How to Solve Steam Disk Usage Slow

In this post, you can learn why Steam disk usage slow occur and how to increase disk usage on Steam to improve your Steam experience in 7 ways.


By Lucas / Updated on March 22, 2024

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Scenario: Steam disk usage slow on Samsung SSD

"When downloading games from Steam, my Samsung SSD exhibits unusual behavior. At times, the disk usage gradually decreases to a few bytes per second before slowly recovering. This decline in disk usage adversely impacts download speeds. I am seeking guidance on troubleshooting steps."

Steam disk usage denotes the rate at which data is written to the computer's storage device, be it an HDD or SSD, during game downloads. Slow disk usage can occur when transferring large files or updating games, leading to suboptimal performance.

If you notice sluggish disk usage, it suggests a reduction in Steam's writing speed. The underlying cause may stem from network issues or storage device limitations. Fortunately, employing effective troubleshooting tools can address this slowdown in Steam disk usage.

Why is my Steam disk usage slow?

Many users are wondering “why is my disk usage so low on Steam?” Well, in most cases, network speed is the first factor that causes Steam disk usage drops to 0. Slow download speeds from the internet can significantly impact Steam disk usage. If your internet connection is slow, it will take longer for data to be downloaded to your hard disk, thus affecting the overall speed of the process.

However, some disk problems might lead to Steam low disk usage.

1. Storage Space: Running low on available disk space can hinder Steam's ability to write data efficiently. Ensure that you have sufficient free space on your hard disk to accommodate the games you're downloading or updating.

2. Steam Settings: Incorrectly configured Steam settings, such as limiting download speeds or using a congested server, can contribute to slower disk usage.

3. Disk Health: A failing or deteriorating hard disk can lead to slower disk usage. If your hard disk is experiencing mechanical issues or has bad sectors, it may struggle to write data efficiently, causing delays in Steam downloads and installations.

4. Disk Fragmentation: Although now , more and more users will chose an SSD as the game disk or the system disk. But some HDD users may not notice that over time, files on your HDD can become fragmented, meaning they are stored in non-contiguous sectors. This can slow down disk access speeds, including when Steam is writing data to the disk.

Addressing these factors can help diagnose and potentially resolve issues with slower Steam disk usage. Then, how to increase disk usage on Steam to fix problem? Let’s move to the solutions.

How to fix Steam disk usage slow

If you confront any issues during downloading a game, consider pausing the download, ensuring a stable internet connection, and then resuming. If this solution does not work, rest assured as we have compiled proven strategies based on successful user experiences on the forum to tackle slow disk usage and Steam disk write speed errors. We encourage you to share this tutorial if you find it helpful..

Method 1. Increase more free space on Steam disk

A common cause of the Steam disk usage low error is insufficient hard drive space. You can improve Steam download speed and reduce loading time by clearing unnecessary files.

For this solution, we prepare 3 ways:


1. If you have enough space on other partitions, you can expand your Steam drive without deleting files by directly share available space from on partition to another
2. Move your Steam to another drive that has larger storage space.
3. If your hard disk space is not enough now, then the best choice is to change a new disk with larger space.

Although these 3 ways sound easy to perform, each will be very troublesome if you think about all the steps you need to do and all the risks you’ll face. Therefore, if there is a tool that can meet all 3 requirements, it will be easier for you to solve steam disk usage slow.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a multifunctional disk manager, provides a comprehensive approach to fix Steam disk low disk space issues, including:

▶ Extend partition: Extend the drive's free space and make it have enough space to accommodate new game downloads.

▶ App Mover: You can migrate Steam games to another drive to gain new space.

▶ Disk Clone: Help you safely transfer all data and settings on the old disk to new disk without reinstalling OS and data loss.

AOMEI Partition Assistant

The Best Windows Disk Partition Manager and PC Optimizer

Option 1. Extend partition via allocating free space

Step 1. Right-click the partition that has enough unused space and choose “Allocate Free Space”.

Allocate Free Space

Step 2. In the pop-up dialogue, type the size and choose your destination partition.

Allocate From D To C

Step 3. Here you can preview the result. After confirmation, click "Apply" and "Proceed" to execute it.

Apply Allocate Free Space

Option 2. Release more space with App Mover

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Select “App Mover” under the “Free up” tab.


Step 2. Select the partition where the installed game is and click on “Next” to proceed.


Step 3. Tick the game or games you want to move and preset a destination drive. After it’s done, hit “Move”.


Step 4. Hit “OK” when prompted and the moving process will get started.


Step 5. After it’s completed, click on “Finish”.


Option 3. Change to a larger disk via Clone Disk

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Click “Clone Disk” in the right menu.

Clone System Disk

Step 2. Choose a disk cloning method according to your situation and needs. Then click “Next”. Here we select “Clone Disk Quickly”.

Clone System Disk Quickly

Step 3. In this window, choose the system disk as the source disk and click “Next”.

Select Source Disk Clone System Disk Full

Step 4. Choose the destination disk and click “Next”. You can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD”, which will align partitions on SSD to boost its performance.

Select Target Disk Clone System Disk Quick

Step 5. Here, you can adjust the partition size on the destination disk as you require and click “Next”.

Clone System Disk Edit Partition

Step 6. A note about how to boot from the destination disk will pop out. Read it carefully when necessary and click “Finish”.


Step 7. At last, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to start cloning M.2 SSD drive.

Apply Proceed Clone System Disk Quick

  • 1. For desktop users, you can directly open the case to install the new disk. You can also like laptop users to use an external USB to SATA adapter, dock, or enclosure.

  • 2. If it's a new disk, please initialize it for your computer. And if you want to use it as your system disk, make sure you choose the correct boot mode (BIOS legacy and UEFI ).

  • 3. For details about how to boot from the destination disk, you can check Boot from Destination Disk.

Method 2. Boost Steam download speed by prioritizing Steam in Task Manager

By allocating system resources to Steam first, you can potentially increase download and unpacking speeds. Follow this step-by-step guide to set Steam as a high priority in Task Manager:

Step 1. Right-click on the Start button icon and select Task Manager to open it.

Step 2. Identify the Steam.exe program within the Task Manager, right-click on it, and choose "Set Priority" > "High" from the context menu.

Steam priority high

After completing these steps, return to the Steam Client application and observe whether the game download speed has improved. This solution is not only effective for addressing slow Steam disk usage but also for resolving issues related to slow unpacking errors.

Method 3. Modify download server location in Steam

Steam automatically designates the nearest download server based on your location, but the server may be congested or far away, causing slow disk usage. To resolve this, changing the download server can be beneficial.

Step 1. Navigate to Steam > Settings > Downloads.

Step 2. Locate the "Download region" option on the right-hand side and click on the drop-down list.

Step 3. Choose the server closest to your physical location from the list of available options.

Change Steam Server Location

Furthermore, you can enhance the download speed by disabling the limiter located below the Download region. If the download speed is slow, consider turning off the Limit download speed option.

Method 4. Clear Steam download cache

The Steam client generates a secret download cache folder to store temporary and downloaded files. If you downloaded anything within the past few days, try clearing your Steam download cache. Clearing the Steam download cache can address issues with games that won't launch or applications that won't download.

Step 1. Open the Steam client and select the Steam tab in the top left corner.

Step 2. Select Settings > Downloads.

Step 3. Select CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE on the right side.

Clear Steam cache

Method 5. Check Steam disk error

Logical defects in storage devices can also reduce disk performance. If a drive is broken or contains faulty sectors, writing to the volume may be impossible or very sluggish. The problem may be solved with the Chkdsk command. You may also use Omnicom Partition Assistant to examine the health of your hard disk. It has a disk surface testing feature to repair damaged sectors.

Option 1. Surface test

Step 1. At the main interface, click the "Test" menu and select “Disk Surface Test”.

Surface test

Step 2. Click Start to do the surface test. You may want to tick Quick Check to perform a fast test.

Start test

Option 2. Check Partition

Step 1. Open this tool, right-click the partition that you want to check, select Advanced, then select “Check Partition”.

Advanced check partition

Step 2. Select the way of checking errors to perform. As you can see from the following screenshot, there are three choices, simply choose the last one “Check whether there is a bad sector on the partition”. And click OK to go to the next step.

Check ways

Step 3. Click the Start button to check.


Method 6. Reduce Disk Load

Steam downloads can also be hindered when the disk load is excessive. Disable Connected User Experience to decrease disk use.

Step 1. Open command prompt as administrator.

Step2. Enter the following commands in sequence to disable the connection user experience and startup process:

stop-service diagtrack

set-service diagtrack -startuptype disabled

This method can significantly reduce disk usage.

Method 7. Reinstall Steam application

An outdated or damaged Steam client might also result in sluggish disk utilization; please download and reinstall the client.

Stage 1. Uninstall the Steam app. You can uninstall the Steam client via Windows built-in settings.

Stage 2. Reinstall the Steam program

Final Words

If you find Steam disk usage slow, follow the steps in this article to speed up and resolve the issue. AOMEI Partition Assistant provides multifaceted fixes such as extend space, clean junk files, repair bad sectors, improve SSD read/write performance, etc.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.