How To Fix Steam Content File Locked Issue Easy Fix

Steam is one of the best platforms to get your favorite PC games. Instead of going to a store to buy a physical copy of the game you can just download it to your computer which is quite convenient for most people. Although this is a stable platform there are instances when certain issues can occur. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Steam content file locked issue.

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How To Fix Steam Content File Locked Issue

When you get the “An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked)” error message this means that Steam is unable to write data on the hard drive of your computer. One of the quickest ways to fix this problem is to restart your computer then check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs. If it still does then proceed with the additional troubleshooting steps listed below.

Check Antivirus software

In most cases when this issue occurs the problem is caused by the antivirus software installed on the computer. It might be detecting the Steam files as a potential virus thus it is being quarantined. What you will want to do in this case is to temporarily disable the antivirus software of your computer from running until the game has finished updating or downloading.


  • Open Kaspersky Anti-Virus.
  • Go to the bottom portion of the main application window
  • Click on Settings
  • If the application in the Settings window is password-protected then enter the password and select the Save password for the current session checkbox
  • Click on Next
  • Go to the Additional section in the Settings window
  • Select Self-Defense in the right frame
  • Select or clear the Enable Self-Defense checkbox in the Self-Defense settings window
  • The Attention! Window will appear here
  • Click Continue and close the main application window.

Restart your computer then go to the Library section of Steam then right click on the game that is experiencing the issue. Click on the verify integrity of game files button. If all goes well the issue will be fixed. Once  Steam content file locked issue has been resolved you should enable your antivirus protection.


If you are using this antivirus software you will have to browse your current Steam directory and copy its address which is usually C:\Program File\Steam\SteamApps\common. Go to ESET NOD32 and paste this in the exclude from real time scanning setting. 


  • Right-click the McAfee icon at the bottom-right corner of your Windows Desktop
  • Select Change settings > Real-time Scanning from the menu.
  • In the Real-Time Scanning status window, click the Turn off button.
  • Specify when you want Real-Time Scanning to resume.  It is recommended to select When I restart my PC from the drop-down menu.  Click on the Turn off button to confirm your selection.

Open the Steam application then  right click on the game that is experiencing the issue. Click on the verify integrity of game files button. Check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs.

Reset Winsock

Winsock is a protocol that allows for the communication between Windows network software and network services. Sometimes this setting can be misconfigured which will cause this problem. To fix this you will have to reset the Winsock.

  • Press the Windows key + R key to bring up the run window (make sure to run it as administrator).
  • Type ‘netsh winsock reset’ (excluding the quotes).
  • Execute the command and restart your computer.

Check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs.

Try to relocate the Steam Installation and Game files

  • Go to your Steam client and click settings.
  • Select ‘Downloads’ and click on ‘Steam Library Folders’.
  • Click on ‘Add Library Folder’ and select a new path where you want Steam to be located.
  • This will define a future path for all the installations to take place. Now we will move to moving existing Steam files to the path you selected.
  • Exit the Steam client.
  • Navigate to your current Steam directory.
  • Delete all the files and folders except SteamApps and UserData folders. Also don’t delete exe.
  • Cut all the folders and paste them to the new directory you decided above.
  • Launch Steam and re-login.

If an issue occurs while moving the Steam folder or launching Steam then proceed with the additional steps listed below.

  • Exit the Steam application.
  • Browse to the location where you relocated Steam.
  • Relocate the ‘SteamApps’ folder from that directory to your desktop.
  • Uninstall Steam.
  • Install Steam again to the initial location that you selected.
  • Move the SteamApps folder in the new Steam directory. This will copy all of your game content, your saved games and settings.
  • Launch Steam and enter your credentials.
  • Verify integrity of Steam game files and you will be able to play.

Check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs.

Run Check Disk

It’s possible that the problem is caused by an issue with the hard disk. If this is the case then you will have to run Check Disk to scan and repair the bad sectors in the hard disk.

  • Press the “Windows” + “R” keys simultaneously.
  • Type in “cmd” in the dialogue box and press “Enter“
  • Type in “chkdsk c: /f” and press “Enter” to initiate it.
  • Press “Y” to confirm the scheduling of a disk check scan.
  • Wait for the Disk Check scan to complete.

Check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs.

Try to run Steam as an administrator

There are times when Steam will require access to certain folders and files on your computer. If Windows is blocking this access then this problem will occur. To fix this you will need to run Steam as an administrator.

  • Right–click on the steam icon and select the “Properties” option
  • Click on the “Compatibility” tab and check the “Run as Administrator” option.
  • Click on “Apply” and then on “OK“.

Check if the Steam content file locked issue still occurs.


In case the above steps fails to fix the problem then you will need to uninstall Steam and all the local game content from your computer. Restart your computer once this is done then install Steam and all of your games again. Take note that this is going to be a time consuming process.

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