Steam is a popular online gaming service that has been around since the late 1990s and now boasts over 30 million active users worldwide. Despite being one of the most prevalent gaming platforms with thousands of games available to its users, it’s still plagued by numerous bugs. While the creator, Valve, works hard to eliminate new and vexing issues and provide updates regularly, some problems cannot be solved with a quick update. One of those is a fix to the Steam “Not enough disk space” error.
In other words, Valve’s Steam client will notify users that there’s a difficulty with insufficient disk storage space while downloading or installing a game. Annoyingly, the bug will stop your download and bring up the aforementioned aggravating error message. Luckily, you may take some basic measures to guarantee this fault doesn’t occur or reoccur. Let’s get down to business.
1. Restart Your PC to Fix the “Not Enough Disk Space” Steam Error
The Steam client is frequently updated. The core of the Steam client may be modified with certain upgrades. As a result, a shutdown is necessary. When you restart your computer, it starts from the beginning and applies all the modifications that have been made since then.
It’s also conceivable that another third-party program is to blame, as there may be several potential clashes. Therefore, it is recommended that you turn off all third-party applications. Focus on those that claim to speed up, defragment, or clean your hard drive. Restart your PC and play the game to see whether the problem has been resolved. Don’t forget to save any progress before shutting down your computer, though.
2. Verify the Steam Game Cache Integrity
When you install a game on Steam, files are downloaded and stored on your computer. These local files can become corrupted over time for a variety of reasons. It is recommended that you verify the integrity of your game cache to check for any damaged or missing files. The process is as follows:
- Right-click the game in your Steam library and select Properties.
- Go to the Local Files tab.
- Select Verify Integrity of Game Cache.
This will cause Steam to scan the files currently installed for your game and compare them with the files on the server. If there are any differences, they will be re-downloaded and replaced as needed.
3. Delete Download Cache for Games
The download cache is a folder on your computer that stores temporary files used by the Steam client. These files can become corrupt over time, leading to problems while downloading or installing games. To clear your download cache:
- Exit the Steam client.
- Go to your Steam installation folder (by default, this is C:\Program Files\Steam\).
- Delete all files in this folder EXCEPT for Steam.exe and SteamApps (your games will be stored here).
- Restart your computer and launch Steam.
4. Change the Steam Download Region
The Steam server you are trying to connect to may be busy, or the connection may be slow due to high traffic in your area. You can change the download region in the Steam client to try to fix this concern. To do so:
- Launch the Steam client.
- Go to the Steam menu and select Settings.
- In the “Downloads” section, change the Download Region to a different server.
- Restart your computer and open Steam.
5. Delete the Downloading File on Steam
Attempting to run a game while the Steam client is still downloading could result in the “Not enough disk space” error you need to fix. Some issue caused the game you’re trying to run to be partially downloaded. Consequently, Steam isn’t sure whether to install or download it. As a result, it displays an error indicating that there isn’t enough disk space. You might try restarting the game after deleting the download file and re-running it. Steam may resend specific files if necessary, but it should operate as usual if this happens.
- Delete all your Steam games and then restart the client. Begin by quitting the “steam client bootstrapper” process, and finish the rest.
- Go to your Steam directory. The most common location is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”. Locate the folder named “downloading” in the “SteamApps” directory. You can find a folder with all the download files inside that folder. The game’s application ID will identify it. Remove it entirely from your system.
- Restart your computer and relaunch Steam with administrator rights. Examine whether the problem has been fixed.
6. Grant Administrator Access to Steam
When you install Steam, it creates a folder in your “Program Files” directory. If you’re not logged in as an administrator, you can’t access this folder. As a result, any games you try to run will fail with an error message saying there isn’t enough disk space. To fix this concern, you must log in as an administrator, which would permit you access to the folder.
7. Disable Firewall on Windows
It’s a well-known fact that Steam clashes with the Windows Firewall because of its nature as a gaming platform. After all, Steam often downloads updates and games in the background while doing other things on your computer. To avoid waiting for the download to finish when you want to play your game or use the Steam client, it usually does it, so you don’t have to. Steam also has access to various system settings, which it changes for you to get the most incredible possible gaming experience.
If Windows Firewall detects a program you don’t use, it will be classified as a threat and often blocked from accessing Steam. As a result, you won’t realize anything is happening, making it challenging to identify what’s causing the problem. There may even be an issue where the firewall prevents Steam’s activities in the background. Thus, you can turn off your firewall for a while to see if the error message disappears.
The easiest option is to uninstall your antivirus, but that is not a good idea. If you remove your antivirus, you will expose your computer to various perils. The ideal method is to add Steam to the list of exempt programs from scanning. Steam will be treated as if it weren’t there by the antivirus. Occasionally, your antivirus can shut down some of Steam’s activities because they are considered potential dangers.
8. Reset Winsock
Winsock is a Windows component that allows applications to communicate with each other over the internet. It can cause difficulties with internet applications like Steam if it becomes corrupt. You can reset Winsock by following these steps:
- Exit the Steam client.
- Go to the Start menu and type “cmd” in the search box.
- Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator from the context menu.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
netsh Winsock reset
- Reboot your computer.
- Launch Steam and check if the difficulty persists.
9. Delete Steam’s Registry Entries
If you’ve tried all other solutions on this page and none have worked, there’s possibly a concern with Steam’s registry entry. These settings tell Steam where to find your games and how to run them. You can delete these entries and let Steam recreate them when you launch the client next. Follow these instructions to do so:
- Exit Steam.
- Head to the Start menu and type
regeditin the search box.
- Press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
- In the left pane, navigate to the following key:
- Right-click on the Steam key and select Delete from the context menu.
- Confirm the deletion by clicking Yes.
- Exit the Registry Editor and launch Steam. A new Steam registry will be created when you start the client.
10. Change the Read-only Attribute from the Steam Library
Your Steam directory may be set to read-only, which may prevent the software from updating files in the Library. This can cause difficulties and tell Steam that there isn’t enough space on the disk. Fortunately, we have a few solutions for you to try:
- Determine which drive your Steam program is installed on. To do so on Windows:
- Launch the search bar and type “command prompt.”
- Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.”
- Now type:
cd C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam
- Change the letter “C” after “cd” to the letter of your Steam installation. For example, if you’ve installed Steam on the “D” drive, change it to
cd D:/Program Files (x86)/Steam
- After you’ve opened your Steam directory, type this command and hit Enter:
attrib -r /S *.*
- You’ll need to restart Steam now. Also, try a command for terminating Steam properly:
taskkill /f /IM "steam.exe"
- Run the Steam to see whether the problem still exists.
11. Refresh Steam Files
Now there is nothing left except reinstalling Steam and seeing if that works. When you refresh your Steam files, you can keep all downloaded games because they will be saved. Furthermore, your user data will also be saved. Refreshing Steam files removes all the Steam client’s configuration files and then forces it to reinstall them. Therefore, any undesirable or corrupt files would get replaced as necessary.
After you’ve completed the process, go back to your account and log in using your details. If you don’t have this information, don’t use this solution. The procedure might take some time, so don’t exit the program until it’s finished. To do that:
- Go to Settings.
- Open Downloads.
- Go to Library Folders.
- Right-click the configured folder.
- Select the Repair Downloads button.
12. Reinstall Steam
Reinstalling Steam will delete all your games, but there may be a Steam installation problem causing this error message. To reinstall Steam, follow these steps:
- Exit the Steam client.
- Click the Start menu and type Control Panel in the search box.
- Go to programs and features and choose Steam.
- Select Uninstall.
- Follow the prompts to uninstall Steam.
- Reboot your computer.
- Go to the official website and download the latest version of Steam.
- Install Steam and launch it. The software will download games again, but it will likely fix the Steam “Not enough disk space” error.