steam content file locked error

Sometimes you experience content file locked error or read/write protected with your downloaded file While you try to open file.

In this article we are going to discuss 6 methods to fix this problem in possible way.

What is the content file locked?

When steam1 can’t write updated files to the hard disk, an error occurred, which is generally named “content file locked.”

Steam: A standalone software client launched in 2003 to provide automatic updates to their games. It’s a digital distribution service launched by Valve (an American video game developer).

How does steam work?

Providing detached and autonomous platforms from computers to store huge gaming memory and collection of distinctive games. Famous for its user interaction feature as users use any computer to play games that they download or buy to their steam account.

Read Also: How to Fix Steam Service Error

How to Fix Content file locked error?

There are pros and cons of every software, and like other well-equipped software, streams also have some cons.

Many users faced different problems, but one of the most recurrent issues of this software is that when you try to update a game on your library, a content file locked error is an obstacle to updating your games.

It mostly occurred due to a couple of reasons like antivirus, corrupted files, or a write-protected hard drive.

Like other errors, there is also a solution to this problem, but methods for doing so vary.
Several methods support resolving the issue.

Here we are gonna discuss some of the methods that support resolving content file locked errors.

Methods to resolve the error

  1. Reset Winsock
  2. Altering files location
  3. Rectitude of Game Files
  4. Temporarily disable antivirus
  5. Uninstall and reinstall the game

Method 1: Reset Winsock

The probability of giving an error while downloading games files on steam might occur.

It depicts how your operating system faced networks; you need to reset Winsock to restore steams connection to your system for proper updates.

reset winsock to fix content file locked error

To reset Winsock, you should follow the following steps.

  • press windows key + S
  • search for command prompt
  • click on the run as an administrator to launch a command prompt with Admin privileges.
  • Type ‘netsh winsock reset’ on prompt command and press enter key.
  • After that, wait to complete the procedure, then launch Steam Client and do some updating on your library to see whether an error still occurred or fainted

Now, wait for the process to complete, which can take a couple of seconds.

After that, launch Steam Client and update the games on your library to see if the content file locked error would still appear on your computer.

Method 2: Altering files location

In this method, the error can be resolved by altering the steam files folder location. There might be a possibility of facing a barrier accessing the current steam folder on our computer.

By using the following step, we can alter the directory’s location.

  • Open steam client on your computer.
  • click on the steam tab on the left top corner of your screen.
  • Press settings.
  • Press the download tab and click steam library folder.
  • Click add library and create a new location
  • Close steam client and go to program steam file
  • Copy-paste content from the stream file to the new location.
  • Delete all files and EXE except User Data and SteamApp folder on Program Files Steam.

After performing the above procedure, update and check the steam whether an error occurred or not. If an error occurred again, try to reset Winsock, which is discussed in the first method in detail.

Method 3: Rectitude of Game Files

The possibility that game files got corrupted may prevail during use or while updating the game.

Therefore, verification of rectitude of games files should be checked so that a content file locked is resolved. The following steps help us to guide on a better way.

  1. Open steam and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the library
  3. Right-click on the game that we want to update
  4. Click properties to open settings
  5. Click on the local files tab.
  6. Click on verify the integrity of the games file.

After doing this whole process, reupdate to check whether the error occurred again or not. If the problem is still not resolved, we can use other methods.

Method 4: Disable antivirus temporarily

Sometimes antivirus in the computer is the cause of the error; it happened because sometimes antivirus software works very observant while performing updates.

So it is necessary to disable antivirus software temporarily while performing updates. After making updates, make sure to re-enable antivirus software.

Read Also: How to Fix Broken Registry Items which cause Blue Screen of Death Error

Method 5: Run steam as administration

Another method to fix the error is to do this every time you run the program.

Follow the given steps to use this method

  • Open desktop
  • Right-click on steam.
  • Click on properties
  • Click the compatibility tab
  • Click on apply to save changes, make sure that Run this Program as an Administrator is marked checked.

After performing those steps, launch the steam client and update the games to see whether an error occurred or not.

Method 6: Uninstall and reinstall the game

  • The update is downloaded but can’t be installed.
  • Restarting steam did nothing.
  • Rebooting the computer did nothing.
  • Deleted the whole patch directory, and re-downloading did nothing.
  • I have a symbolic link between Steam apps downloading and another hard drive for space issue, the steam client and the games being on an SSD and the downloading directory not.
  • I have not yet tried to delete and re-download the entire game because of reasons.

If all of the methods fail, then we can use this method as a last option. This is the last option that we can do to resolve the error.

Chances are there that files got corrupted badly enough that they can’t be repaired in any case, then we are forced to use this last method.

This is the method of deleting the game and then reinstall it. Let’s see how this method works.

The following methods help to perform this last method of repairing this error.

Open steam client
*Press library tab

  • Right-click on games that you are facing problem updating.
  • Click on the properties to open its settings
  • Click on the local files tab.
  • Select the uninstall game
  • Click the game that you already uninstalled.
  • Click the re-download option and reinstall the game.

Wait for the installation, and then after installation, see whether an error occurred or not.


Content File Locked error is occurred when your files accidently damage by antivirus or any other software downloading issue.

This above mentioned all solutions might be helpful to resolve this issue in cleaner way.

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