Steam Stuck Preallocating? 7 Proven Methods to Fix it!

Steam is an ultimate destination for playing games, managing your library, and creating new games. It’s one of the best creations of Valve that has changed the way of enjoying games on PC and Mac. However, there are times when Steam stops working properly, which can be the most annoying situation for a gamer. Luckily, it’s possible to fix most of these errors without wasting much time. Also, you’ll be glad to know that the Steam stuck preallocating error is one of them that can be fixed easily.

But before moving on to the fixes, you should know something about the error.

What is Steam Stuck on Preallocating Error?

The Steam stuck on preallocating error refers to the situation when the Steam client keeps stuck with the message that says, “Steam is allocating disk space for the game.” Generally, the message will be displayed for a short time before moving to the next screen. However, if the screen does not move forward, then you will not be able to play the game and then it becomes an issue.


Why Does the Steam Stuck Preallocating Error Occur?

Here is a list of reasons behind the Steam stuck on preallocating error:

Download Cache Storage Full

One of the important aspects of the Steam client is undoubtedly the download cache storage. If the download cache storage gets full, the Steam stuck on preallocating error can occur and the preallocation message will get stuck on your device’s screen. 


If the Antivirus program on your PC blacklists the Steam client or thinks it is a problematic program, then Steam cannot perform its normal operations like disk preallocation. 


Just like the antivirus program, Windows Firewall can also block Steam which can cause the Steam stuck preallocating error.


In order to get maximum performance on their favorite games, gamers often overclock. However, overclocking can also cause Steam stuck on preallocating error. In such cases, it is good to restore the factory settings on your PC and check if the problem gets solved. 

Issues with Download Servers

You should know that the download servers of Steam vary by different region. In case the server in your location is not working or going through maintenance, then you face problems like slow download speed on Steam and even can experience the Steam stuck on preallocating error.

How Do you Fix the Steam Stuck on Preallocating Error?

As there is no fixed reason behind the Steam stuck on preallocating error, you need to try different methods to fix the issue. The followings are the tried and tested methods that have worked for many Steam users.

Method 1: Basic Troubleshooting Tips

Before trying any specific solutions for the Steam client, it’s better to try some basic troubleshooting tips.

Check the internet connection: You must check that you have a stable internet connection and your PC is connected to it. If there are any issues with your server or modem, then you’ll likely experience the Steam stuck on preallocating error. Hence, when you see this error message, check your internet connection and try to boost your internet connection speed.

Check PC configuration: You need to check whether or not your PC meets the minimum game requirements. Sometimes, old PCs don’t have sufficient resources to download and run a new game. That’s why check and upgrade your system configuration before installing a game to avoid Steam stuck on preallocating error.

Run Steam as admin: If you’re accessing Steam as a normal user, then the error can occur. To avoid this issue, run Steam as an administrator. All you need is to right click on the Steam icon> click Properties> Compatibility> Run this program as an administrator.

Restart your PC: If you’re facing Steam stuck on preallocating error for the first time, restart the PC. Restarting the PC will solve the error if it happens because of temporary files and mismatches. If you experience the problem even after restarting your PC, move to the specific methods.

Method 2: Clear Existing Download Cache

Clearing the download cache has been found to be effective in fixing the Steam stuck on preallocating error. You should know that this will remove all cache files that Steam has previously downloaded. Once you clear the existing download cache, you can make room on your device’s hard disk for the installation of the new game. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open the Steam client on your PC and click the Steam option located at the top right site.
  • Now from the menu, click on Settings.
  • Select Downloads from the left-side menu.
  • Now, from the Downloads tab, click on the Clear Download Cache button.
  • Confirm the action if needed.
  • The content stored in the download cache will be removed.
  • Restart your PC once the process is completed and check if it fixes the issue.

Method 3: Use Different Download Servers

In case the server in your region does not work, then it’s time to use other download servers to check whether it works. For that,

  • Follow the previous steps to go to the Download tab from the Settings option.
  • Search for the Download Region option on the right side.
  • Select another region from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on OK to save the changes. 
  • Check whether you can download and install the game on Steam.

Method 4: Disable Overclocking

Your PC might consume more resources than necessary if you have overclocked it to enhance your gaming experience. Steam stuck on preallocating error can go away if you disable overclocking. 

The process of disabling overclocking depends on one software to another. You only need to reverse the process you have followed while enabling overclocking your PC to disable it. Based on your computer and motherboard, you can manage your PC’s speed with a simple tool. You can use that tool in order to have the maximum gaming experience.

Method 5: Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall

The Windows Firewall can be another reason for Steam stuck on preallocation error. In that case, turning off the firewall temporarily can solve your problem. 

You can turn off the Windows firewall with the help of the following steps:

  • Open Control Panel on your PC.
  • Find and select Windows Defender Firewall.
  • From the left sidebar menu, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall On or Off.
  • You will get a pop-up on your screen; click on Yes.
  • On the next screen, turn off the firewall.

Make sure to turn on the firewall again once you are done installing the game on Steam. Keep in mind that permanently disabling the windows defender firewall is never a good option.

Method 6: Upgrade to An SSD-based PC

Now it is clear to you that Steam stuck on preallocating occurs when your PC runs out of enough resources to run the game. In that case, you can replace old hardware with newer and more powerful ones. For example, you can replace your HDD with SDD. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are costly, but they offer superior transfer speeds and a more enjoyable gaming experience. 

Method 7: Reinstall Steam

If none of the above methods work for you, then you can try reinstalling Steam on your PC again. Remove the Steam client from the apps and download the file from the official Steam website. Make sure to choose fresh installation every time you get prompted. As your information will be stored in the cloud, you will have no problem getting access to your Steam account.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when Steam is preallocating?

Preallocating on Steam implies that the Steam client is determining how much space and other digital resources the game you have downloaded will require. Before allocation, there are other steps get followed as well to check If your PC is compatible to install and run the game.

How do I speed up steam preallocation?

First of all, you need to ensure that the Steam client is not blocked by your PC’s firewall or antivirus programs. On the other hand, you need to have high-speed hardware to experience lightening fast disk allocation.

Final Words

The reason behind Steam’s stuck preallocating error can be a little tricky to identify. However, if you follow the methods mentioned in this article, you can fix the issue by yourself.