[Fixed] The Content File Is Locked in Steam

Steam is a popular digital gaming distribution software. It is used by game developers to publish games. But there are a lot of errors that you can encounter on the way of enjoying your favorite games. All these errors are very annoying and destroy your gaming experience. In this article, we will discuss some suitable methods to solve the ‘Content File is Locked’ error in steam.

Content file locked error is very common on Steam. It is an internal flaw that occurs when any game is being updated. These barriers hold you back from enjoying the latest game updates. The error is very annoying as you cannot play any of your games in steam. Here we have come up with 6 solutions to fix the content file locked error.

How to Fix Content File is Locked Error?


Alter The File Location

It is a preliminary trial to solve the error. You can just change the locations of the installation files of the Steam games and then try to update the game. The steps are as follows-

  • Go to the Steam client.
  • Then go to the settings.
  • After that go to downloads and click on Steam library folders.

Steam library folder

  • Then add a new library by clicking the bottom tab.


  • Go to the directory for the Steam and delete all the files from it except the user data and Steam app files.
  • Now relocate these files to the new library folder.
  • Check the Steam whether the error is gone or not.

If it is not fixed, then-

  • Move the system apps of Steam to your desktop.
  • Then uninstall Steam and install it again in the newly-created directory.
  • Put the Steam apps in that directory.
  • Open Steam and log in to inspect the error.

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Repair The Corrupted System Files

It is also a simple yet effective solution to fix your content locked error on Steam. You can follow the steps-

  • Go to the Steam directory in your machine.
  • Open the log and click on the .txt.
  • Scroll to the bottom of all the text files to search for an error.
  • Then find out the folder under the name of root.
  • After that reopen the Steam and go to the download.
  • Then update the files to eradicate the error from your system.

It will get your corrupt Steam files repaired. After performing all the required steps look for the error once again.

Reset The Winsock

Winsock is an API that is a technical term that stands for a bridge between the network software and TCP/IP protocol. It controls the input and output internet requests that are network services under the windows operating system.

Resetting your Winsock is a good answer to make the Steam updates error-free. Here are the footsteps-

  • Press the Windows key along with R from the keyboard.
  • Then open and run the command prompt.

reset winsock

  • After that type netsh winsock reset in the command prompt and press enter.

Now open Steam and try to upgrade the games.

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Disable The Antivirus

Sometimes the antivirus installed in your computer can stop the Steam games from being upgraded. In those cases, you have to disable the antivirus for a certain period. It will be temporarily inactive, so you need to worry about it. The procedure of disabling an antivirus from windows is-

  • Search for the antivirus protection icon in the notification area.
  • Then right-click on the icon and select disable. But it may vary from antivirus to antivirus. In some cases, you may have to open the antivirus menu to uninstall it.

As soon as you restrict the antivirus from working, you have to inspect the integrity of the game files. The steps for doing this are-

  • Give your system a restart.
  • Reopen Steam.
  • Go to the library. Right-click on the specific game that was not being upgraded. Choose properties.
  • In the properties menu, click on the local files tab.
  • Then chose to verify the integrity of game files.

The internal system of Steam will verify the integrity in some time. Once the integrity is verified, you can try to update the games.

Look Into The Hard Disk

There can be a certain issue in your hard drive that is stopping the games from being updated. If some sectors of the hard drive are disrupted, then it will be accessed slowly. Therefore we have to perform a disc scan to find out the faulty sectors in the hard drive. The necessary footsteps are-

  • Press the Windows key and R altogether.
  • Then type cmd and press the enter button.
  • Then we can start the disk scanning. You have to type this command in the command prompt. chkdskc /f 


  • Press Y to indicate your confirmation.
  • The scan will start. After completing it will show the problems with your hard disk drive.

The scanning will let you know the deformities present in the hard drive system. You can give a shot to the Steam updates after fixing the hard drive issues.

Try To Run It As An Administrator

Running any software as an administrator may help whenever there is an unsolvable issue in it. Sometimes the windows may block the particular Steam games from being updated. The procedure for running the system as an administrator is as follows-

  • Right-click on the Steam launch icon. Click on properties.
  • Then go to the compatibility tab in the properties menu.
  • Check the box against the run as an administrator.
  • Then click on apply and then Ok.

Then relaunch the Steam and look for the content file locked error if still, it is there.

These are some effective ways to fix the content file is locked error from Steam. If the fault is not rectified even after trying all these above processes, you may uninstall and reinstall the software once to check whether it is gone or not.

Sushant is an avid tech enthusiast who enjoys sharing his knowledge through his writing. He loves to write about technology, gadgets, and social media.


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