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The term was co-opted. In the days before bittorrent, it meant only someone who downloads and rarely or never uploads.

Bittorrent's creator used the term to mean anyone who did not have a complete copy of the torrent. Since the protocol requires clients to upload and download simultaneously (because if you don't upload, nobody will upload to you either) as opposed to "seeder", one who does have a complete copy.

Almost all home network connections can download much faster than they upload. That means that for most people and most torrents, you will finish downloading a torrent without having shared back, uploaded, nearly as much.

When you have the full torrent, you stop being a leecher and become a seeder, without your needing to do anything. It happens automatically. There's a column indicating your Up/Down ratio for each torrent, expressed as a fraction. If this ratio is less than 1.0, you should leave the torrent running until the ratio gets up to where you want it. Simply do nothing (and don't remove the contents). (Yes, you can MOVE the contents, but that's part of the advanced class.)

Do observe, when this happens, the number of peers you are connected to, and your upload speed, for that torrent. If both of these remain at zero for a long time, it means there's nobody who wants what you're trying to upload. This happens often on some sites. Now you must choose what to do. If you continue to seed, in hopes that someone will appear and download from you, this will improve your ratio, and will not harm your performance for other active torrents. On the other hand, if this torrent is for the repair manual for a 1954 Rambler carburetor, no leechers are likely to appear anytime soon, so you can drop the task in good conscience.

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