How To Permanently Fix Steam Content File Locked Error

Steam Content File Locked

What is Steam? 

Video streaming and online gaming library being it’s most prominent and hot favorite features, Steam is a video game digital distribution service provided by Valve Corporation for gamers and game developers.

Because of constant quality improvement and efforts to better host, meet, and accommodate the advancing needs of its users Steam has a whopping 47 million or more active daily users! 

Users from any part of the world can purchase products from steam digital store without any regional restrictions. In addition to that its users can use any system or computer to play games by downloading or purchasing their Steam accounts to that system.  

Since the games can be picked and played directly from the Steam library so users can choose to play from a large connection of games without downloading them, thus, not having to use much of their computer memory.  

It also offers automatic updates of installed games. It’s a cloud-based gaming library that hosts thousands of games as well as downloadable content.

It also includes interesting community features including family library sharing, in-game chats, and discussions with groups and friend lists. 

Common problems with Steam 

There is a list of problems that are common and can occur with Steam and ‘Steam content file locked’ is one of them. Many users have reported content file locked errors in steam.

From time to time steam updates itself, in some cases, an update for Steam gets downloaded but can’t be installed, and hence this error displays.

For some gamers, this could be a problematic thing if the error isn’t understood properly and a reasoned approach isn’t applied to fix it. 

This error can even be fixed by common troubleshooting methods and if not by them, a little more effort put in can definitely resolve this problem of a content file being locked in Steam. 

In this article, we will try to provide our readers with the corresponding solution(s) for content files locked in Steam. 

Causes of a Steam content file locked error 

This particular error while updating or sometimes while installing a game can pop up like this; “An error occurred while updating [game title] (content file locked)”. 

The most common reason for steam content file locked error is that Steam can’t write update files to the hard disk, consequently, it doesn’t let a user play the latest/updated version of any game. 

Another reason is that some files that Steam needs to access from the game under subject could be open in some other program, or the game is already running. This leads to the needed file being locked or unable to be opened or edited. 

Another reason for content files getting locked in Steam could be a false positive error; which means that by file scanning system that file is opened in your Antivirus software for scanning. 

Solutions for Steam content file locked error 

Although there could be different solutions to fix this problem, what has worked the most for the users is installing the Steam from the scratch by uninstalling it along with all the local game content. 

Sounds hardcore and time consuming?  

Well yes, it is to some extent, but this is one of the most effective solutions for Steam content file locked error permanently.

But before resorting to this final-sounding solution let’s talk about combating and troubleshooting possibly smaller problems which could be the reason for error. 

Below we have explained some of the best solutions for steam content file locked fix. Continue to read the article to learn and get rid of this error. 

1) Reset Winsock  

This is the most beginner and quick thing to do while trying to fix Steam file locked error, as all you need could be just resetting the Winsock.

Winsock is a technical tool to access network services and the Winsock catalog can also cause locking of a particular file or files in Steam, as it defines how Windows network software should access network services. 

For resetting the Winsock you can follow the steps below: 

• For accessing the Run box, press R on your keyboard while pressing the Windows Key  (with a Windows icon). 

• In the Run box type cmd and press ok. 

• It will lead you to access the Command Prompt window. In the window type netsh Winsock reset and press enter. 

After resetting the Winsock, reset your system and try updating the game again to check if the issue has been resolved or not. 

2) Lookup for your Anti-Virus’s activities  

If resetting Winsock didn’t resolve content file locked in steam error, move on to combat the next possible cause of error which could be your Anti Virus. Many antivirus programs can technically deem Steam as a threat.

They can easily comprehend Steam files to be as potential viruses and can separate/quarantine them. 

What can you do now? 

You can simply disable your antivirus program for the time being; while you are updating your game. Method for disabling antivirus on your computer can differ according to the antivirus software that you are using.  

A general method for disabling almost all the antivirus protection programs is as follows; 

• Locate the antivirus icon on your device 

• Right click on the icon and click disable. Or you can do this from the program’s menu by opening it. Almost all the antivirus programs have this similar access to disable or stop options.  

After disabling or turning off the antivirus it is now important to check the integrity of game files; to check if the game is verified or not. For that; 

• Restart your system 

• Relaunch Steam 

• Go to gaming library section, right click on the game, and access the ‘properties’ of the game which is having the error  

• In the files tab, click on ‘verify integrity of game files’ 

Steam will verify the game in few minutes and content file locked error will be fixed. Additionally, you can also exclude the particular game’s folder from your antivirus scan, you can do the same for Steam’s folder. 

3) Running Steam as an administrator (allowing special permissions)  

Changing these settings can also be a quick and simple fix for the given error. 

• Access your Steam client from the location where you have installed it. Or simply right click on the Steam icon on your desktop. 

• In the last option – compatibility, and settings – there is an option called ‘run as administrator’, check this box and press enter. 

Try updating the game and see if the problem has been solved.  

4) Repairing Corrupt files

Sometimes missing, faulty, or corrupt files can also bring about steam content file locked error. Once you locate and fix these files it will automatically resolve the problem as we are tackling the root cause of it. 

• From default path of Steam installation (C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam) access your Steam directory. In case you have chosen a location yourself, navigate the directory from there. 

• Access folder ‘logs’ and open ‘txt’. 

• Locate recent errors by scrolling down to the bottom of the text file • Now search and navigate root folder of the mod 

• Restart Steam again and move to downloads folder.  

• Upon moving, Steam will ask for an update for the game. Update the files which need to be updated. And content locked error will be fixed. 

5) Changing game files location and Steam client 

By changing the location where you have installed Steam client and game files will surely help in resolving this problem of a steam content file locked error. This is the major solution and it consists of two steps. 

For changing locations: 

1) Go to your Steam client and access settings 

2) From the downloads access Steam library folder 

3) In the lower left corner you will find the ‘add library option’, by clicking in it you can choose a new location for Steam  

4) Close the program and from the default location of Steam (C:\Program Files\Steam.)  Access Steam directory  

5) Except SteamApp folders and User Data folder delete all the files and exe 6) now move these files to the new location for Steam that you chose 

6) Now reopen the Steam and log in to your account to check if the file locked error is resolved or not. 

In case the same error is displaying while you are trying to update the games:

• Go to the folder where you relocated Steam and remove/cut the SteamApp folder from there to your desktop followed by uninstalling the Steam. It will help in deleting previous Steam settings from your system. 

• Reinstall the Steam in the new location that you chose earlier, and replace the SteamApp folder from your desktop to this location. It will help in restoring all saved settings and game content. 

• Log in to your Steam and verify the integrity of Steam game files (as explained in the checking your antivirus step). This way you will be able to play and update the games.  

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Our word 

Trying one or another of these methods that we have explained above will definitely help you get rid of and resolve the steam content file locked error.

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