I bought Skyrim off of Steam and use mods by subscribing to them using the Skyrim Nexus Mod Manager. However, neither the mod manager nor any of the Nexus mods or files I've downloaded are working.

I signed up, installed the mod manager, and made an attempt to download a mod. It shows on my screen as downloaded, but it will not open: the mod manager reports an error incorrectly indicating Skyrim is not installed on my laptop.

I uninstalled and tried again, but now it says "Unable to get write permission."

How can I fix this problem?

  • My issue is I didnt start with Nexus, I started with steam by purchasing the game there long ago. Is it possible to insert Nexus that way? Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:11
  • All installations of Skyrim are Steam, so that's not the problem. How are you installing the TESNexus mods? Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:19
  • I don't understand your problem. I'm using Steam copy (English version) of Skyrim and Downguard with Nexus Mod Manager, and it works fine for me, even it runs with SKSE (Script Extender).
    – Dracontis
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:38
  • Your always allowed to comment on your own questions and answers, regardless of your reputation. A 50 reputation requirement excists for commenting on OTHER people's questions or answers however. I think its likely your just not seeing the button by normal human error.
    – Ender
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 18:00

4 Answers 4


First things first before I get to the advice: Nexus Mod Manager is beta software. If you're experiencing problems with it, consider reporting the problem so that the coders and other users on the official beta feedback forum can read about it and any bugs can be fixed. If there are installation problems, they'll want to know about it and it's more likely to be fixed there than by asking here.

In the meantime, it might help to know that a mod manager is optional—you can install mods without ever touching Nexus Mod Manager. Since it's beta-quality software and you've probably just run into a bug, I'd advise learning how to cut out the middleware and install mods manually. Most mods are simple and it's just a matter of putting the right files in the right place.

Here's the simplified overview of how to install a mod manually:

  1. Download the mod you want to install and unpack it to a temporary folder. You'll want to use 7zip for this, because it can handle the popular archiving formats that Skyrim modders pack their mods with. If you have the option of multiple file formats, pick "7zip", the one that end with .7z. Failing that, get the .zip file.

  2. Look inside the freshly unzipped mod folder. Look for the readme file. This will tell you what you need to do to install the mod correctly.

    Sometimes the mod author will tell you to "put the files in your data folder" and you'll swear at them for not explaining what that is. They mean \Steam\SteamApps\common\skyrim\Data. If they tell you to put files in "your Data folder", they mean there.

    If they're not clear about what files to put there, you have to look a bit closer at the mod. If you have a folder named like the mod, don't put that folder in your Data folder—you want to put the contents in your Data folder. Same thing if your unpacked mod has a Data folder—you don't want to put that in your Data folder (which would end up with a Data/Data/[mod files] layout that doesn't work), you want to put what's inside it in your Data folder. You want to be looking for folders like textures and meshes, and files that end in .esp or .esm to dump into your Data folder.

    (If you're on Windows XP, you may want to disable UAC to simplify this process, since the game folder is in a UAC-protected area.)

  3. Start Skyrim's launcher. If your mod had any .esp or .esm files (these are "plugin" files), you need to tell Skyrim to load these up when it starts. If there weren't any (for example, most texture mods that don't add new items won't have a plugin file), then Skyrim will find the mod files all by itself and you're done.

    So if there are plugin files, the launcher will let you activate them if you click on "Data Files". There will be a list of things, including Skyrim.esm, with checkboxes beside them. Make sure your new mod's plugin files have checkmarks, hit OK to close that window, and then click "Play" to enjoy. Once you've told Skyrim about a plugin file, it remembers, so you only have to do this once for a new mod, assuming it has plugin files.

If you want to read that all again using different words (which sometimes helps immensely in figuring this stuff out), there's a short article on the Nexus Wiki: How to install Skyrim mods. Manual installation is covered in item (8).

Finally, the Nexus forums and official Bethsoft Skyrim forums are very helpful when you run into trouble.

  • 1
    Keep in mind that not using a mod manager is the Worst Idea Ever if you want to be able to uninstall mods.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 2:41
  • 1
    @kotekzot This is very true! But learning to install mods manually is the Best Idea Ever for learning how to effectively use a mod manager. When a mod manager screws up (and they do, especially NMM), understanding how mod files work from personal experience makes troubleshooting a breeze. Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 2:45
  • This is the Best Comment Ever.
    – Ender
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 11:16

"Scan games" and manually type your directory. Most likely the directory you are looking for is: C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Skyrim . I had the same issue as you, but once I did that it worked.

  • Be sure to hit the little green checkmark after entering this, before continuing. Otherwise it'll say "No games found, exiting". Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 3:16

Are you running steam and any other associated neccesary programs as an administrator? It sounds like your issue may rest with read\write privileges. (right click and run as administrator)


You just need to right click on the Nexus icon and click " Run as Administrator" also make sure Nexus isn't saved in Program Files. Drag the nexus folder to your desktop or something.

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