Are you trying to reinstall Spotify on your computer and see the ‘error code 18’? Have you tried restarting the computer and still see the same error? This article will help you find the answers to this particular issue.

Spotify is a popular music streaming platform and has millions of digital songs, videos and podcasts in its library. Spotify has a desktop application as well as mobile applications to allow users to enjoy listening to free music on their computers and phones.

However, a few things can go wrong when you reinstall the Spotify desktop application. The error 18 code is one of them. Let’s find out what error code 18 is and how you can troubleshoot it by following quick and easy steps.

What Does Error Code 18 Mean?

A lot of users reported that they see an error code 18 while trying to reinstall the Spotify application. This error generally pops up on the desktop version rather than the Spotify mobile version. (Interlink here with the page” Spotify won’t play certain songs iPhone” when published).

Error 18 pops up with the following message.

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

When that error message shows up, Spotify somehow detects that the installation files are already written to your computer or already in use by another program.

Sometimes when you uninstall Spotify, some of its entries are left behind in the system’s registry and are used by other processes on Windows. That’s why the Spotify reinstall might fail and shows the error code 18.

How Do I Fix Error 18 On Spotify?

To fix the error code 18 while reinstalling Spotify, you can do the following fixes and see which one works for you.

End Background Spotify Processes

Before reinstalling the Spotify application, launch the Task Manager on your Windows computer and check for any processes that are running under the Spotify name.

  • Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to launch the Task Manager in Windows
  • Click on the Processes tab and scroll down the list to check for any running Spotify processes
  • If you find a Spotify process, click on the End Process button and try to reinstall the Spotify application again

Check Computer’s App Data Directory

After uninstalling the Spotify application from the control panel, you may need to remove the Spotify folder in the App data folder to do a complete uninstall. To do this:

  • Press the Window logo and R buttons on your keyboard
  • Type in “%AppData%” on the Run command and press Enter
  • If you see a Spotify folder, delete it and restart your computer
  • Now run the Spotify setup wizard and see if that fixes the error 18

Delete Every Spotify Entry

The next fix is to search and delete every Spotify entry on your computer and then reinstall the Spotify application.

  • Click on the Windows icon on the left bottom side of your computer screen
  • Type in Spotify in the search box and hit Enter
  • Delete every Spotify entry that Windows found on the computer
  • Restart the computer and reinstall the Spotify application

Uninstall Programs That Are Interfering With Spotify Reinstallation

Sometimes, a few desktop programs and online programs cause a conflict with the Spotify installer and generate error code 18. Online gaming platforms such as Steam and programs like Comodo and iTunes are particularly known to cause this error.

Therefore, to install Spotify on your computer, you need to uninstall these programs and exit the Steam online gaming platform. To do this:

  • Open the Steam gaming platform and click on Steam
  • Choose Exit from the drop-down menu items and wait a few seconds to let the Steam close completely
  • Now go to the Start Menu and click on the Control Panel
  • Go to the Programs –> Uninstall a Program
  • Scroll down and see if you have Comodo, iTunes, or any other program, that you think can interfere with Spotify, installed on your computer
  • Uninstall these programs one by one and restart your computer
  • Run the Spotify installer and verify that the error code 18 issue is solved

Use Safe Mode

Quite often, booting in and out of your Windows using the Safe mode can help fix many Spotify application errors.

To do this, type in “msconfig” on the Run command and click the Boot tab. Now check the Safe mode box and restart your computer.

The system will not boot in safe mode. Also, you can use the safe mode to uninstall the App Data Spotify entries or delete the Spotify entries in another computer location if you can not do it in normal mode.

Next, restart your computer in normal mode and reinstall the Spotify application without having to deal with the error code 18.


Hopefully, this guide helped you avoid the Spotify error code 18 on your computer when you reinstalled the music application. We recommend that you start with the safe boot option to delete and end all the previous Spotify installation files and processes and then launch the Spotify installer in the normal mode. Good Luck!