How to Fix Steam Content File Locked Issue


Steam is a video game digital distribution service. This platform host thousands of games. However, sometimes while downloading a game from the Steam platform or updating the latest version of games you may came across a ‘steam content file locked’ error which will prohibit you from further update or download.

Certainly, many times to solve almost every steam problem you can uninstall Steam and again reinstall it all over again. Though this solution will solve the issue, this process is much time consuming and also consumes a large amount of data.

How to Fix Steam Content File Locked Issue

So, before adopting this time-consuming process, we have listed here some effective ways to resolve the ‘steam content locked file’ issue.

Solution 1: Check Antivirus

In several cases, the antivirus installed in your system can cause this ‘steam content file locked’ error since these antivirus may consider steam files as potential virus and restrict them.

In this case, you need to disable the antivirus until you update the steam game. Below we have mentioned various ways to disable your antivirus till your game update.

1. McAfee Antivirus

McAfee antivirus is a full package of many real-time protection features and a secure firewall. Due to its real-time action, you need to disable it until the next update. Following are the steps in order to disable antivirus temporarily.

Step 1: At first, open McAfee and select Virus and spyware protection.

Step 2: Further, search for option Real-time scanning and then turn it off.

Moreover, to verify the integrity of game files obey the following steps:

Step 1: Restart your computer and reopen the steam platform.

Step 2: Further, move on to the library section, and right-click on the game which is showing error.

Step 3: Now, click on its properties and navigate to local files tab.

Step 4: Finally, click on verify integrity of game files tab and Steam platform will verify that game in a few minutes.

Probably, after verifying the integrity of game files, steam will not show up any error.


ESET NOD32 malware scanner uses heuristics and machine learning to identify malware and their cloud based scanning which often leads to error while updating games. In order to solve errors introduced due to such antivirus follow the given steps.

Step 1: At first, browse to your prevailing Steam directory and then copy the address.

Step 2: Afterwards open ESET NOD32 and paste the copied address in exclude from real time scanning.

Step 3: Finally, Follow the steps of ‘verify integrity of game files’ method listed above.

Possibly, ‘steam content locked file’ error will be solved.

3. Kaspersky AV

Kaspersky offers top notch malware protections which may sometimes decline Steam access to make any changes in hard-drive. In order to sort out this issue here we have mentioned following steps.

Step 1: At first, go to ‘threads and exclusions’.

Step 2: Further, search for ‘trusted zone’.

Step 3: Now, add Steam.exe as a trusted application.

Step 4: Afterwards, Follow the steps of ‘verify integrity of game files’ method listed above.

Step 5: Finally, restart the computer.

Note: Change the settings to ‘Do not restrict application’ and ‘Do not scan opened files’.

Apparently, this method would sort out this issue.

Solution 2: Reset Winsock

One more reason to encounter ‘Steam content file locked’ error is due to winsock catalog.

Winsock (Windows Sockets API) is the technical term which defines how should Windows network software access network services, generally TCP/IP. It defines a standard interface between a Windows TCP/IP client application and the underlying TCP/IP protocol stack.

The steam error can be figured out by resetting winsock. Follow the given below steps to reset winsock.

Step 1: At first, click on Windows tab + R key all together.

Step 2: Further, open Command Prompt and right click on it and select ‘run it as an administrator’.

Step 3: Afterwards, Type netsh winsock reset in Command Prompt window and press the Enter key on the keyboard.

Step 4: Restart the computer.

Now, after performing this procedure of resetting winsock open and check Steam whether the ‘Steam content locked file’ error is resolved or not.

Solution 3: Repair Corrupt Files

If any of these two solutions don’t work out for you, you can rectify which files are corrupt or missing and try for re-download the entire file again.

If you glance a look at the ‘Steam content file locked error’, it will generally provide you with details of locations of corrupt or missing files. Here we have mentioned steps on how you can repair corrupt files.

Step 1: At first, exit steam and direct towards your steam directory. Default location is C:/Program Files(x86)/Steam.

Step 2: Further, direct to the ‘logs’ folder then right click on it and open the ‘txt’ file.

Step 3: Let’s move on ahead, head over to the bottom of the text file and search for most recent errors.

Step 4: Now, Exit the text file and navigate to the root folder of the mod, (Using ID: 570371714).

Step 5: Afterwards, restart the steam.

Step 6: Finally, Move on to your game downloading folder.

After following the above steps, steam will ask you to update the necessary files to update the game further.

Solution 4: Relocate the Steam installation and Game files

If the above mentioned solutions didn’t work for you still, we have another solution to it, you can change the location of Steam Installation and Game files. Therefore, we have illustrated the procedure to relocate the steam application and game files.

Step 1: At first, navigate to the Steam client and click settings.

Step 2: Further, click on the downloads and choose Steam Library and Folders.

Step 3: Let’s move ahead, now click on the ‘Add Library Folder’ at the lower left corner and select the new location for Steam.

Step 4: Now it’s time to close the Steam client and go to your Steam directory. (Default location is C:\Programs Files\Steam.)

Step 5: Afterwards, delete all the files and folders except Steam Apps and user-data folders.

Step 6: Then, move these files to the new location you have selected.

Step 7: Finally, open Steam and reconnect to it, as to check whether you can update the steam games or not.

If you are still facing ‘steam content file locked’ error while moving the steam folder or after launching steam, go after the process the listed down.

Step 1: Firstly, Close your Steam.

Step 2: Browse to the location where you have relocated Steam.

Step 3: Now, change the locations of ‘Steam Apps’ folder from that directory to your PC.

Step 4: Moving forward, uninstall Steam (so as to remove your old Steam settings from your PC).

Step 5: Now, Install Steam again to the initial location that you have selected.

Step 6: Then, move the Steam Apps folder in the new Steam directory. This will copy all of your game content and your saved games settings.

Step 7: Finally, launch Steam and enter your credentials.

Step 8: Lastly, ‘verify integrity of Steam game files’ and its instructions are mentioned in solution 1.

Solution 5: Check Disk Scan

Sometimes, there is the probability that the hard drive that contains the game installation has been corrupted or contains bad sectors. Hard drives if contain bad sectors can lead to the occurrence of various errors and it slows down the process. Follow the steps provided below to check if your computer has any hard drive bad sectors.

Step 1: At first, click on the Windows tab + R key at the same time.

Step 2: Now, open Run Command and enter ‘cmd’.

Step 3: Type in chkdsk c:/f and press enter

Step 4: Finally, press ‘Y’ for the confirmation as Yes.

When the hard disk check scan gets complete confirm either the ‘steam content file locked’ error is gone or no.

Solution 6: Run as Administrator

In specific instances, Steam ask for special permissions to access certain folders and files. If the special permissions are denied, it may get blocked by Windows from accessing the folder and the ‘steam content file locked’ error may pop-up.

For this, we can let the Steam application to run as an administrator. Below we have mentioned steps to run steam as an administrator.

Step 1: At first, right-click on Steam and select the Properties option.

Step 2: Later, navigate to the ‘Compatibility’ tab and select the ‘Run as Administrator’ option. Click on the ‘Apply’ button and then the ‘OK’ button to confirm.

Step 3: Run Steam and check if the issue still exists or it is resolved.


As you can see ‘Steam Content File Locked’ error has a lot of solutions. Try out these efficient and simple methods before time-consuming methods like uninstalling and reinstalling Steam. The solutions listed above works in most cases. Backing up the original files is highly recommendable.