Fix: Error Writing A Temporary File. Make Sure Your Temp Folder Is Valid

During installing or uninstalling applications on Windows, users may experience premature termination of the installation process with an error popup—NSIS Error, that reads, Error writing a temporary file. Make sure your temp folder is valid. Typically, the error relates to problems encountered by the Windows Installer, which is generally in action while setting up or removing software applications on a Windows computer.

Error Writing A Temporary File, Make Sure Your Temp Folder Is Valid – Brief Overview

Following the error script, it can be easily concluded that the error pertains to the failure of the Windows Installer in its attempt to read or write on the files stored in the Windows Temp folder. The error category, reading NSIS Error, relates to Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, a tool that facilitates the creation of Windows Installers by programmers and developers. Built by Nullsoft and backed by Microsoft, it is an open-source application that can be used for free.

The Temp folder in Windows and the files inside it reduces the load on the system resources by storing data inside these files, thereby freeing up resources to complete other tasks. The data stored in the temporary files can also be referred to by the installer if there is a data loss while the program is in motion.

Hence, the inability of the installer to access the temporary files while the installation or uninstallation process is in motion can lead to the aforesaid error.

Error Writing a Temporary File – Possible Causes

Several reasons can contribute to the temporary file access by the Installer, as penned below:

  • Sufficient permission not granted to the user running the Installation: If the user executing the installation or the uninstallation process doesn’t have sufficient privileges to modify the contents in the temporary folder, the said error may occur.
  • Conflicting Third-Party Applications: At times, third-party applications can also deter the functionality of Windows OS or related components, resulting in a temporary file-writing error.
  • Corrupt Temp Files/Folder: Corrupt temp files inside the said folder can also obstruct the Installer from modifying the contents of the Temp folder. Insufficient space in the system drive can also lead to the failure of the installer to make changes in it.
  • Disruption caused by Virus or Security Software: Possible virus infection in the system or the Windows Defender may restrict the Installer from accessing the necessary files or folders, which can cause the said error.

Fix Error Writing A Temporary File

Fix: Error Writing A Temporary File. Make Sure Your Temp Folder Is Valid

Here is the list of possible solutions to help you fix the error writing a temporary file issue on Windows PC.

  1. Running the Windows Installer as an Administrator
  2. Restarting the Windows Installer service
  3. Clearing the Temp Folder
  4. Disabling Security Software
  5. Performing Clean Boot to isolate the issue
  6. Running the Windows Memory Diagnostics

You will need an administrator account to execute these suggestions.

1] Running the Windows Installer as an Administrator

The access to the Temp folder might be out of bounds if the user running the installation doesn’t have sufficient rights or privileges to modify the temp folder or its contents. Hence, running the Installer as an Admin can be a possible resolution. Right-clicking the application and selecting the Run as Administrator option may possibly help in bypassing the error as illustrated below:

Windows Run Admin


2] Restarting the Windows Installer service:

The Windows Installer service is accountable for managing the Windows application installation/uninstallation process. Restarting the service for the Installer reinitializes the same and hence can be counted as an effective remedial measure in this scenario. The below-mentioned steps can be followed to restart the Installer service on Windows OS:

  • Type services.msc in the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows Key + R.

Win run services

  • Once the Services window opens, select the Windows Installer service and select the Restart option to facilitate the restart.

win installer service

3] Clearing the Temp Folder

Since possible corruption of the files under the Temp folder can also be a possible cause of the error in question, clearing the folder’s contents can also help negate the error. To clear the contents, the below-mentioned steps can be performed:

  • Open the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows Key + R  and type %temp% to access the Temp folder.

win run temp folder


  • Select all files by pressing CTRL + A and click on Delete at the top to delete all the files.

Temp folder deleteTemp folder delete

3] Disabling Security Software

To eliminate a scenario wherein security software installed on the system can be a possible deterrent to the proper functioning of the Windows Installer, disabling the same temporarily can also help resolve the error. The below-mentioned steps can be followed to disable the same:

  • Type Windows Security on the desktop Search Bar

win sec app

  • Click on Virus & Threat Protection

win sec virus threat protection menu

  • Select Manage Settings under the Virus & threat protection settings toggle off Real-Time Protection, and rerun the Installer once done.

win sec virus threat settings

winsec protection settings


 4] Performing Clean Boot to isolate the issue

As the possibility of Third-Party Applications blocking the Windows Installer cannot be ruled out in the present context, performing a clean boot can help restart the system with minimal drivers and applications. It can be a significant step in avoiding any conflicts arising from device drivers or any other Third-Party applications installed in the system, thereby negating the possibility of the error. The following steps can be performed for the clean boot:

  • Open the Run dialogue box by pressing Windows Key + R and type msconfig before pressing Enter.

win run msconfig

  • Select the check box beside Hide All Microsoft Services in the Services and then click Disable All.

msconfig services disable

  • Restart the system to ensure that the concerned error has been addressed.

5] Running the Windows Memory Diagnostics:

The probable cause of the failure in installing applications can also be attributed to memory-related issues. Hence, running the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool that can scan the system’s physical memory can help narrow down the problem and eventually eliminate it. The following steps can be performed to diagnose the same:

  • Type in Windows Memory Diagnostic in the search box on the Desktop to open the application.

win mem diagnostic menu

  • In the Memory Diagnostic Window, choose either Restart now and check for problems (recommended) or Check for problems the next time I start my computer to check and fix any possible memory issues.

win memory diagnostic


The above steps cover almost all possible causes that can help eliminate installation errors that can occur if the Windows Installer cannot modify the contents of the Temp folder, thereby allowing further installations and restoring the system’s stability.

Sandip Basu
Sandip has worked as an IT solutions consultant for the last 15 years and specializes in troubleshooting software and hardware.


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