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Steam Content File Locked

Recently updated on November 30th, 2022 at 09:37 am

Easy Guide To “Resolve Steam Content File locked” issue

What is Content File Locked error?

Some of steam users wonder what is content file lock issue on steam? This happens when a user tries to update some specific games.

This error means that steam is unable to write or update data to hard drive. You may get the message saying – Error occurred while game update (Steam Content file is locked)

The best way to fix this issue is to completely uninstall steam and remove all local game data and reinstall the content from the beginning.

This normally fixes the issue, But if you’re planning to do this it consumes a lot of time and data.

You can go with the above solutions, but there are other ways to troubleshoot this issue. We at Droidtheory have some small tips for you to fix steam content file locked issue.

Method 1 Fix your system’s corrupted files

Sometimes this content file locked issue occurs on steam due to corrupted files. I suggest you to kindly repair your device corrupted files by following the steps mentioned in this community post by Microsoft.

Method 2: Disable Your Antivirus

Sometimes it happens that your antivirus is considering your steam files as viruses. So this happens while the real-time scanning process of antivirus.

To solve this issue you need to disable real-time scanning of your antivirus.

You can also select the game directory files as the exceptions while scanning so that the antivirus doesn’t flag update files as a possible virus.

The process to disable your antivirus totally depends upon the antivirus you are using. In this scenario we suggests you to visit the official website of the antivirus and search how to disable it.

After disabling your antivirus, you need to verify the game files integrity. Follow the instructions:

  1. Restart your computer and open Steam.
  2. Go to your Game library section and right-click the game which was showing “Steam content file locked”.
  3. Select local files option available inside game properties
  4. Click the option “Verify the integrity of game cache” after that steam will automatically verify the selected game in few minutes.

    Verify integrity of game files
    Verify integrity of game files

That’ll fix the issue of “content file locked issue of steam”.

Method 3: Run netsh Winsock Reset

In some cases, steam content file is locked happens due to the Winsock Catalog. Well, now to fix this issue we need to reset Winsock catalog to its default setting. To do this follow the instructions:

  1. Press Window key + R key to open Run.
  2. Now you need to enter netsh winsock reset in dialogue box and click OK.

This will reset the winsock to its default setting. Now restart your computer

Method 4: Remove from beta

Beta updates is something every gamer wants, but this is kind of a mystery to many users that beta files of game can also cause the error steam content file is locked.

So you need to remove yourself from the beta program. This fix is for some specific games only

  1. Open Steam and click on Library.
  2. Now right click on the game which was giving the content file locked error and select properties.
  3. Go to Betas tag.
  4. Click the drop-down menu which is below the option “select beta you want to opt into” and now select None – Remove from the beta programs.
  5. Now try to update your game.
Method 5 : Change the location of your steam and game files

After trying all the above solutions if you are still facing steam content file locked issue than we can change the locations of steam installations files and game files.

There are two methods to fix this issue, first is to change steam location and run it. If you are facing any during launch, now we go to the second method to reinstall steam.

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Steam and click on Settings.
  2. Click on download and you have to select Library folder of steam.
  3. Now Add a Library Folder at the bottom left corner and select the new location for steam.
  4. Selecting a new location will be defined as the future location for all the new installations. Now we have to move the steam files to the new location which you selected in step 3.
  5. Exit your steam client.
  6. After that, go to Steam default directory which is C:\Program files\Steam.
  7. And, then Delete all the data except exe , UserData folders and SteamApps
  8. Now, cut UserData folders and SteamApps and paste them to the new location you selected in step 3.
  9. Open Steam and try to log in.

If after launching steam you are still getting content file locked steam issue, Then follow these steps.

  1. Close Steam.
  2. Now go to the New steam location (directory).
  3. Now cut SteamApps folder and paste it to your desktop.
  4. Now Uninstall Steam from your pc to remove the old setting of your steam.
  5. Afterward, install Steam to the new directory that you selected.
  6. Move SteamApps folder to new directory, doing this will restore all your game content, settings and save states of games.
  7. Now open and login to steam. After the verification of steam games files integrity you can play your games now.
Method 6 : Run Disk Check

Sometimes Steam content file locked error pops up due to the corrupt hard disk where your game is installed.

Due to the corrupted hard drive, the hard disk becomes slow and some of hard drive bad sectors (corrupted sections) are not accessible due to this.

We can check the bad sectors of your hard drive by running a “Disk Check” this will scan your pc’s hard drive and find the bad sectors.

Follow these steps below:

  1. Open Run the pressing “Windows Key + R”.
  2. Enter “CMD” in dialogue box and click on “OK” or press Enter.cmd box steam content file locked
  3. Type “chkdsk c:/f” and now press Enter.
  4. Now press “Y” to confirm and start disk check scan.
  5. After disk check scan completion check if the problem persists.
Method 7 : Run Steam as Administrator

Sometimes windows blocks steam from accessing folder and files which causes “steam content file locked”. To solve this issue you need to Run Steam as Administrator.

To do this follow the steps bellow;

  1. Right-click on steam and click on “Properties” option at bottom of the list.
  2. Click on “Compatibility” option now select “Run as Administrator” option.
  3. Click “Apply” and after that click on “OK”.
  4. After that, run Steam and see if you still facing the issue.

Following the steps suggested by us will solve the “steam content file locked” issue and you’ll be able to play your favorite games on steam.

In case none of the above methods worked for you, share the issue you’re facing in the comment section.