The library folder is not writable on Steam: Fix it now

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
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  • Some Steam users reported that the library folder is not writable and most of the time, this happens after manually changing the library location.
  • The first thing to do is check if the SteamApp folder has some specific options turned on.
  • Steam Download Cache might be a reason why the library folder is not writable on Steam, so you might need to clear it.
  • To solve this issue, you'll probably need to change the Steam library folder.
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By default, Steam stores all games and the data in a common directory where the installation is available, and this can change only if you’re choosing a specific location when installing the software.

The default installation location will be in the C partition, in the Program Files folder, while the bulk of data will be stored in the Steam folder.

However, the user can change the library location for Steam games manually. This sometimes can create issues with the Steam app resulting in the library folder being not writable.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of useful solutions to fix this annoying problem.

Before discovering them, it’s important to check some other popular causes that can lead to this situation.

Why is my library folder not writable on Steam?

  • The SteamApp folder doesn’t have the necessary permissions – In this case, you should check if the folder has the Read-Only permission activated.
  • Random glitched related to the folder you need – Considering this, you should perform a reparation process or change the library folder.
  • Steam cache is blocking the folder – If this is the reason why your library folder is not writable, you’ll probably need to clean the download cache.
  • Temporary bugs in the game – These might determine the need of reinstalling the Steam app. However, you should consider this as a last solution to try.

What can I do if the library folder is not writable on Steam?

1. Check if SteamApp folder has Read Only Permission

  1. Use the following keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer: Windows + E.
  2. In the search bar, type This PC, then hit the Enter key.
  3. Navigate to Local Disk (C:).
  4. Now, go to the Program files (x86).
  5. Double-click on the Steam folder.
  6. Right-click on the steamapp folder and select Properties.
  7. In the General tab, under the Attributes section, uncheck the Read-only box.
  8. Click Apply and click OK to save the changes.

The error may occur if the Steamapps folder does not have the necessary permission to write into the folder and if the folder permission is set to write only. Here is how to fix it.

2. Repair Library Folder Using Steam

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Steam, then open the first result.
  2. From the top-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Now, click on the Downloads tab.
  5. In the right pane click on Steam Library Folder.
  6. It will show all the Steam Library Folder. Right-click on the folder that is giving the error and select Repair Library Folder.
  7. Steam will run the troubleshooter and fix any problem with the folder.

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Your Steam app comes with a built-in library folder repair option that can be used to repair the game folder that is causing the error. Here is how to do it.

3. Clean Download Cache

  1. Hit the Windows key, search for Steam, then open the desktop client.
  2. From the top-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Now, navigate to Settings.
  4. From the left window pane, click on the Download tab.
  5. In the right pane click on the Clear Download Cache button at the bottom of the page.

The download cache in steam helps with a faster connection. However, the bad cache can create problems with game start and download. Try clearing the download cache and see if that resolves the error.

4. Change Steam Library Folder

  1. Press on the Windows key, type Steam, and click on the first resul.
  2. From the top-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Navigate to Settings.
  4. Go to the Downloads tab, then click on Steam Library Folders.
  5. Click on Add Library Folder.
  6. Here you can either select an existing folder or create a new folder.
  7. Select the folder and close the settings window. Just make sure the select folder has enough free storage space to install the games.
  8. Now try to download the game again and check for any improvement.

If you haven’t changed the default Steam library folder yet, it might be just the time to do so. Some users have reported that changing the Steam library folder from default to custom has fixed the issue. Here is how to do it.

5. Reinstall the Game

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Steam, then open the app.
  2. From the main menu, click on Library.
  3. Right-click on the problematic game, then choose to Uninstall it.
  4. When asked to confirm click on Delete to uninstall the game completely.
  5. Launch Steam again.
  6. Click on Store.
  7. Search for the game in the Steam store.
  8. Download and install the game to see if uninstalling the game fixed the error

If the error is occurring while trying to play the game or during the update, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the game to fix the issue.

Uninstalling the game will not delete your game data as it is synced with your Steam account, but you will have to download the game files from scratch.

What other library errors can I face on Steam?

  • Steam failed to add new library – This error can be problematic and it can prevent you from playing your favorite games. Fortunately, we have the perfect solutions you can try to fix it.
  • Failed to load library steam.hdll in Dead Cells – This is also a pretty popular error, but can be easily solved by following our recommended steps.
  • Steam game doesn’t show up in the library – No matter what the exact circumstances are in your case, not being able to find your game in the Steam Library is an extremely-infuriating situation for all users. So, if you face it, it is important to have some options that will help you fix it.

These were the best solutions you can try to make your library folder writable on Steam. In case you face additional related questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.

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