Oct 07

Silverlight – There is not enough free space to perform the operation

If you’re developing for Microsoft Silverlight you might encounter this issue when you attempt to view your application in the browser. Heck, you might even encounter it if you have nothing to do with development whatsoever. The symptoms as we experienced them:

  1. Opening the home page of the application works fine
  2. On clicking any of the links the application takes unusually long to respond
  3. Eventually, a message box pops up with the message: “there is not enough free space to perform the operation”

In Firefox, this message box actually causes the browser to hang so that you have to end the FF process.

Silverlight certainly has its little annoyances. For instance, if you’re developing against Silverlight 3 you better not DARE to install Silverlight 4, because it will mess up everything. I’ve dealt with that wonderful problem before, so when I saw that my colleague had the newer version installed, my first assumption was that this was the cause. However, after uninstalling v4 and doing a clean re-install of v3 and its SDK/Toolkit, the problem persisted.

We debugged the application, but the exception was not being thrown from our code. After a fair amount of trial and error, we finally figured out that Silverlight’s application storage was at fault. After deleting the local store for our application everything started working again.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Browse to your application’s home page
  2. Right-click in the window and select Silverlight from the context menu (it should be the only option)
  3. You should see the following window:
  4. Click on the Application Storage tab and delete the relevant application’s data

There appears to be no way to change the quota of an application – instead you get a dialog when an application needs more space.

We encountered another error for which this fix works. We repeatedly got a popup dialog titled “There was an unexpected problem” from the browser. It contained the following message:

Debugging resource strings are unavailable. Often the key and arguments provide sufficient information to diagnose the problem. See  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=106663&Version=4.0.50917.0&File=mscorlib.dll&Key=IsolatedStorage_UsageWillExceedQuota


  1. MariaO

    Thanks for posting, this fixed my [IsolatedStorage_UsageWillExceedQuota] error.

  2. maddy

    I was facing similar issue and your steps fixed it. Thank you soo much!!

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