Steam: How to Fix the Disk Write Error

Steam Write Disk error
Steam Write Disk error

We’ve all been there. You’re wanting to play a new game on Steam and eagerly go to start downloading it, only to be faced with one of the most non-descript error messages you will encounter: a “disk write error”. You will probably see this, too:

An error occurred while installing game title (disk write error): C:\Program Files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\game_titleAn error occurred while updating game_title An error occurred while installing game_title

A disk write error on Steam typically indicates that the Steam client is having difficulty writing data to your hard drive or storage device. This error can be caused by various factors, including hard drive failure, the Steam folder you’re trying to write to is write-protected and various conflicts, though it can be something as simple as not properly updating a game. It’s not the be all and end all: there are several potential solutions you can try to fix it.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fix the disk write error on Steam:

  1. Restart Steam:
    • Close Steam completely.
    • Restart your computer.
    • Open Steam and try running the game again.
  2. Run Steam as Administrator:
    • Right-click on the Steam shortcut or executable.
    • Select “Run as administrator.”
    • Try to install or update the game.
  3. Check Disk Space:
    • Ensure that you have enough free space on your hard drive for the game you are trying to install or update.
  4. Verify Game Files:
    • Open Steam and go to your game library.
    • Right-click on the game that’s causing the issue and select “Properties.”
    • Go to the “Local Files” tab and click on “Verify Integrity of Game Files.”
    • Steam will check for missing or corrupted files and replace them.
  5. Change Download Region:
    • Go to Steam > Settings > Downloads.
    • Under the “Download Region” section, select a different server.
    • Try installing or updating the game again.
  6. Exclude Steam from Antivirus/Firewall:
    • Your antivirus or firewall might be blocking Steam’s write access. Add Steam to the exceptions list in your antivirus or firewall settings.
  7. Check for Disk Errors:
    • Open a Command Prompt as administrator.
    • Type chkdsk /f and press Enter. This will schedule a disk check on the next restart.
    • Restart your computer and let the disk check complete.
  8. Update Drivers:
    • Ensure that your graphics card and storage drivers are up to date.
  9. Reinstall Steam:
    • If none of the above steps work, you might consider reinstalling Steam. Make sure to back up your Steamapps folder (where your games are installed) before uninstalling.
  10. Check for Hard Drive Issues:
    • Run a disk health check using tools like CHKDSK for Windows or Disk Utility for macOS.
  11. Run Steam in Compatibility Mode:
    • Right-click on the Steam shortcut or executable.
    • Go to “Properties” > “Compatibility.”
    • Check “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and select an older version of Windows.

More of a visual learner? Check out this video tutorial below:

That’s about all you need to do to try and hopefully fix your disk write error on Steam. If none of these solutions resolve the issue, it might be worthwhile to contact Steam Support for further assistance, as there could be a more specific issue with your system or the game files — it may even just be a glitchy Steam build.

Need more help with the biggest PC platform out there? Read up all the info on how you can uninstall games.

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