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7 solutions to fix Steam content file locked error on windows 10

Sometimes while tries to update any game on Steam you might experience error “An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked)”. And this error prevents steam from updating itself or games. Steam error Content File is Locked means that Steam was unable to write update files on your hard disk. There are several possible reasons why its happening corrupted system files, write-protected disk drive, Antivirus blocking or steam requires special permissions to access certain folders and files


Steam content file locked

The most effective but time-consuming way to solve all Steam problems is uninstalling Steam and all the local game contents. Afterward, reinstall them from scratch. This method consumes a large amount of data but fixes almost all problems related to steam.

Disable antivirus

It might be your antivirus program that is causing the error. Disable third-party antivirus software, clearing temporary files and Rebooting the computer, are some basic solution probably fix content locked on Steam.

Open Steam, then click Steam > Settings > Downloads and click Clear Download Cache.

Run Steam As Administrator

There are instance, steam requires access to certain files and folders in your computer that was protected by windows. In order to grant access to these files and folders, you have to get steam administrator privilege. Let’s try running Steam as an administrator and see if the problem still exists or goes away.

  1. Locate the steam shortcut, right-click on it then select properties option,

  2. Now move to the compatibility tab and enable run this program as an administrator

  3. Click Apply and Ok so the changes will be saved.

  4. Now, fire up Steam and see what happens.

Run steam as administrator

Free up disk space

As discussed Steam error Content File is Locked occur means Steam cant write Update files to the hard disk drive. And this is because of a storage issue on the location where Steam downloads the file. Make sure you have enough storage there, or you can choose to change the location so the downloads can continue.

Reset Winsok

Winsock catalog might be responsible for the update failure and the content file locked error pops up due to update failure. If you reset the Winsock catalog and roll it back to default settings, it will solve the problem.

  1. Open command prompt as administrator,

  2. Type command netsh winsock reset and then hit enterkey,

  3. Restart your computer and check if there is no more content file locked error

Check the integrity of game files

  1. Restart your computer and relaunch Steam.

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

  3. Once you get the Properties window, please navigate to the Local Files tab.

  4. Then click the Verify Integrity Of Game Files option and Steam will verify that game in a few minutes.

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

Find and Repair Corrupt Files

If the above methods fail to unlock the Steam content file, then locate missing, corrupt, or faulty files and try to re-download entire files again. Its an evergreen tactic to diagnose and resolve the steam content locked problem.

  1. Quit steam and navigate to your Steam directory (Default one is C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam).

  2. scroll down and locate the folder ‘logs’ and open ‘txt’.

  3.  Move to the bottom of the text file and search if any errors are logging your device.

  4. Then search for the folder named root.

  5. Restart the Steam and move on to your downloading folder.

  6. Restart steam and move to the downloads folder. Here you will notice that Steam will be asking for an update for the game. Update the necessary files and you’ll be good to go.

Relocate Steam Installation and Game Files

Changing the location of the Steam installation and the game files is probably a good solution and you must try. This fix consists of 2 major parts, firstly we will relocate steam. During this process, if any error occurred then we will have to reinstall steam.

  1. Browse to your Steam client and click settings.

  2. Select ‘Downloads’ and click on ‘Steam Library Folders.

  3. Click on ‘Add Library Folder’ and select a new path where you want Steam to be located.

  4. Here give a future path for the installations to take place. Now move existing Steam files to the path you selected.

  5. Exit the Steam client.

  6. Again browse to your current default Steam directory, it’s usually in C: \Program Files \Steam)

  7. Delete all the files and folders except SteamApps and UserData folders. Also don’t delete .exe.

  8. Cut all the folders and paste them to the new directory you decided above.

  9. Launch Steam and re-login.

If any error occurs while fixing content locked error then you have to follow these steps.

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

  2. Relocate the ‘SteamApps’ folder from that directory to your desktop.

  3. Uninstall and reinstall Steam again to the initial location that you selected.

  4. Move the SteamApps folder in the new Steam directory. This will copy all of your game content i.e. saved games and settings.

  5. Launch Steam and enter your credentials.

  6. Verify the integrity of Steam game files and you will be able to play.

Check hard drive for errors

One possible factor the can cause this problem is a bed sector on the hard drive. Again If a Hard Drive has “Bad” sectors it slows down and certain areas of the hard drive can’t be accessed which might results different errors include steam error content file locked. Run “Disc Check” scan to check the drive for bad sectors following steps below.

  1. Open command prompt as administrator,

  2. Type command chkdsk c: /f and press enter key,

  3. Press “Y” to confirm the scheduling of a disk check scan and restart your computer,

  4. Wait for the Disk Check scan to complete and check to see if the issue persists.

Reinstall the Game

Still, need help? the last thing that you can do is Delete the local content of the game by right-clicking on the game, and then reinstall the game from scratch.

  1. Open Steam Client and click on the Library tab.

  2. After that, right-click on the game that you are having problems updating.

  3. Now, click on Properties to open its Settings.

  4. Next, click on the Local Files tab and select Uninstall Game.

Lastly, click on the game that you have uninstalled and tap on Install to redownload the game files to your computer. The game downloading time depending on the size of the files, and internet speed. Wait for to finish the download and install and see if you would still have problems updating the game on Steam.


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