Fix “Steam Content File Is Locked” Error (6 working solutions)

Many of us use Steam, it is the ultimate destination for playing, discussing, and creating games. Steam had approximately 120 million monthly active players. With such a huge user base it’s common to report many errors as many users reported the Content File Locked error in Steam while trying to update certain games. The window displays:

An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked)

These types of errors are always disturbing. Although it has many effective solutions too. In this article we will fix the Steam Content File Is Locked Error.

What Is the Steam “Content File Locked” Error?

See, these types of errors are quite common for Steam users. Many of us want to know what the Steam content file Locked Error. This means that Steam can’t write update files to the hard disk. Many users discovered this content file Locked Error occurred while updating different games. This usually happens due to a problem with permissions. There may be many solutions for this error, but we have listed some of the best tried-and-true methods that you can try to correct this error.

How can I fix the Content file locked Steam error?

There are multiple methods of fixing this “Steam Content File Is Locked” Error. Here we have written some of the best solutions that have been reported to work.

How to fix Steam’s Content file locked error in the most effective way? The most effective one is to uninstall Steam and all the local game content and reinstall it from scratch. This worked for many steam users with 100% effective rate. However, it is a pretty time-consuming task and it also consumes a large amount of data.

Reset Winsock

Sometimes to fix the Content file locked Steam error you just need to reset Winsock. To do this, follow the steps below.

  • Press the Windows Key + S type cmd, and make sure to run it as administrator.
  • In the command prompt type “netsh winsock reset,” then press Enter.
  • Restart your computer for the command to work.

By resetting Winsock, you can restore Steam’s connection to your system again and its servers to allow proper updates.

Clear Steam Download Cache

Cache makes files easier to access, but in this stored cache errors can accumulate that result in failed updates and the content file locked error. So it’s always better to clear Steam Download Cache. Here how,

  • From your Steam Client, open the Settings panel by selecting “Steam > Settings” from the top left client menu.
  • In the Settings panel, select the Downloads tab and you’ll find the “Clear Download Cache” button at the bottom.
  • Then select “OK” to confirm and acknowledge that you’ll need to log in to Steam again.

Run Steam as an administrator

There might be steam need special permission to access particular files and folders. If the special permission is not granted, then the “Content File is Locked” message will show up. As Steam is a reputable software there is no problem to give administrator permission. The following steps will help you run “Steam” as Administrator to resolve this issue.

  • Right-click on the Steam icon to find and select the “Properties” option.
  • Select the “Compatibility” tab and press the “Run as Administrator” option.
  • Select “Apply” and then “OK”.
  • Now check your Steam application.

Verify the integrity of game files

  1. Restart your computer and relaunch Steam.
  2. Head over to the library section and right-click on the game which is giving you problems.
  3. Click on its properties and select the local files tab.
  4. Click the verify integrity of game files button and Steam will verify that game in a few minutes.

Hopefully, after performing the above steps, your Steam won’t give any issues.

verify integrity of game files

Change the Location of Steam and game files

Changing the location of Steam and game files can help you to fix the Steam Content File Is Locked Error.

  • Move towards settings in the Stream Client
  • Select ‘Downloads’ and choose ‘Steam Library Folders.’
  • Tap on the ‘Add Library’ folder and designate a new location for Steam.
  • Close the Steam Client.
  • Find your Steam directory, which is usually:  “C:\Program Files\Steam”
  • Delete and remove the exe and all the files except the SteamApp and UserData and folders.
  • Move all your files to the new location you specified for the Steam library folders earlier.
  • Open the Steam client and log in.

If this isn’t solved Your error then,

  • Closedown Steam software.
  • Go to the newly designated Steam location.
  • Relocate the SteamApps folder to the desktop from the directory.
  • Uninstall Steam.
  • Reinstall Steam in the new location.
  • Move the SteamApps folder to the Steam directory.
  • Open Steam and enter your log-in details.

You will have to change the location of the Steam installation and the game files. By doing so you should be able to fix the Content file locked Steam error for one and all.

Check your antivirus

Make sure that your antivirus isn’t blocking Steam. In some cases, the Content file locked Steam error may appear because the antivirus on your computer has disable some features of that stop Steam from performing updates. You can disable your antivirus software for some time while updating it or while using Steam. An alternative step you can take is to whitelist Steam within your antivirus software. By demonstrating that Steam is not a danger, your antivirus will always ignore it and allow incoming connections from the Steam servers.

For a permanent solution, switch your antivirus program.

Check Disk Scan

There may be a possibility that the hard drive which you are using for Steam has been corrupted. In such a case, you will not be able to access certain areas of the hard drive and you may face problems like the Steam content file is locked (error). The following procedure will help you run a “Disc Check” scan.

  • Click Start and then click My Computer.
  • Right-click the drive to perform a check disk and then, select Properties.
  • Click on the Tools tab in the Properties window.
  • Click Check under error checking. To perform a complete check of the hard drive for errors, check off both options in the pop-up check disk window.
  • Click the Start button to start the process. If checking a hard drive with open files, an error message appears stating Windows can’t check the disk while it’s in use. Click Schedule disk check. The computer will reboot and check the disk before Windows boots up.
  • Or

Open the command prompt as administrator and run command chkdsk.

After the Disk Check scan, check if the Steam Error is resolved or not.


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More