11 Best Fixes For Spotify Error Code 18 On Windows

Spotify is undoubtedly one of the leading music streaming apps worldwide. You can download it on your Windows or Mac computer and also on your smartphone. Besides having a massive music collection, Spotify also offers an unmatched sound quality experience to its users.

However, lately, users have been reporting several instances where they are getting the Spotify error code 18 when they try installing the Spotify app on their computers.

Turns out, much like all other music streaming apps, Spotify too comes with a couple of issues. The Spotify error message 18 reads something like this:

“The installer is unable to install Spotify because the files to write are in use by another process. Please make sure Spotify is not running and retry.”

spotify error code 18

In this article, we’ll dig deep into the causes behind the Spotify error code 18 and discuss the best ways to fix the error. The Spotify error code 18 is easy to fix and after going through the solutions below, you’ll get rid of the error in no time. So, keep reading!

What Causes Spotify Error Code 18?

The Spotify error code 18 comes up when your Windows Installer discovers that the Spotify files that were to be written on your system are already present. This occurs when there are some residual files left from another Spotify instance previously downloaded on your PC.

These leftover files will intervene with the new Spotify files you are trying to download. This, in turn, leads to the process failing.

This error is also caused when the files that are required by your Spotify installer are being used by some other running process. Other than that, if an app or a service on your computer is intervening with the Spotify installer, that too could give rise to the Spotify error code 18.

Numerous users have complained in the past that applications such as Comodo or iTunes have been causing trouble with the Spotify installation.

How To Fix Spotify Error Code 18?

The Spotify error message states that the Spotify installer cannot install the Spotify app due to some interfering background process. Hence, the error message gives us the possible reasons behind the error. As a result, fixing the Spotify error code 18 becomes easier.

Given below are some of the most efficient methods that users have tried and tested to fix the Spotify error code 18. You can try these out one by one until your problem is solved.

  1. Via Task Manager
  2. Delete Certain Registry Files
  3. System Cleanup
  4. Close Steam And Reinstall
  5. Restart Your Computer
  6. Uninstall Certain Programs
  7. Boot In And Out Of Safe Mode
  8. Completely Uninstall Spotify
  9. Install Spotify With All Services Turned Off
  10. Reinstall Spotify Through The Microsoft Store
  11. Delete AppData Files
  12. Change Your DNS Server

Method #1. Via Task Manager

You can fix the Spotify error code 18 easily with the help of Windows Task Manager. This will help you get rid of the error quickly. You might already know that the Windows Task Manager shows you all the running processes on the system. So, you can check via the Task Manager if any process linked to Spotify is still running. Given below is a step-by-step guide of how to do it:

  1. Open the Task Manager on your system. This can be done by going to the Windows menu and typing Task Manager to search for it.
open task manager and look for spotify
  • Check out the Process tab in the Task Manager and find if any process linked to Spotify is still running or not. If you find any such process, right-click on the process and click on End Task
right click on spotify process and click on end task
  • Close the Task Manager window and open the Spotify Installer and check if the error is gone or not.

In case the Spotify error code 18 occurred due to any background running Spotify process, you will certainly get rid of the error. Otherwise, you need to proceed to the next methods.

Method #2. Delete Certain Registry Files

As already mentioned, certain residual files may remain on your computer even after you have uninstalled the app. Perhaps, the uninstalled app, in this case, Spotify has added certain keys to the Windows Registry and that might be the cause behind the Spotify error code 18.

In this situation, you can try installing a registry repair tool such as CCleaner to effectively scan and fix certain registry files. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and install the CCleaner app on your computer.
  2. Next, click on Registry to open the registry scanner.
  3. Then, click on ‘Scan for issues,’ and the CCleaner will begin scanning the registry files.
  4. Next, you will be shown all the issues with the Registry files. Click ‘Fix selected issues’ to get rid of the problem.
  5. Close the CCleaner app and restart your computer.

Then, install Spotify again and you shouldn’t be getting the error code 18 now. If the error persists, move on to the next methods.

Method #3. System Cleanup

System Cleanup is a very useful tool that comes with the Windows 10 OS. This feature allows you to remove all the residual files left by the uninstalled programs or apps. Follow the steps given below to know how to use the System Cleanup feature:

  • Navigate to Windows Settings and select the System option
  • Under the System menu, select the Storage option. From the Storage section, select the ‘free-up space’ and open the scanner.
  • Wait for a few seconds until the app finishes scanning your computer for all the temporary files. Once that is done, you get options to get rid of all the junk files.

Method #4. Close Steam And Reinstall

It is seen that certain Steam and other such gaming platforms might be able to access apps like Spotify. This is because both Steam and Spotify make use of the same technology to keep hackers and invaders out of the platform.

The Spotify installer may mistake Steam for Spotify and think that Spotify is already present. This could be the reason why you are facing the Spotify error code 18.

Usually, this happens if Steam was running in the background while installing Spotify. In case the Steam app is running on your computer, then, the Spotify installer won’t be able to launch the .exe files. So, check and try closing the Steam app and then, reopen Spotify. Given below are the steps you need to follow:

  • First, go to the notification area to check for the Steam icon and right-click on it. Then, close it using the options.
  • If you can’t find the Steam icon in the notification area, open Task Manager and look for the Steam process.
  • If you do find any process linked to Steam in the Task Manager, close it.

Once the Steam app is closed, run the Spotify installer again. Now, the installation will continue and you shouldn’t get the Spotify error code 18 anymore.

Another way to close Steam and then, reinstall Spotify is as follows:

  • Open the Steam app and then, click on the Steam option located at the top left corner.
open the steam app and click on the steam option
  • Select Exit from the dropdown menu.
  • Wait for the Steam app to close completely and then, open the Spotify Installer to reinstall Spotify.

Method #5. Restart Your Computer

Usually, restarting your system solves most of the temporary issues you face with your computer. In this case, restarting your system will close all processes linked to Spotify that are likely to cause the installation error.

  • Click the Windows icon from the bottom of your screen
  • Click the Power button and click on Restart
  • Once the computer has restarted, run the Spotify installer to check if the error is gone.

Method #6. Uninstall Certain Programs

Sometimes, other music streaming apps like iTunes or Comodo can also cause issues with the installation of Spotify. You can try uninstalling such apps first and then, install Spotify.

  1. Type “add or remove programs” in the Windows search bar.
type add or remove programs in search bar
  • Click on the first search result
  • In the Apps & Features window, look for iTunes or any other app(s) that you think might be interfering with the Spotify installation procedure.
uninstall itunes to get rid of spotify error code 18
  • Click on the app and click on Uninstall option.
uninstalling apps that interfere with spotify installation
  • Once the program has been uninstalled, restart your system.

Method #7. Boot In And Out Of Safe Mode

Some users have claimed that they were able to fix the Spotify error code 18 by booting their system into and then, out of Safe Mode. Follow the steps given below to do so:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys from your keyboard. This opens up the Run utility.
  2. Type in msconfig and then press the Enter key.
  3. Now, the System Configuration panel comes up and then, go to the Boot tab.
  4. From the Boot menu, mark the checkbox next to ‘Safe Boot.’ Click on Apply and then on OK.
  5. Now, restart your system and once your computer has booted into the Safe Mode, repeat steps 1 and 2. However, this time you need to uncheck the Safe Boot option.
  6. Restart your computer again and try installing Spotify now to check if the Spotify error code 18 is gone.

Method #8. Completely Uninstall Spotify.

You can also try uninstalling Spotify from your PC and then installing it to try and fix the error. Also, make sure that you properly uninstall the app otherwise, some residual files may remain and it pertains to your system as if Spotify is still there.

Note: Don’t just press the ‘Delete’ key to delete Spotify from your system. This won’t get rid of all the residual files.

You can make sure that all processes linked to Spotify have been removed by using the Task Manager. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu.
  2. Type in ‘Add or remove programs’ in the search bar. Select the first search result.
  3. A window will pop up that shows all the programs installed on your computer. Use the search bar to search for ‘Spotify’ to check if your computer thinks Spotify is still installed.
  4. If you find an entry for Spotify, click on it and select Uninstall.
  5. Follow the prompts that come after clicking on uninstall to finish uninstalling Spotify from your system.
  6. Once Spotify is completely removed from your system, reinstall it again from the Spotify official installer. Also, it’s recommended that you install this app in admin mode.

Method #9. Install Spotify With All Services Turned Off

Another reason why you get this error is if some running programs are intervening with the Spotify installation. In this solution, you can choose to switch off all the services to prevent hindrances.

Then, you need to boot your system with the services turned off. Thereafter, you can turn the services on again which will refresh all permissions. This will get rid of any corrupt or compromised service.

Follow the steps given below to restart the services and then install Spotify:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys and the Run utility will open up.
  2. Next, search for ‘msconfig’ and press the Enter key.
  3. Go to the Services tab. Click on Disable all from the bottom-right side of the screen.
  4. Click on OK to save the changes.
  5. Restart your system to apply the changes made.
  6. Once your computer has rebooted, repeat Steps 1 and 3 but this time, click on Enable all.
  7. Restart your system again and reboot the services back on.
  8. Once done with the above steps, install Spotify and check if the error code 18 is gone.

Method #10. Reinstall Spotify Through The Microsoft Store

It’s always recommended to install Spotify from its official installer site. But, as a change, you can also try installing Spotify from the Microsoft store. Some users have reported that this workaround has helped them get rid of the Spotify error code 18.

Note: Ensure that the preinstalled Spotify app on your system has been uninstalled. Having two Spotify installations, i.e. the one from the official installer and the other from the Microsoft store, will cause further problems.

Follow the steps given below to reinstall Spotify from Microsoft Store:

  1. Open the Windows Start menu by pressing the Windows key.
  2. Type in Microsoft Store in the search bar and open the app once it shows up in the search result.
  3. In the Microsoft Store, type in ‘Spotify’ in the Search space (located at the top-right corner of your screen).
  4. Then, scroll down until you find the ‘Get’ option to begin with the installation of the app.
  5. Once the Spotify app is installed through the Microsoft Store, open it and check if the error is gone.

Method #11. Delete AppData Files

Sometimes, even after uninstalling a program, residual files can be left behind. So, you can manually go to the folders where Spotify usually gets installed and delete all Spotify-related files.

Residual files can make your computer assume that the app is still there. So, you must clear out those residual files even if you have already uninstalled Spotify from the Apps & Features utility.

Follow the steps given below to get rid of all the Spotify residual files:

  • First, open the Run utility by pressing the Windows + R keys.
  • Type in %appdata% in the given field and press the Enter key.
open run utility and type appdata
  • A data directory window containing several folders will open up. Here, you need to look for the Spotify folder.
  • If you find any folder linked to Spotify, delete it by selecting it and pressing the Delete key from the keyboard. Else, right-click on Spotify and click on Delete.
right click on spotify and delete it
  • Restart the system and try reinstalling Spotify.

Method #12. Change Your DNS Server

DNS Servers convert the domain names and URLs into their IP addresses and vice versa. While DNS servers are very useful, they can also be the reason behind the Spotify error code 18. In that case, you can try to connect to a different DNS to solve the issue. We recommend switching to the server or any other server that you prefer.

Once the DNS settings have been modified, attempt to install Spotify again and check if the error code 18 is gone or not.


That’s all from our side on Spotify error code 18. Keep in mind that this is not a serious issue and can easily be fixed. In some cases, it gets fixed by simply restarting your computer.

But, if in your case, that doesn’t help, you can try out all the fixes mentioned above. Hopefully, following the instructions properly will help you get rid of the Spotify error code 18.


Why won’t Spotify install on my computer?

You can have problems installing Spotify on your desktop due to various reasons such as residual files from a previous installation of Spotify. Other reasons include apps like Steam or iTunes interfering with the installation procedure.

How do I fix the Spotify error on PS4?

Sign out of your PS Network account and then, login from a computer or another device. Then, unlink your Spotify account from the PS4 account. Next, log in to your PS4 and open the Spotify app. Log into Spotify using a new account.

How do I fix error 18 on Spotify?

If there are any processes linked to Spotify that are running in the background, close them. Try cleaning the residual files of Spotify, closing Steam, or restarting the system to fix the Spotify error code 18.

Why is Spotify not letting me download?

Perhaps, your Spotify downloads have been removed due to not logging into your Spotify account in the past 30 days. Other reasons include downloading music on more than 3 devices, reinstalling the Spotify app, not updating the app, etc.