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(FIXED) Spotify Error Code 18 on Windows 10 – How to Fix the Spotify Install

Spotify is available for Windows 10 as a desktop app and as a UWP app in the Microsoft Store. The UWP version of the app works as well as the desktop version but many users still favor the desktop version.

Spotify Error Code 18

The desktop version of Spotify is still actively maintained so there is little reason for anyone to switch to the UWP app. That said, when Spotify runs into problems, reinstalling it is often the best solution. Reinstalling Spotify is easy but you may run into Spotify error code 18 during installation.

ALSO READ: Trouble opening Spotify? Try these fixes.

Spotify error code 18

Spotify error code 18 appears when you try to install Spotify. This may be after uninstalling the app or when you’re installing it for the first time. This normally happens when the app is unable to write to files because they are in use. Here’s how to fix it.

1. Restart the system

If you’ve recently uninstalled Spotify, or you’ve installed/uninstalled other apps, restart your system. Windows 10 normally does not need to restart after installing or uninstalling an app but there are always exceptions. Restart the system and then try installing Spotify.

2. Delete Spotify directory

If you’re reinstalling Spotify, manually delete all its directories first.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste this in the location bar: %AppData%.
  3. Look for a folder named Spotify and delete it.
  4. Go to This PC.
  5. In the search bar enter Spotify and tap Enter.
  6. Delete all the results i.e. all files and folders.
  7. Restart the system.
  8. Install Spotify.

3. Quit Spotify-related apps

There are quite a few unofficial Spotify clients and helper apps that users run on their system. These apps allow users to control Spotify in a way that is unsupported by the native apps. If you’ve installed any such app(s);

  1. Quit all Spotify-related apps
  2. Restart the system and make sure none of these apps run at startup.
  3. Install Spotify.

Note: Some users have been able to install Spotify after uninstalling iTunes. Also make sure Steam isn’t running when you try to install Spotify.

4. Install in Safe Mode (networking enabled)

If you’re still unable to install Spotify, try installing it in Safe Mode.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click the Power button.
  3. Hold down the shift key and click Restart.
  4. You will boot to the Troubleshoot menu.
  5. Go to Advanced Options>Startup Settings>Restart.
  6. From the list of options, select the one for Safe Mode with networking.
  7. Install Spotify.

5. Use the Microsoft Store version

If all else fails, you can install Spotify from the Microsoft Store. This version does not show Spotify error code 18 because it does not create a directory in the AppData folder. It’s a UWP app and they work differently.

  1. Visit this link in your browser.
  2. Click Get.
  3. Open the Microsoft Store app when prompted to.
  4. Click Get and then Install.
  5. Spotify will be installed on your system.


Spotify Error 18 is a common error for users who use the desktop app. If all else fails, the UWP app is always a safe alternative. If you’re determined to use the desktop app, and the above steps aren’t helping, check the other apps that are installed on your system, especially media apps or games. They’re known to interfere with Spotify’s installation but there is no exhaustive list of them that’s available.

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