Steam Not Enough Disk Space—5 Ways To Fix It

You will encounter the “You do not have enough disk space” error while installing or updating a game on Steam if the Steam client doesn’t find enough free space in the current download drive.

In some cases, even if you have enough space on the current download drive, Steam may check another drive running low on storage space and display this error message. Additionally, this error may also pop up if you are trying to update a game that requires additional space and the available space is already tight.

Note: If you are experiencing this error while installing a game, skip directly to the third method. And if you encounter it during an update, I recommend trying out all the methods until one works.

Free Up More Space Before Game Updates

The updates for games come in compressed packages that the application needs to unpack before installing. So, the total space requirement may be much larger than the size of the update. The compression on the packages is not uniform and will vary for each game. So, you may only experience this issue for certain games.

For instance, let’s suppose a game with 100GB gets a 30 GB update. The update may contain 200GB or more uncompressed files. As such, it will require a lot of space. In fact, installing the updated game from scratch may use up less space than updating it in some scenarios.

You need to clear up more space on your disk in such cases. If you can’t do so, I recommend moving the game to another drive and then updating it (next solution). If none of these are possible, try uninstalling and then reinstalling the game again.

Move the Game to Another Drive

If you really don’t have enough space in the drive and can’t free up enough space, you can move the game to another drive with enough space and then update it. 

  1. Open Steam Settings.
  2. Go to Downloads > Steam Library Folders.steam-settings-library-folders
  3. Go to the drive with the game and click on its checkbox.
  4. Select Move and then choose the drive with enough space and click on Move.steam-library-folders-store-manager-move
  5. After the transfer completes, hit Close.
  6. Then, try updating the game.

Check Library Folder

Depending on your Steam usage and the library folders you have created, you may encounter a few issues, such as:

  • If the default folder runs out of space, the steam client automatically starts downloading the contents to the next drive in the folder list. And even if you free up space in the previous drive, it will keep downloading into the later drive. So, you may still get this error if there is enough space in the main drive but not in the last one that is currently default.
  • If you had specified an external drive as the default location but disconnected this device from your computer, Steam still tries to download the contents into the nonexistent drive. And since it won’t be able to find any space (free or occupied), it will show this error.
  • Steam may not properly work with external drives even if you always connect them when using this application. It can still show the “Not enough disk space” error.

You need to set the default download location to the proper drive to resolve such issues. Also, avoid using external drives as the default location if you can.

  1. Open Steam Settings and go to Downloads > Steam Library Folders.
  2. Check the drive with the star icon which is the current download location. Check its free space as well.
  3. If the drive is not the one you want as the default,
    • Click on the proper drive.
    • Click the triple-dot icon and select Make Default. Then, click on the triple-dot again and select Repair Folder.steam-store-manager-library-make-default
    • If the folder you want is not there, you can click on the Plus sign (+) and follow the on-screen instruction to add it to the list.
  4. If the proper folder is set as the default folder, just click on the triple-dot icon and choose Repair Folder.

Delete Downloading Folder

If Steam only downloads a game or updates partially due to some app issues, the partial files will still be present in the ‘downloading’ folder. Steam will also show the above error in such cases.

You need to delete the steamapps\downloading folder and allow Steam to re-download the files to resolve the issue.

  1. Close Steam from the Task Manager.
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
    • Select all the processes with Steam in its name under Apps and Background Processes and click End Task.end-task-steam-task-manager
  2. Then, go to your Steam folder. It is usually inside C:\Program Files (x86) but the location will be different if you had changed the location during the installation.
  3. Go inside the steamapps folder and delete downloading.delete-downloading-folder-steamapps
  4. Restart Steam as an admin and see if you still encounter this error.

If you can’t delete the downloading folder, the permission settings might have changed to read-only. You need to give the proper read-write permissions in such cases.

  1. Open Run by pressing Windows + R.
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.
  3. Type cd “C:/Program files (x86)/Steam” to change the current working directory to this folder.
  4. If the relevant game is present in a different drive, you need to change the directory to the SteamLibrary folder in that drive instead.
  5. Then, enter attrib -r /S *.* to make all the folders inside the directory read/writable.cd-c-program-files-86-steam-attrib-r-s-all-read-write-permission-command-prompt

Update or Reinstall Steam

If the above solutions still can’t resolve the issue, it’s likely that the Steam client itself is not working properly. You need to update or reinstall it to resolve the error.

First, try updating it. If it doesn’t help or no updates are available, uninstall the app and then install it again.

  1. Open Run.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open Programs and Features.
  3. Search for and select Steam.
  4. Click on Uninstall.steam-uninstall-programs-and-features
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. Then, reinstall the app from the official website.

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