How to Fix Steam Content File Locked

You may be facing “Steam content file locked”. This article shows you how to deal with this error with different methods.

Steam Content File Locked

Developed by Valve Corporation, Steam is a video game digital distribution platform. This platform was designed to provide automatic updates for their games. However, sometimes when you update a Steam game, a Steam error may pop up.

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Steam content file locked is a widespread error. When it occurs, it means that Steam cannot write update files to your hard disk, and you cannot play the latest version of one game.  But, with proper and reasoned approach, you can fix the Steam error with ease.

Tip: You can click Steam disk write error if you receive this error when installing Steam games, or updating Steam games.

Related article: 5 Solutions to Fix “Steam Not Enough Disk Space”

Method 1: Check Antiviruses Installed on Your Computer

In many cases, your installed antiviruses can lead to this Steam error because these antiviruses may mark Steam files as potential virus and quarantine. In this situation, you should disable the antiviruses until you can update your Steam game.

Additionally, the disabling operation varies from one antivirus program to another, but nearly all antivirus protection programs can be temporarily disabled by following the steps below.

Step 1: Locate the antivirus protection program icon on the Windows notification area.

Step 2: Once the antivirus icon is located, right-click the icon and select Disable, Stop, Shut down, or something similar. In some cases, you may need to open the program and disable it using the program’s menus.

After disabling installed antivirus, please check the integrity of game files by the steps below:

Step 1: Restart your computer and relaunch Steam.

Step 2: Head over to the LIBRARY section. Right-click on the game which is giving you problems, and select the Properties option.

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Step 3: Once you get the Properties window, please navigate to the Local Files tab. Then click the VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES button and Steam will verity that game in a few minutes.

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After verifying the integrity of game files, please try updating Steam games.

Method 2: Change Steam and Game Files Location

You can also try changing the location of the Steam installation and the game files to fix “Steam content file locked”.

Step 1: Go to Stam Client and click Settings. Click Downloads and select Steam Library Folders.

Step 2: Choose ADD LIBRARY FOLDER at the lower-left corner and select the new location for Steam.

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Step 3: Close the Steam Client and go to your Steam directory. (Please note that the default location is C:\Program Files\Steam.)

Step 4: Delete the exe and all the files except UserData and SteamApp folders. Move these files to the location you specified in Step 3.

Step 5: Open Steam and log in again to check whether you can update Steam games.

If the Steam content file locked persists, please follow the steps listed in the following content:

Step 1: Close your Steam. Browse to the location where you relocated Steam.

Step 2: Relocate the StyeamApp folder from that directory to your desktop.

Step 3: Uninstall Steam. This operation is done to remove your old Steam settings from your PC.

Step 4: Install Steam again to the initial location that you selected.

Step 5: Move the SteamApps folder to the new Steam directory. This will copy all of your game content, your saved games and settings.

Step 6: Launch Steam and enter your credentials. Verify the integrity of Steam game files and you will be able to play.

Method 3: Check Your Hard Drive via MiniTool Partition Wizard

When your hard drive that contains the game installation has been corrupted or contains some bad sectors, you may also receive the Steam error content file locked.

Therefore, you need to check whether bad sectors are on your hard drive. Here I recommend a free program to test the hard drive health. That is MiniTool Partition Wizard.

To use this program to check disk health, you can refer to the following steps.

Step 1: Download this software, install it and launch it to get its main interface where you can see that your disk is listed and many features you can take.

Step 2: Click the disk you want to test and then choose Surface Test.

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Step 3: Click the Start Now button to start testing the selected disk. Then this feature will automatically test the disk surface and show the result.

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Step 4: Please check the test result when you get it.

  • Red squares in the test result mean there are some bad sectors on your hard drive.
  • Green squares in the test result mean there is no bad sector on your hard drive.

If you get a test result with many red squares, it seems those bad sectors imped your Steam game updating. And the worse news is that your drive seems a failing disk. But luckily, you can recover data from such sectors.

Related article: Can We Remove Bad Sector from Hard Disk Permanently?

Method 4: Reset Winsock

Another issue that may lead to “Steam content file locked” is the Winsock catalog. Therefore, you can try resetting Winsock by following the steps below:

Step 1: Press the Windows + R key to get the Run windows.

Step 2: Type cmd and click the OK button to access the Command Prompt window.  

Step 2: Type netsh winsock reset in Command Prompt and hit the Enter key.

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Once you have done the three steps, Winsock has been rested, and you can try upgrading games to check whether “Steam content file locked” has been solved.


This article comes to an end. Hope this post can help you solve “Steam content file locked”. Other two methods to fix this error are mentioned in the post How to Fix Steam Content File Locked? – Get Answers Now. You can read it if you are interested in.