Steam Disk Write Error is super frustrating, and hopefully, you’ll be playing again soon since you’re here. 😀
Steam is any gamer’s favorite platform, and for good reasons.
It has a massive and ever-increasing library of games, offers huge discounts during the Steam sale, and it’s on Cloud, which means you never miss your purchases when switching devices.
And my brief experience with Steam has been nothing short of flawless.
But that’s not the case with everyone. Especially, Steam Disk Write Error troubles a few with the downloads cutting midway through.
What Can Cause Steam Disk Write Error?
As evident with its name, this error has something to do with the downloads. There can be many reasons, including:
- Insufficient disk space
- User having insufficient permissions
- Antivirus or Firewall interrupting downloads
- Corrupt cache or Library folder
- Bad download server
A lack of disk space is self-explanatory. So please confirm if you aren’t stuck because of this. Next, try running Steam in administrator mode before moving on to the listed solutions.
Restart and Reinstall
This is the first solution to any PC issue. Try restarting the computer and see if it fixes this problem.
While you can only close the Steam client and run it back to check if it works, restarting the PC is generally more effective.
Next, you can try reinstalling the Steam client. Rest assured, your games are attached to your Steam account and can be redownloaded if they get deleted.
This is to ensure the Steam folder isn’t write-protected for the logged-in user.
Head over to the Steam installation directory, right-click the Steam folder, and click Properties.
Now click Security from the top menu, and select the user from the “Group or user names:”. Then check if Full control, Modify, and Write permissions are allowed.
If not, you can click Edit indicated against “To change permissions, click Edit“.
Now select that user from the Group or user names, tick all the appropriate boxes, and click Apply at the bottom right.
It’s a Steam-recommended method for the “games that won’t download or start”. Open the Steam client, click Steam at the top left, and enter Settings.
Now click Downloads in the left pane and click Clear Download Cache.
Finally, click Ok in the following pop-up and log in to Steam again, and check the status.
The Steam library is the folder where the client saves gaming files. And fortunately, Steam has an in-built tool to correct a few problems.
Open the Download section as illustrated in the previous step, and click Steam Library Folders, located just above the Clear Download Cache.
Now click the horizontal ellipsis indicated in the above image and click Repair Folder.
Next, click OK on the subsequent prompts and wait for the repair to finish. Restart the client and see if the issue is resolved.
Change Download Server
In rare cases, the Steam server sending the files might be causing this Disk Write Error. You can change it in the Steam settings Download section.
Once in, click under the Download Region, select any server other than already allocated, and click OK at the bottom.
Experiment with a few and see if this problem rectifies itself.
Turn off Firewall and Antivirus
This method works if you have a disk write error with every Steam download. Regardless, it’s worth pursuing if nothing has worked for you yet.
Firewalls and Antivirus programs exist to make our online lives safer. However, they can also report false positives and interfere with legit programs in certain situations.
So try switching them off while you download that game.
Notably, this applies to all: native and 3rd-party software. And since this depends on the program itself, there is no universal method to illustrate, unfortunately.
However, you can follow the process for turning off Windows Defender Firewall in the absence of any other custom firewall.
Open Windows Run by pressing Windows Key +R. Now type
firewall.cpl and hit enter.
Here, click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.
Based on the network (Public or Private), select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall and click OK.
If you’re unsure, you can select both. Alternatively, check the Status in Network and Internet Settings to confirm which network you’re connected to.
In addition to the firewall, don’t forget to turn off Antivirus before going on with that Steam download.
And if that solves that issue, it’s time to make an exception in the firewall and antivirus programs and turn them back on.
For Antivirus programs, it again depends on specific protection. For instance, I have McAfee, which uses Windows native firewalls. But you need to check if your antivirus program has any custom firewall and modify the rules for Steam and its games.
For Windows Firewall, you need to head over to the Inbound Rules section of Windows Defender Firewall. You can open this by typing Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security in the taskbar search.
Click Inbound Rules from the left pane. Now double-click every Steam and game-related entry, and ensure Enabled is ticked and Allow the connection is active.
Otherwise, do this for all such rules to ensure it remains without any errors in the future.
Remove Write Protection
A few gamers experienced this error with a write-protected disk. In that case, you can try a spare disk for Steam installation and see if it works that way.
Alternatively, here is a guide to removing the write protection of SSDs.
Steam Write Disk Error appears when any active download is interrupted. In 9 out of 10 cases, the above-listed solutions should fix it for you.
Still, you should contact Steam support and report it if the error persists.
PS: While big publishers have huge marketing budgets to promote their games, it’s the indie developers that need our attention the most. So why not check out some best indie games on Steam?