steam content file locked

How to fix Steam Content file locked problem?

Steam is the most popular platform to buy games (especially PC games). But, sometimes when I update a game from steam it stops in the midway with an error message An error occurred while updating the game (Content file locked).

Then I started doing research about the content file error and now after surfing a ton of webpages, videos I have enough knowledge to figure out this problem. So, let’s start how you can fix the steam content file locked problem.

First of all, there are dozens of solutions available to fix this problem, but if you try the steps I am gonna write, I am quite sure your problem will be solved.

What you have to do first when you get content file locked error?

Don’t worry, I am gonna discuss how to fix the Steam content file locked in detail. But, before starting, it’s important to implement some points which actually help you before we start fixing it.

Do, these before anything else to make sure your data will be lost:

  • Close steam window.
  • Reset your PC and check if the error is solved or not?
  • Backup your steam data.
steam content file locked

Fix for Windows Operating System:

#1. Monitor the activities of your antivirus:

If you play games on PC regularly then you may know this case. Everyone installs an antivirus in his/her PC so that viruses, malware, Trojan can’t enter their system and it runs smoothly. But, do you think how they recognize which file is a virus or which isn’t? Here comes the real story.

Basically, antiviruses always look for some strange activities like if they are using unnecessary permissions in your PC and if they find one, they immediately block them. And some of your games files also need these, but they are not viruses. So, by mistake, your antivirus can block the files and hence your steam content file is locked. Now, how you can solve this?

Solution if antivirus is blocking steam content file:

First, close your steam window. After that restart your system. It is not necessary but if you shut down once you will get better or quick results. In a refresh window, open your antivirus software and go to settings. If you don’t know how to disable it is very simple.

Just open the software, click on settings and you can see options like real-time protection, virus protection (different in case of different antiviruses). Just off that setting for some time.

After disabling your antivirus, go to your steam’s account and try to update the game once more. If your problem is related to antivirus then your game will be successfully updated. But if it is not working your problem is not related to your antivirus, you have to follow the steps below.

Once your game is updated or installed you can simply turn on your virus protection. And this problem generally occurs to those who use cheap antiviruses. I always recommend everyone to choose a powerful antivirus for gaming. Because it is very important to recognize which file is a virus and which is not.

Also Read: Top 20 Scariest games in the world.

#2. Reset netsh Winsock:

If you don’t get the result in the first step, try this. netsh winsock is a command by which you can recover any files which cause downloading, updating error. Before starting this process first go to your steam account, then in settings and clear your cache memory and close the window.

Now, you are ready to do it. First, open run window by typing windows key + R together. If it doesn’t appear, you have to manually go to your computer search box and search for run and open the program.

After that enter the code netsh winsock reset and hit enter. Please make sure to write the proper code or you can copy from here. After that, restart your computer and open steam again and update your game. I hope you get desired results with this method, but if you don’t get continue the following methods.

steam content file locked

#3. Replace old steam files with new ones:

If the above methods don’t work for you, try this. In this method, we replace the old file of the game which is showing an error to a fresh one. After this, you have to update the whole game from the beginning.

To apply this method, first close your steam window. Then go to your files directory where you have installed Steam. Generally, it is installed in C/program file ×86/steam. But in case you choose a different path location, it can vary. In the steam folder, open logs folder and then text. Here all your downloading, updating data is saved. To see, if you have any errors, scroll down below. If you find the issues recently then it shows at the bottom. I get error like this

steam content file locked

After finding the root folder re-open steam and log in. Now, move the root folder of the game you wanna update to the download section of your steam account. If you do it properly, you see an update window Pop up. Just update it and boom!

#4. Giving special permissions:

Some simple mistakes can also creat heavy problems. In the case of steam content file locked, there can also be really simple solutions. To solve go to the location where you have installed steam like step 2 and find steam icon. Go to the last option properties and compatibility. In compatibility settings, there will be a box called Run as an administrator. Just check it and hit ok.

Content file locked

If you don’t want to do that you can simply right-click on your steam icon appearing on your desktop screen and just click on run as administrator. Then a window Pop up like this

Hit enter and see if the problem is solved by updating the game. (I prefer the first one because it gives more satisfaction and correct method)

#5. Change the location of steam:

(Backup your data before applying this step) If the problem isn’t finished, you have to change the location of steam and it’s folders. To do so follow the steps below-

  • Open steam software and click on settings.
  • In settings, go to download and select add a library, situated in the below-left corner.
  • Select a new location where you want to store new files and hit move folders. This command moves all the existing files to the new location.
  • Exit Steam and go where steam is installed before (as directed in step 3).
  • Delete everything except user data, steam.exe file, and steam app.
  • Cut the three files and paste it in the new directory you have entered.
  • Then open steam, login and check if the problem is solved. (If you get any errors, simply reinstall steam and select new file direction which you have selected earlier)

#6. Scan your files:

If you apply all the previous steps but the problem is not fixed yet, this method can obviously give you a solution to your problem. It is possible you are finding the alert steam content file is locked error due to your game file is damaged.

If you don’t use fast storages like SSD (solid-state drive), then your device can lose data also. Due to which your game file might be corrupted.

To see this, open command prompt as administrator and enter the code chkdsk c: if you have installed it on another drive, change the drive name and hit enter. After that cmd scans and tells you if your drive is corrupted.

Content file locked

#7. Finally! Uninstall it:

If you don’t get your desired results yet first back up your data (in steam folder). Then uninstall the software and reinstall it. Open the steam software and check if the problem is solved.

I hope these steps help in solving the problem. I mentioned these steps for windows operation system. Now, let’s talk about if you have a Linux operation system, what you should do to solve it:

Solve Steam content file locked in Linux:

If you are using a Linux operating system then I suggest you doing the following 3 steps. You will be able to solve your problem only in 3 steps.

Antivirus problem:

Check your antivirus software. I know that there are almost none antivirus software for the Linux operating system. This is because Linux is open-source software and it can be used by anyone freely. So, if you are one of those, who use antivirus software in the Linux operation system just disable it and try to update your game (you can check step 1 for further instructions). Now, let’s move towards the 2nd method.

Change the files to another location:

Since Linux has only one disk partition i.e. you don’t get D or E drive, so to move your files to another location, you have to create a new file in c drive where you are gonna send the old files. After doing this process, move to step 3. This basically moves your all files to a new folder and due to which your problem will be solved.

Check your hard drive:

If you are using an old hard drive, then this can be also a reason for this content is locked in steam error. So, make sure to check your hard drive or SSD if they are working properly.

Well, if you want better results I suggest you choose a Windows operating system. Because the Windows operating system can give you the best gaming performance.

Solve Steam content file locked in Mac os:

If you have Mac os you also can follow 1, 2, 3 methods to solve steam content file locked problem. Because all the methods are applicable in Mac also.

Also Read: Best RGB RAM for gaming.

If you follow these fixes properly, you can easily solve it. Since you can download all the PC games from steam, so users got different errors like so content file locked, PUBG content file locked, etc. Generally, after applying these fixes, you can automatically get rid of this error from every game. But, just in case you can’t let’s discuss some of the big games:

Pubg content file locked:

Pubg is one of the most popular battle Royal games from the last 2-3 years. If you want it to buy it for PC at a cheap price range, steam is the best platform for you.

But, as today’s topic many people getting pubg content file locked error while downloading it. So, here the steps you have to do to get rid of it-

  • Check your antivirus if it is blocking steam if it simply allows the steams folder and try again.
  • Flush your DNS.
  • Update your computer and drivers as well.
  • Replace old files with new ones as I mentioned in step 3 before.

Csgo steam content file locked:

Counter strike global offensive is also one of those very popular games. But, sometimes it also shows steam errors. If you download all your games from steam, there are probabilities that all of them will be affected by this error.

Let’s solve csgo content file locked

  • First, run steam as administrator and try to resume download.
  • Change the location of steam as I mentioned in step #5.
  • Scan your PC files if they are alrighty (step #6)
  • Monitor any suspicious activity of your antivirus and if it blocks steam unblock it.

Why do you see the error?

There are too many reasons for which you are seeing this error of content locked. Let’s discuss them one by one-

Hard drive is not too powerful:

If you are using an old hard drive then it can also create this type of problem. When you download a data hard disk store it. There is a small cd like plate inside a hard disk which helps it to store properly. But, in old hard drives, their capacity for saving data decreases. Due to which your data can also be lost and you see this error. That’s why I recommend you choose SSD if you want true gaming.

File corrupted:

For many reasons, a desktop file can be corrupted. This happens because of viruses, junk in your system, etc. If your steam files are corrupted then also you can see this error. To solve it, follow my step 6.


If you are using a cheap antivirus they can also block game files thinking of they are viruses. Cheap antiviruses don’t detect the virus file properly for which they block every file which looks like a virus.

If you have this problem follow my step 1. Please go for a good, reputed antivirus to get rid of these types of problems.

Internet speed:

Your downloading speed also causes these types of problems some times. If your net speed is slow when a game is downloaded some part left(without downloading). But, they show status as successfully downloaded. You can also play games. The real twist comes when you want to update that particular game.

While you update that game, those parts create lots of problems. For, these reasons also you can see this error. So, make sure to use a good internet connection.


I hope after reading this post you can solve your problem. Steam is one of the biggest sites to buy special PC games. Because it gives very interesting offers and also trustable. So, it is very important to fix steam content file locked problem so that you don’t face any difficulties in the near future.

If you have any questions, please comment be below I will solve it. That’s all for today, tada!

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