Fix: Steam Workshop Not Downloading Mods

Is the Steam Workshop not downloading mods for some reason? Luckily, the fix is pretty straightforward. Here all the possible solutions for this issue!

Steam is considered the world’s best digital gaming distribution platform for many reasons, one of which is the ease of access it provides to users when it comes to downloading mods for thousands of different games.

Users can accomplish this through the Workshop section, which is easily accessible via the client and the web version of Steam.

However, sometimes the Steam Workshop malfunctions, and users are unable to download mods, which can be frustrating for both mod creators and the players who use them.

Luckily, this problem isn’t permanent, and there are several solutions for it, which we will show you in this guide.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Table of ContentsShow

The Problem Explained

Based on our research and previous experience with the Steam Workshop failing to download mods, we concluded that this problem can manifest in a few different ways. This makes it even more confusing to deal with, especially for less experienced users.

When you encounter this problem, you might notice one or more of the following things:

  • You click download but the mod doesn’t even start downloading.
  • The mod begins downloading when you initiate it but stops at a random percentage afterward and eventually fails.
  • The mod appears as successfully downloaded and is visible in the launcher, but the actual mod file folder will be empty.
  • The mod downloads blank files which are unusable.

Different users have reported different experiences with this strange Steam Workshop problem. Don’t worry, there are quite a few confirmed working solutions available.

Take a look at the list below.

Fix 1: Opt Out Of Steam Beta

Although it isn’t entirely clear why this method works, it’s one of the easiest and least time-consuming fixes on this list, which is why we suggest trying it first.

Multiple users confirmed that opting out of the Steam beta helped them regain their ability to download game mods from the Steam Workshop, which is why we will show you how to do it.

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC and sign in to your account.
  2. Once the client loads, click Steam in the top-left corner and then choose Settings.
  3. In the settings panel, choose Account from the left-side menu, then click Change on the right side, which should be under the Beta participation section.
    changing Beta Participation option under Steam Settings
  4. Change the setting to None – Opt out of all beta programs.
    setting Beta Participation to None under Steam Settings

Restart the Steam client. Once it fully loads again, re-subscribe to all mods you were previously unable to download.

This should fix the problem. If it doesn’t, there are more approaches you can try.  

Fix 2: Clear The Download Cache

As you are probably already aware, having a pileup of corrupt cache data can hinder any future download, which can happen outside of Steam as well.

That’s why we recommend clearing your download cache in an attempt to solve the problem with Steam Workshop not downloading mods.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC and sign in to your account.
  2. Click Steam in the top-left corner and then click Settings.
  3. In the settings panel, choose Downloads from the left-bar menu. Here, you will see a button that clears your download cache with just one click. See the image below.
    Steam Clear Download Cache
  4. Confirm the action in the final window that appears on your screen once you click the clear download cache button. Steam will then restart.
  5. Log into Steam and try downloading one of the mods that you previously couldn’t.

This method helped many users solve the problem, and it should also work for you. It’s safe to do, and even Steam suggests that it might resolve issues downloading or starting apps. 

Fix 3: Delete Corrupted Mod Files

Dealing with this particular Steam problem is a lot easier if you find that you only experience problems when downloading mods for a specific title.

For example, if you can’t download any mods for SCP Containment Breach, but downloading mods for other games works fine, it probably means one or more mods in your SCP Containment Breach folder are corrupted.

To solve the problem, you simply need to pinpoint and remove the corrupt files.

However, this is not as easy as it sounds, because you can’t know which files are corrupt unless the problem occurred immediately after you downloaded a mod and you remember which one it was.

In that case, delete that specific file. Otherwise, delete all mods and re-download them one by one.

After deleting the mods, perform an “integrity of game files” scan on the game in question.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Close your Steam client. Make sure it is no longer running and isn’t simply minimized from your screen.
  2. Open Windows File Explorer and click the View button. Then, enable viewing hidden items, as the image below suggests.
    enabling viewing hidden items in Windows
  3. Now that you can view hidden folders, open the location where Steam is installed and find the game. The default location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\*Game Name*\!Workshop
    Note: You should replace the *Game Name* placeholder with the name of the game for which you are having trouble downloading mods.
  4. Once you’re in the game’s folder, double-click on each of the mod files one by one. If you see that one of them causes a “Location is not available” error, it means it’s corrupt, and you need to delete it.
  5. Repeat this step until only healthy mod files remain in the folder.
    When you’re done deleting corrupt mod files, move on to verifying the integrity of game files.
  6. Open the Steam client and sign in to your account. You will need to do this as you previously closed the client to delete the corrupt mod files.
  7. Open your Steam Library and right-click the game in question, then choose Properties.
  8. Click on Local Files in the left-bar menu, and select Verify integrity of game files.
    Verifying integrity of game files on Steam

Wait a few moments until the process completes, then try to download mods for the game you just verified. The problem should now be solved.

Fix 4: Enter Big Picture Mode On Steam To View The Download Progress

In some situations, this bug is only a display issue. To fix it, users found an efficient solution that involves starting Steam in Big Picture Mode.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC and sign in to your account.
  2. Once the client loads, click on the “maximize” icon in the top-right corner.
    Steam maximize icon

Now that you’re in Big Picture Mode, open your Steam downloads panel and see if the mods are downloading.

A lot of users reported that their mods were indeed downloading but they were unable to see the progress bar until entering Big Picture Mode, which makes this a purely visual bug in some cases.

Fix 5: Change Your Steam Download Region

Last but not least, when downloads are not starting at all, a common solution is to change your Steam downloads region.

This is easy to do and doesn’t take much time, so follow the steps below to get it done.

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC and sign in to your account.
  2. In the top-left corner, click Steam and then choose Settings.
    How To Find My Steam ID
  3. Once the panel opens, select Downloads on the left side.
  4. Change your download region to a different one near your location and resume the download. See the image below for more information.
    Modifying Download Region Settings On Steam

Steam automatically chooses the nearest download server location for optimal speeds. However, switching can sometimes improve your ability to download data and solves problems such as the one described above.

You can always switch back to your original download location later, as this isn’t permanent or restricted.

Conclusion

You now know how to solve the “Steam Workshop Not Downloading Mods” problem, which can be a frustrating issue if you are heavily into modding your games.

Note that, in rare cases, this issue can be caused by Steam’s download servers, in which case the best thing to do is simply wait until things return to normal.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
LinkedIn

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.