How To Fix Steam Content File Locked Error

Steam Content File Locked

Although it is a rare occurrence, an error sometimes when updating a certain game in steam. And you probably are unlucky one if you get the Content file locked error. That because Content file locked error means that there is no data that is written to the hard drive. When the Steam content file locked, you can’t play the games inside it anymore and of course, it becomes a problem for you. So, in order to fix this problem, you can try these solutions

How To Fix Steam Content File Locked Easily

1. Check Antivirus

When you’re updating Steam, but instead of success,  you get a content file locked error, your Antivirus may get to blame. That’s because some antivirus thinks that mark Steam files as a virus potential, thus quarantine them. So in order for you to be able to download the update, you should disable the antivirus for a while.


If you use ESET NOD32 as your antivirus, there is a time when ESET NOD32 regards some files of application as malicious and thus quarantine it.

Exclusions Scanning ESET NOD32

  • If your Steam file also falls into this category, what you should do is go to the Steam directory and copy the address. The location of the address is C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common.
  • After you copy it, open ESET NOD32 and paste it in exclude from real-time scanning.
  • And after follow verify the integrity of the game method, you can play the game normally.

3. Reset Winsock

When you find the Steam content file locked error, the first thing you should do is not panic. It is certainly a troublesome problem, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions. For this kind of trouble, you can try to reset Winsock. The steps are quite easy.

netsh winsock reset

  • First, you can press the Windows Key+R key.
  • Then you will find a small window appearing in the left corner of the bottom. In the search bar type netsh winsock reset.
  • Then press enter or click ok.
  • After that, you can restart your computer and try once more whether there is no more error

4. Relocate Steam Installation and Games Files

Usually, even when the Steam content file locked error occurs, the simple methods are enough to solve the problem. But, in case it doesn’t work, you can resort to the complicated method. You can relocate the Steam installation and game files to solve the problem. But if this doesn’t work, you can just reinstall Steam.

Relocate Steam Installation

The first step of this method is to relocate the Steam directory to another place. One thing you should take note is when copying takes a process, any interruption will lead to the files getting corrupt and make you must reinstall Steam. So, here are the steps to relocate Steam installation and games files:

See also  Steam Download Slow, Here’s The Fix

Relocate Steam installation and games files

  • First, open your Steam and go to the Steam client.
  • After that click the settings. Then choose the download option and select on Steam Library Folders.
  • After that try to change the path to the new location that you want to by click Add Library Folder. That way, when you download the files in the future, it will be saved in the new location.
  • Next, you must move all the existing files to the new location. Thus, you should quit from Steam Client. To move the files and folder you need to go to the Steam directory.
  • After that delete all the files and folders in the Steam directory. But, refrain yourself from deleting the SteamApps and UserData folders. You also can’t delete .exe.
  • Now only SteamApps, UserData, and .exe still remain in the Steam directory. For those files and folders, cut and paste them in the new location that you’ve designed before.
  • When you finish moving the folders and files, launch Steam and re-login.

Reinstall Steam Program

Usually, this method works for content file locked error. But, if you encounter problems when moving the files and folder or after launching Steam, this method will help you.

  • First, you need to close Steam.
  • And then go to the location where you move Steam. If you find the location, search for SteamApp.
  • Then you should cut and paste SteamApp to the desktop.
  • After that uninstall Steam so all the old Steam settings will be removed from your PC.
  • Next, re-install Steam to the designated location.
  • If you launch Steam like this, you will lose all your data, so move the SteamApp folder from the desktop to the new Steam directory.
  • Now, you can launch Steam and your data will remain.
  • Do not forget to enter your credentials and verify the integrity of Steam game files.

Now, you can play the game to your heart’s content.

5. Run As Administrator

In some cases, windows sometimes lock certain files or folders that only the administrator can access. And that leads to the Steam content file locked problem. If that is the cause of the problem, then you can run as administrator to solve it.

Run As Administrator

  • What you need to do first is point your pointer to the Steam icon.
  • Then right-click on the Steam icon and click properties option. A small window with some tabs will appear before your eyes.
  • Click compatibility tabs and check run as administrator option.
  • After that, click apply and ok continuously. The last step is to launch Steam again and see whether the problem has been fixed.

Getting the Steam content file locked when updating Steam can be quite frustrating. But as long as you know and understand how to solve the error, it will not become a problem. And if you already have to take a measure on how to solve the problems, you can calmly open Steam and play the game.

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