To fix this issue, make all the songs in your directory "read only" OR keep two copies, one for seeding one for listening.

6. Ensure that your ISP isn't throttling. If your ISP throttles, it will be on this list. If it is, you should run this test to make sure you're being throttled. If that test says you're being throttled, that means that your ability to upload normally is being impeded by your ISP and you will need to take measures to circumvent their throttling.

If You Have Followed All of the Directions and You're Still Not Getting Any Upload Credit...

It is entirely possible for you to have everything completely correct and still not be seeding. Not every torrent seeds 24/7 for everybody. In fact, most people seed tons of torrents and still don't get constant upload. The seeder:leecher ratio is currently 40:54, which means that there is less than one seeder for every leecher. That means that it is very hard to seed here. If you need upload credit and strictly seeding isn't working out for you, then I recommend you upload your own torrents to the site to ensure that you will get at least some upload credit. It is also worth noting that a torrent may show that it has 75 leechers on it, but those leechers are most likely only partial leechers which means that they will not actually be downloading any more from anybody. They downloaded part of the torrent and now they're done and are, in practice, seeders now but still report to the tracker because they do not have 100% of the torrent.

Long story short, if you've followed all of my directions and you still aren't uploading, you just need to be more patient because nobody is downloading what you are seeding.

And, as always, thank you to the people who wrote the tutorials I linked to!


In addition to the above explanation for non-seeding, I am going to explain a couple phenomena that people may encounter while using torrents that may lead them to believe something is wrong.

  • First phenomenon is the extremely slow upload speed you experience randomly on some torrents that lasts for only a couple seconds. This upload amount is usually no bigger than .5 KBps and is typically only .1 KBps. This communication is simply overhead of the BitTorrent protocol. Your client has to periodically update with the tracker and the leechers in a swarm (even if they're only partial) and this communication is normally very short and appears as a small amount of upload speed. The more partial leechers a torrent has, the more common this type of event will occur because there are more peers that need to be communicated with. Because it's just overhead of the protocol, everyone experiences it even if some clients choose to hide this and not display it as data transfer. This is not a sign of anything being wrong IF the speed is less than or equal to ~.5 KBps but it could be a problem if the speeds get significantly higher on an individual torrent and then cut off soon after starting. If that is the case, I recommend you revisit step 6 of this tutorial to make sure you aren't being sandvined or throttled in some way.
  • The second event that may confuse some users is that sometimes, you will experience a fair amount of upload speed on a torrent while you're downloading, say around 5 KBps or more, and then when you complete the download you stop uploading. This is much like the first event because it has a similar cause. When you're downloading a torrent, you need to constantly update other peers in the swarm (both seeders and leechers) and tell them which parts of the torrent you need and that communication shows up as a small amount of upload speed. The reason this stops when you complete the torrent is because you no longer need to tell people which pieces to send you. Much like the first event, this is also a symptom of some types of throttling that ISPs use, so I would revisit step 6 of this tutorial to make sure that you aren't a victim of throttling.


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