Fix Steam Content File Locked : The Definitive Guide


Steam Content File Locked:-When it comes to video games, Steam is the most reliable and trustworthy platform for gamers to keep their games up-to-date. If you are a gaming enthusiast who’s always ready to try their hands on the latest versions of their favorite games, you may already be familiar with Steam and its significance in the daily life of gamers. 

For people who don’t know, Steam is basically a video game digital distribution platform that was launched by Valve in 2003. The goal was to automatically provide updates to the Valve games. However, it ended up gaining such popularity that Valve decided to expand Steam by including several third-party games from different publishers.  

Steam Content File Locked

While Steam is an extremely useful tool, it has a couple of drawbacks too. For instance, there are several situations when you’re trying to update a game and the process gets interrupted by a Steam pop-up saying, “Steam content file locked”

What is Steam Content File Locked?

The Steam Content File Locked error basically means that Steam couldn’t write the updates to your computer and as a result, you won’t be able to play the latest version of the game. An easier fix Steam Content File Locked for this would be to uninstall Steam, along with all the gaming data, and re-install it from scratch. But, we all know that the process will take forever to complete. 

In this situation, it is better to look for less time-consuming and effective ways to fix: Steam content file locked error. To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of tactics you can use to fix the “content file locked Steam” error without uninstalling. 

So, without any further ado, let’s start the list. 

6 Proven Strategies To Fix Steam Content File Locked 

Method 1:-Disable Your Antivirus Program

It might be a possibility that your Antivirus program is the reason you are unable to update your favorite games. The truth is an Antivirus program may consider Steam files as a threat to your system and restrict it from writing files on the hard disk. 

In this case, make sure to disable the Antivirus program before updating a game. Now, you don’t have to disable the program completely. Simply turn it off for a specific time period and re-start it once the game is successfully updated. 

Here’s how you can temporarily disable the Antivirus program on your system. 

  1. Locate the Antivirus icon in the “notification tray”. 
  2. Right-click the icon and tap the “Disable” button. With specific Antivirus programs, you’d also be able to set the duration for which you want to disable the program. Set the duration and the program will be disabled temporarily. 
  3. Once the Antivirus is disabled, restart your system and open Steam. 
  4. That’s it, you’ll be able to update the game without any errors. 

Method 2:-Choose a Different Steam and Game File Location

If the “Steam file locked” error still persists, try changing the location for Steam installation. This will relocate Steam installation and the game files to a different directory and you might be able to get Steam to work without displaying the error. 

Keep in mind that the process is quite complicated and is divided into two different parts. In the first part, you’ll have to change the Steam installation and game file location while hoping that this would fix the error. 

However, if you’re still unable to update the games, you’ll have to reinstall Steam. Here’s the entire process on how you can change the location for Steam installation and game files. 

  1. Open Steam Client on your system and tap the “Settings” button. 
  2. Click Downloads and tap the “Steam Library Folders” button. 
  3. Here you can add the new directory where you want to locate Steam files. Click the “Add Library” button and choose the location where you want to relocate Steam. steam shared library locked
  4. Now a new path for all the Steam downloads has been designated. However, you still have to manually move the existing Steam files to the new location. 
  5. Exit the Steam client and open your current Steam directory. If you have never changed the directory before, your current directory will be C:\Program Files\Steam.
  6. Delete all the files and folders except for exe, SteamApps, and User Data folders. 
  7. Cut all the remaining content and paste it in the new location. 

That’s it. All you have to do is relaunch steam and login with your credentials. You’ll now be able to run Steam without any hassle. In case you still follow any issues, move towards the second part of the process. 

  1. Copy the SteamApps folder to your desktop from the new directory. 
  2. Un-install Steam. This will remove all the current Steam settings on your PC. 
  3. Re-install Steam to the new directory and copy the SteamApps folder as well.
  4. Re-launch Steam and enter your credentials. 

At this point, you won’t see the error anymore. This is probably the most effective way to fix: Steam content file is locked error.  

Also Read:Dragon Age Inquisition Crash On Startup

Method 3:- Repair Corrupt Files (If Any)

If you are still not able to update games on Steam, you may consider repairing the consider troubleshooting to find and re-download any corrupt files. 

  1. Navigate to the Steam directory on your PC.
  2. Scroll down to the folder “Logs” and open the “txt” file. 
  3. Navigate to the end of the file and look for any recent errors
  4. Look for the root folder and re-launch Steam. 
  5. Open the download folder. Here you’ll automatically see updates. Install these necessary updates and your Steam will start working again. 

Method4:-  Reset Winsock

Another way to “fix: Steam content file is locked error” is to reset the Winsock catalog to the default settings. Follow these steps to reset Winsock:

  1. Launch the “Run” window by simultaneously pressing the “Windows” + “R” buttons. 
  2. In the tex bar, type in the following command.netsh Winsock reset”steam common redistributables
  3. This will execute the command. Once the process completes, restart your compute and re-launch Steam. Check if your games are downloading automatically or not. 

Method 5:- Run Steam as Administrator

Steam requires special permissions to write files on the hard disk. If these permissions aren’t granted, your system will automatically block Steam from accessing directories and writing anything on the hard disk. As a result, Steam will display the “Content File is Locked” error message. 

If that’s the case, you can try running Steam as the Administrator. 

  1. Right-click the Steam icon and select the “Properties” button.  
  2. Click the Compatability tab and check the “Run as Administrator” option. 
  3. Click “Apply” and then tap the “Ok” button. 
  4. Relaunch Steam and you won’t see the error while updating your games. 

Method 6:- Perform Hard-Disk Scan

If all the above methods fail to deliver the expected results, your hard-drive may have bad sectors that are restricting Steam from writing the data. You can check for bad sectors by performing a hard-disk scan. 

  1. Launch the “Run” window and type in cmd in the text bar. 
  2. The command prompt window will open.  Type in the “chkdsk c: /f” command (without quotes) and hit enter to execute the command. 
  3. You’ll be asked to confirm the disk check scan. Press the “Y” button on your keyboard to confirm the scan. 
  4. Let the scan complete and see if you are able to update games through Steam or not. 


Q:- What does content file locked mean on steam?

A:-  The Steam Content File Locked error basically means that Steam couldn’t write the updates to your computer and as a result, you won’t be able to play the latest version of the game.

Q:- how to fix content files locked on steam?

  1. Disable Your Antivirus Program
  2. Choose a Different Steam and Game File Location
  3. Repair Corrupt Files (If Any)
  4. Reset Winsock

Q:-How do I clear my Steam cache?

A:- Go to Settings go to download and click on clear download catch.

Bottom Line

There’s no denying the fact that Steam is a lifeline for every gamer. One minor error can wreak havoc in your daily routine, especially if you regularly stream your gaming sessions online. So, utilize the above-mentioned methods and fix: Steam content file locked error so that you can play the latest versions of your favorite games. 


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