How to Fix the Not Enough Free Disk Space Error in Steam

Can't download or update your Steam game even though you have enough disk space? These solutions will help you fix the not enough free disk space error in Steam.

What Is the Steam Not Enough Free Disk Space Error?

Steam is the main gaming client of nearly every PC gamer, yet it still encounters occasional problems despite the frequent updates. One frustrating issue happens when you're trying to update a game: You have adequate disk space, but Steam cancels the download and returns the NOT ENOUGH FREE DISK SPACE error.

This error can result from various hazards on Steam's path to update the game, from a broken download to insufficient writing access. Read on for several solutions you can try in order to resolve this error.

1. Restart Your Computer

You probably hear this solution for nearly every problem, but that doesn't make it any less viable. Steam's error might be because of an update that it hasn't applied properly, or a third-party program that's blocking Steam's access to the game library. One method to take care of these loose ends and give everything a fresh start is to restart your computer.

Restart your computer and then check again to see if this resolves the problem. If it persists, move on to the next solutions below.

2. Delete the Downloading Folder

When Steam is downloading files, they're temporarily stored in a folder called downloading. It's possible that, because of various reasons, the downloaded files are corrupt and Steam can't decide where to resume the download. Deleting the downloading folder will make Steam start the download over and do it properly.

  1. Exit Steam and all related services. You can do this with the Task Manager.
  2. Go to your Steam library folder. If you haven't specified a custom location, this will probably be at (unless you directed those save elsewhere):
      C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps  
  3. Once inside the library folder, go inside the downloading folder.
  4. In the downloading folder, you'll see folders containing temporary game files. We identify these folders by IDs. Select the folder related to your game and delete it.
  5. Restart your computer and run Steam.

You can identify the folders in the downloading folder by looking up the ID on the SteamDB website.

3. Clear the Download Cache

It is also a possibility your Steam client's download cache has gotten tangled and is causing problems with the download. The download cache keeps track of all the downloads until they're installed, and if there are corrupt files in the cache, it can keep the downloads from starting. You can fix this by clearing the download cache.

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. In the client, click the Steam menu on the top left and then select Settings. This will open the Settings window.
  3. In the Settings window, click the Downloads tab.
  4. Click Clear Download Cache.
  5. In the pop-up, click OK to confirm. Steam will now clear its download cache.

4. Run Steam as Administrator

Sometimes, the problem is within Steam's permissions to assess your hard disk. If your Windows account isn't an administrator or if your Steam library is in a location that Steam can't access, Steam won't be able to assess the disk to see how much space remains, and will return an error.

This might be the case with your Steam client as well, and you can go around it by running Steam as administrator.


  1. Exit previous instances of Steam. You can use the Task Manager to be certain you've killed all Steam processes.
  2. In the Windows Search bar, search Steam.
  3. Right-click on Steam and then select Run as administrator.
  4. In the pop-up window asking for confirmation, click Yes.
  5. Steam will now run as administrator. Check and see if you have resolved your issue.

5. Repair the Steam Library Folder

Your Steam library is where the platform stores your games and apps. The files regarding the library and its structure can get corrupted and the corruption can cause Steam to get confused when downloading files. Thankfully, Steam has implemented a feature that lets you repair your Steam libraries.

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. In the client, click the Steam menu on the top left and then select Settings. This will open the Settings window.
  3. In the Settings window, navigate to the Downloads tab.
  4. Under Content Libraries, click Steam Library Folders. You can now see a list of your libraries and their details.
  5. Right-click on your library and select Repair Library Folder. A new window will open and the repair process will begin. This might take some time, depending on your library size, but once the window closes the repair is complete.
  6. Check if you have resolved your issue.

6. Verify Integrity of Game Files

Games comprise lots of files and if even a single file gets corrupted, it can lead to problems. Game file corruptions rarely lead to Steam saying it doesn't have enough disk space, but there's a still chance that it can cause this problem. Verifying the integrity of your game files is easy, and definitely worth a shot.

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Right-click the game you want to verify.
  3. From the menu, select Properties.
  4. In the Properties window, navigate to the Local Files tab.
  5. Click on Verify integrity of game files.
  6. Steam will now verify the game files. This will take a while, especially if your game is large or if your hard disk is slow.

7. Clear Up Space

If none of the solutions above worked for you, the solution to the NOT ENOUGH FREE DISK SPACE error could simply be to free up space. This is because many Steam users learn the hard way that most Steam games require free space equal to the original game's size to update.

This means that if you have a 2GB update for a 70GB game, Steam will need 70GB of free space and anything below that will return an error saying that there isn't enough free disk space. Games like Rocket League, Apex Legends, Path of Exile, and many others receive their updates in this manner.

Steam allocates the entire game's size on the disk for even the smallest updates because it creates a temporary copy of the original game files in the downloading folder, applies the updates, and then deletes the temporary files. This method has received many complaints from users and gamers, but to this day, there is no remedy for it.

Get Back to Downloading Steam Games

Download errors can be a real bummer, especially when you're all excited to play the game as soon as possible. With these solutions, you're likely to fix the not enough free disk space error in Steam. Now that you know how to start your downloads, downloading them faster is another thing you should learn.


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