Steam Content File Locked

Fixed: Steam Content File Locked [2022]

Steam is a very popular platform among gamers and nowadays almost every gamer installs all of their games from steam. If you are a steam user, then you might have faced this issue where you are updating a game and suddenly an error pops up saying “An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked). A simple solution to this problem would be uninstalling steam and then reinstalling it but this process will be very time-consuming and all your games will be deleted.

Many steam users have complained about this issue. Today in this article I am going to discuss, what is this content file locked on steam is and how to solve this particular issue. So without any further delay let’s look at the reason why this problem occurs in the first place.

What is the Content file locked on steam?

This has become a frequent issue for gamers. This error usually occurs when you are updating the game and it stops halfway and the updated installation file won’t be downloaded to your hard disk to complete the update automatically.

How To Fix The Steam Content File Locked While Updating Games?

I will be discussing 6 ways to solve this problem without uninstalling and then reinstalling steam.

Solution 1: Check Antivirus

Under many circumstances, your antivirus may be the main culprit for this error. Sometimes the antivirus marks the steam files as potential threats and quarantines them under strict rules. Below I have mentioned some ways that will help you to disable your antivirus and update your game.

If your computer has Avast, McAfee, or any other antivirus application, then follow these steps to deal with the problem.

  • Stop or shut down your antivirus on your PC.
  • Restart your computer and launch Steam again.
  • Select the “Library” option and then open the “Properties” Window.
  • Now you have to look for the option called “Local File”, you will have to find this option.
  • After finding it you will see an option inside the “Local File” tab look for the option called “Verify Integrity of Game Files”.
  • After selecting this option steam will start scanning and verifying your game and this process will be done in a few minutes.
  • After this process, you can start updating your game again and I don’t think they will be giving you any more trouble.

If you are still having the same trouble, then you should definitely try the second method mentioned below.

Solution 2: Reset Winsock Directory

When Steam is updating the game and it suddenly gives you this error, you might consider resetting the Winsock directory. This is the easiest solution out of the six solutions in this list. You just need to follow these 3 simple steps to reset the Winsock directory.

  • Press the Windows+R key to open RUN.
  • Then type “cmd” then hit enter.
  • After the command prompt opens, you will have to type “netsh winsock reset” and then you will have to hit enter.
  • After the command finishes doing its job, you will receive a message that the Winsock has been reset successfully.
  • Then restart your computer to apply the changes that have just been made.

Solution 3: Move steam install folder and game files

If solution 2 was ineffective, then you should definitely try this solution. If you need to move the install file and the game file, then you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Relaunch the Steam application.
  • Go to the “settings menu” and then go to “Downloads” and then “System Library Folders”.
  • There you will see at the bottom of the screen at your left-hand side saying “ADD LIBRARY FOLDER”. Click on this option.
  • After clicking on this option, select the path where you want to store your game now.
  • After selecting the path, successfully exit the steam application.
  • After completing this step, you will have to go to the steam directory. The default path of the steam directory is “C:\Program Files\steam”.
  • Inside the steam, the directory deletes all the files except “SteamApps”, “UserData Folders”, and the execution file, commonly known as exe file.
  • Press CRTL+A then press CTRL+X to cut all the folders and paste them on the path chosen above.
  • After doing this, launch the streaming app and log in using your credentials.

If the Steam content file locked message is still popping up on your screen, then follow the next steps mentioned below:

  • Close the Steam application.
  • Go to the new location where you put your steam files.
  • Copy the folder called “SteamApps” into your desktop.
  • Uninstall the steam application.
  • Move the “SteamApps” folder to the new steam directory. This will keep all your gaming data intact so you don’t lose anything.
  • After doing this, relaunch the Steam app and log in using your credentials. Then verify the integrity of steam games files then after that, you will be able to play those games.

Solution 4: Repair the corrupt files

Files easily get corrupted so if a corrupted file is not letting you update certain games then you should repair that corrupted file. To repair a corrupted file you need to follow the steps that I am going to mention below.

  • Quit the steam application if it is already opened.
  • Then go to the “Steam Directory”. I have already mentioned how to locate this particular folder.
  • Inside the “Steam Directory” find the folder called “Logs” and then click on the “txt” file.
  • The file will open in Wordpad and you need to scroll down to the bottom of this file to see if there is an error.
  • Then you need to navigate to the root folder.
  • Then restart Steam and move to the download folder inside the application. Here you will see that Steam is asking for an update for the game, update the important files and you will be good to go.

Solution 5: Run as Administrator

Sometimes if the games stop updating and give you this error then sometimes it means that there is an issue going on regarding permission. You can run your game with administrator permission. This will definitely help you solve this issue in many games such as DOTA 2 and CSGO.

To run an application with administrator permission then you need to follow the steps that I am going to mention below.

  • Right-click on the icon of your game and open the last option called “Properties”.
  • Inside Properties, locate the compatibility tab.
  • Under this tab, you will find an option at the bottom called “Run this program as an administrator”.
  • Check the box and click on apply then ok.
  • Reopen the Steam application and check if the issue is still there or not.

Solution 6: Check Disk Scan

It is also possible that the hard drive containing the game files has been corrupted or it may have some bad sectors inside the hard disk. In the case of a bad sector, the hard drive slows down or may not access certain files completely. Therefore, to check if there is any bad sector inside your hard disk you may need to use the option called “Disk Check”. To use this feature, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Press the Windows+R key to open RUN.
  • Then type “cmd” and then hit enter.
  • You will see a command prompt opening.
  • Inside the command prompt type “chkdsk c:/f” and hit enter to start the disk checking process.
  • Then the computer will ask for confirmation, and you will have to press “y” to give the confirmation.
  • Waiting for the disk check to be completed.
  • After compilation check, if the issue is still there or not.


I have discussed all the tips and tricks that will help you solve this problem without uninstalling the steam application and losing all your data. if you have any more questions feel free to ask them and we will get back to you with answers as soon as possible.

  • Also Read: