How to Fix the Steam Disk Write Error Easily

Are you having trouble with a Steam disk write error? Learn how to quickly resolve this issue and get your game back up and running.

Have you ever encountered the Steam disk write error when downloading or installing a game from the popular gaming platform? If so, you’re not alone. This error is becoming increasingly common among gamers and can be frustrating. Fortunately, several potential solutions can help you fix this problem quickly and easily.

In this article, we will discuss what causes the Steam disk write error, how to fix it, and ways to prevent it in the future.

fix steam disk write error

What is the Steam Disk Write Error?

The Steam "disk write error" is an error message that can appear when using the Steam platform for gaming. This error usually occurs when Steam is unable to write to the disk where it is installed. This can prevent users from playing games or downloading new ones. The error message may read something like "An error occurred while updating Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (disk write error)".

In simpler terms, the Steam disk write error means that there is a problem with the installation or update process for a game on Steam. It can prevent users from playing the game or downloading new updates, making it frustrating for gamers.

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What Causes the Steam Disk Write Error?

The most common cause of the Steam disk write error is the lack of available space on your hard drive. When you are downloading or installing a game, Steam needs to access and write data to your hard drive in order to complete the process. If there isn’t enough space, then the process cannot be completed and you will receive this error message.

Other causes include corrupt or outdated drivers, interference with other programs or antivirus software, firewall restrictions, or an issue with Steam itself. It can also occur if certain files are missing from a game's installation folder.

How to Fix the Steam Disk Write Error

Fixing the Steam disk write error is usually quite simple and straightforward. Here are some of the most effective solutions:

  1. Run Steam As Administrator
  2. Verify the Integrity of Your Game Files
  3. Delete the “0 KB” File
  4. Delete Corrupted Files in the "content_log" File
  5. Run the Flushconfig Command
  6. Take Full Control of the Steam Folder
  7. Disable Disk Write Protection
  8. Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus
  9. Turn Off Windows Firewall

1. Run Steam As Administrator

Running Steam as an administrator allows the application to have full permission to write to your hard drive. By elevating its privileges, you may be able to bypass the Steam disk write error and complete your desired tasks on the platform.

  1. Bring up the Search feature from your taskbar or by pressing the Windows + S keyboard shortcut, and type in “Steam.”
  2. Click on the “Run as administrator” button to launch the app with elevated permissions.
    run steam as administrator
  3. When prompted, click the “Yes” button to grant the necessary permissions. Note that you need an administrator account or the password to one.

Wait for the Steam app to launch with the elevated permissions, and then try to install or update the game. See if the disk write error is gone.

2. Verify the Integrity of Your Game Files

Verifying the integrity of your game files ensures that all of the necessary files are present and not corrupted. This process involves scanning your game files to identify any issues that could be causing the Steam disk write error.

  1. Launch the Steam application, and then switch to the “Library” tab using the menu on top of the widow.
  2. Look for the game you want to install or update that’s giving you a disk write error. Right-click on the game, and then select “Properties” from the context menu.
    game properties in steam
  3. Switch to the “Local Files” tab using the menu on the left, and then click on the “Verify integrity of game files” button.
    verify integrity of game files in steam
  4. Wait for Steam to finish checking the files. If anything is found, Steam will restore the files for you and fix any possible problems. After this process, check if you can update the game.

3. Delete the “0 KB” File

A file that's 0 KB in size can appear in the SteamApps folder and may be a sign of file corruption. Deleting the file is a quick fix for a file that may be causing the Steam disk write error.

  1. Find your SteamLibrary folder. By default, this is in your Program Files. If your Steam client is installed in a different drive or location, navigate there.
  2. If you installed Steam to the default location, press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Type “%ProgramFiles(x86)%” without the quotes and press the OK button.
    navigate to the program files folder
  3. Locate the SteamLibrary > steamapps > common folder. Scroll down and check if you see any file that display “0 KB” in file size, and select it.
  4. Right-click on the file, and click on “Delete” from the context menu.
    delete the 0 kb file
  5. Now, you should check if the disk write error still happens when installing or updating a Steam game.

4. Delete Corrupted Files in the "content_log" File

Corrupted files can cause the steam disk write error. These files can be identified by examining the content_log file, which lists all of the files downloaded during the installation process. Removing these files may help solve the problem.

  1. Navigate to Program Files (x86) > Steam. Here, open the “logs” folder.
    steam logs folder
  2. Scroll down, and double-click on the “content_log” file when you see it. It should be a regular text document that you can open using the Notepad app.
    steam content_log file
  3. Scroll down and see if there’s a “failed to write” error in the logs. You can also use the “Find” function to look for this error. Proceed accordingly to these instructions:
    • If there is an error, follow the path in the error, delete the corrupted file, and continue to the next step.
    • If there's no error, close the Notepad and move on to the next solution.
  4. After deleting the corrupted file, reboot your system. Now, you should launch Steam and see if the disk write error still happens.

5. Run the Flushconfig Command

The flushconfig command is used to reset Steam's configuration settings to their default values. This can help resolve issues like the steam disk write error.

  1. Exit the Steam application completely. You can do this by opening the Task Manager ( you can find it in the Windows + X shortcut menu), selecting Steam, and clicking on “End task.”
    exit steam entirely
  2. After you close Steam, press the Windows + R keys to open the Run utility. Here, type “steam://flushconfig” without the quotes and click OK.
    run the flushconfig command in steam
  3. Click OK when prompted by Steam. The app will clear its local download cache, which could fix the disk write error at hand.
    allow steam to clear files

6. Take Full Control of the Steam Folder

Taking full control of the Steam folder can give you complete permission to read, write, and modify files within the directory. By doing this, you may be able to bypass any issues that are preventing Steam from writing to the disk.

  1. Navigate to the Program Files (x86) folder on your computer. Right-click on the “Steam” folder, and then select “Properties” from the context menu.
    steam folder properties
  2. First, make sure that the “Read-only (Only applies to files in folder)” option is unchecked, as shown in the screenshot below.
    disable read only on steam folder
  3. Switch to the “Security” tab using the menu on top of the window, and then click on the “Edit…” button.
    edit steam folder security
  4. Scroll down and select “Users (YourComputerName\Users)” from the list. Next, make sure that “Full control” is enabled under the “Allow” column.
    allow full control for users
  5. Click on the “Apply” button to finalize the changes, and close the window with the OK button. Now, you should see if the disk write error still happens when updating or installing games on Steam.

7. Disable Disk Write Protection

Disabling disk write protection can allow Steam to write to the disk without any restrictions. This can be done by changing the disk's properties to allow writing.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type “Command Prompt” in the search box. When you see it in the results, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to allow the app to launch with administrative permissions.
    run the command prompt as administrator
  3. Input the following commands one by one, pressing the Enter key on your keyboard after each line. Make sure that you replace the “#” character with the hard drive you’re getting the error on:
    • diskpart 
    • list disk
    • select disk # 
    • attributes disk clear readonly
  4. After executing the commands, restart your computer and see if the Steam error is still happening.

8. Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus

If you're having trouble installing or updating a game and suspect that your antivirus might be causing the issue, you can try temporarily disabling it to see if that helps. Depending on the antivirus software you're using, disabling it can vary, but you can usually find the option to do so in the software's settings.

Here's a quick guide on how to temporarily disable some popular antivirus software:

  • Windows Defender: Open Windows Security from the Start menu, click on "Virus & threat protection," then select "Manage settings," and toggle off "Real-time protection."
  • McAfee: Open McAfee, click on "PC Security," then select "Real-Time Scanning," and toggle the switch to "Off."
  • Norton: Open Norton, click on "Settings," then select "Antivirus." From there, toggle the switch next to "Auto-Protect" to "Off."

Once you've disabled your antivirus software, try installing or updating the game again. If it works, you can re-enable your antivirus software to keep your computer protected.

9. Turn Off Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall can also interfere with Steam's ability to write to the disk. Turning off the Windows Firewall may help resolve this issue. However, it's important to remember to turn it back on after completing your tasks on Steam.

Warning: Keep in mind that disabling the Windows Firewall makes your computer vulnerable to security threats. It’s important that you re-enable it once the game installation or update process is complete.

  1. Open the Run utility by pressing the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. Type "firewall.cpl" (without the quotes) in the text field and click OK.
    open the windows firewall settings
  2. On the left side of the window, click on the "Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off" link.
    turn windows defender firewall on or off
  3. In the "Customize Settings" section, select "Turn off Windows Defender Firewall" for both the private and public network settings.
    completely disable the firewall
  4. Click OK and restart your computer to apply the changes.


Steam is a great platform for gamers, but it can sometimes run into issues like the Steam disk write error. Fortunately, there are several solutions you can try to fix this issue quickly and easily. From running Steam as an administrator to disabling Windows Firewall, these fixes should help you get back up and running on your favorite games in no time.

We hope this guide has helped you solve your Steam disk write error and that you can continue enjoying all of the great games on offer. Good luck, and happy gaming!

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