Steam is one of the best distributors of digital copies of video games. It has a wide range of video game titles from the simplest games up to the latest AAA titles. What makes steam great is that you can manage all your games through their top-notch user interface that is easy and convenient to use.
However, just like any other software. Steam may also encounter a few hiccups once in a while. One of the most common issues with Steam is that when you try to update a game on your library, you would get a content file locked error which makes it difficult to update your games. This isn’t the same as the Steam games not launching issue.
Now, there are a couple of reasons as to why you are experiencing this kind of issue on Steam. This error can be caused by your antivirus, corrupted files, or a write protected hard drive.
In this guide, we are going to show you a few methods that you can easily follow to try and fix the Steam content file locked error message when updating games on Steam.
Let’s get right into it.
Method 1: Verify the Integrity of Game Files
The first thing that you can do to fix the content file locked issue on Steam is by verifying the integrity of game files downloaded on your computer. It is possible that some of the game files got corrupted during use or while updating the game.
To fix this, you can use Steam’s built-in tool to check the game files on your computer and it will automatically download corrupted or missing files from your hard drive. Check out the steps below to guide you through the process.
See Also: How to Fix: Steam Game won’t Launch
Step 1. On your computer, open Steam and login to your account.
Step 2. Next, click on Library and right-click on the game that you wish to update.
Step 3. After that, click on Properties to open Settings.
Step 4. Lastly, click on Local Files tab and tap on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
Now, after verifying the integrity of the game files. You can try updating the game again to see if the Steam content file locked problem is already resolved.
However, if you are still having problems with Steam after doing the steps above. You can proceed to the next method below.
Method 2: Change Steam Files Location Folder
The next thing that you can do to try and fix the Steam content file locked error is to change the location of Steam files folder. It is possible that Steam is having issues accessing the current Steam folder on your computer which causes the issue.
Similar issue: What to Do When Steam Won’t Open
To change the location of Steam files on your computer, follow the steps below.
Step 1. Open Steam Client on your computer and click on the Steam tab located at the upper left corner of your screen.
Step 2. After that, click on Settings.
Step 3. Now, click on the Downloads tab and select Steam Library Folders.
Step 4. Next, click on Add Library Folder to create a new location for the Steam files on your computer.
Step 5. Close the Steam Client and go to C:\Program Files\Steam.
Step 6. Lastly, copy the contents of the Steam folder to the new Library Folder that you created. Then, delete the .EXE and all the files except UserData and SteamApp folder on C:\Program Files\Steam.
Now, launch Steam Client and try to update the games to see if the content file locked error message would still appear.
On the other hand, if the error message still appears after changing the Steam File Folder. You can try performing the Winsock reset command which is discussed in detail below.
Method 3: Reset Winsock
In some cases, it is possible that your computer encountered and error while downloading game files on Steam. Luckily, there’s a Windows command that you can use to recover the computer from any socket error while downloading files to your hard drive.
To use the Winsock reset command, check out the steps below.
Step 1. On your computer, press on Windows Key + S and search for Command Prompt.
Step 2. Click on Run as Administrator to launch the Command Prompt with Admin privileges.
Step 3. Lastly, on Command Prompt, type netsh winsock reset and hit Enter.
Now, wait for the process to complete which can take a couple of seconds. After that, launch Steam Client and try to update the games on your library to see if the content file locked error would still appear on your computer.
Method 4: Run Steam as Administrator
Another thing that you can do to try and fix the Steam content file locked error is by launching the Steam Client as an administrator. This way, Steam Client would have all the required administrative privileges to make changes with the files on your hard drive.
Step 1. Go to your Desktop and right click on Steam.
Step 2. Now, click on Properties.
Step 3. Lastly, go to Compatibility tab and make sure that Run this Program as an Administrator is marked checked. Now, click on Apply to save the changes.
After that, launch Steam Client and try updating the games on your library to check if the issue would still occur on your computer.
However, if you are still encounter the Steam content file locked error. You can proceed to the last method below to try and fix the problem.
Method 5: Reinstall the Game
Sadly, the last thing that you can do is to redownload the game on Steam. There’s a possibility that the game files are corrupted beyond repair and the best thing to do is to download a fresh copy of the game to ensure that there would be no problems occurring in the future.
Step 1. Open Steam Client and click on the Library tab.
Step 2. After that, right-click on the game that you are having problems updating.
Step 3. Now, click on Properties to open its Settings.
Step 4. Next, click on the Local Files tab and select Uninstall Game.
Step 5. Lastly, click on the game that you have uninstalled and tap on Install to redownload the game files to your computer.
Now, downloading the game can take a while depending on the size of the files. Wait for it to finish and see in the future if you would still have problems updating the game on Steam.