How to Fix Steam Content File Locked Issue

Steam is a multiplayer platform where users can play the games of their desire and thoroughly explore the arcade world. It runs by simply installing games and their respective data onto your computer, so that you can access it and compete with other players on the server.

With software as huge as Steam, it may not always function at its best. At one point or another, you are bound to come across errors in the software. An error reported repeatedly by gamers is one that flashes the following dialogue box on your screen:

“An error occurred while updating [name of the game] (Content file locked)”

As the words themselves suggest, the error occurs while attempting to update any game on Steam. Although as disrupting as this error seems, the reason why you could be experiencing it could be very minor. It is usually something like the files of the game you want to use are opened in another program in the background, or there is an issue with your hard disk. Sometimes, even the anti-virus you use for protecting your computer could be causing this error.

Being an active gamer on Steam, this error can very easily tick you off and cause frustration for you in no time. So, what is it that you can do to get rid of this pop up and get ahead with your game? Following are some easily solutions you can try to keep this dialogue box from appearing:

Method #1 Mend Corrupt Files

The most recommended and effective solution to this error is to mend all corrupt files. Corrupted files can cause major setbacks for your games, and you should keep a strong look out for them from time to time. They infect your computer restrict it from conducting tasks that the user may command it to. The way to delete them is as follows:

  • Step #1 First, exit Steam and navigate to the ‘Steam Directory’ from when you installed the application.
  • Step #2 Click on the folder that says ‘Logs’ and go to the option ‘Txt’.
  • Step #3 Once redirected, navigate the options that open and look for errors. Hunt for the ‘Root Folder’ of the mod.
  • Step #4 Next, restart Steam and go to the folder that says ‘Downloads’. On doing this, you will get the pop up that requires you to update your game. Click on it to see if the updates happen.

Method #2 Retune Winsock

Winsock is a supporting program that caters with the input and output requests put forth by internal applications of the computer. Sometimes, what is preventing your updates could be the disconnection of data between networks utilised by Winsock, hence causing trouble for you to run it. In this case, you need to retune it to make it fully functional. Following are the steps for the same:

  • Step #1 Press the Windows key and the key ‘R’ at the same time to proceed to the Run Command.
  • Step #2 Then, manually type in the words ‘Netsh Winsock reset’ in the dialogue box.
  • Step #3 Press ‘Enter’ to proceed with the task.
  • Step 4# Try updating your game to see if the error continues to appear.

Method #3 Reposition Steam Installation and Game Files

Another way to go about resolving the error is to relocate all the existing Steam files on your computer. Sometimes, the cause of the error could be a technical mistake in the path of the application, thus changing it might rectify your problem. The way to go about doing this is as follows:

  • Step #1 Go to the ‘Steam Client’ of your application and proceed to ‘Settings’.
  • Step #2 Navigate to ‘Downloads’ and select the option that says ‘Steam Library Folders’.
  • Step #3 Once redirected, click on ‘Add Library Folders’ and choose the path where you want Steam to be located. Then, exit the ‘Steam Client’.
  • Step #4 Now, go to your new Steam location, and proceed towards deleting all the files except the ones titled ‘Steamapps and UserData Folder’.
  • Step 5# Cut and Paste these remaining files in the new folder you have made at the location of your choice.
  • Step #6 Re-launch Steam, and try updating your games to see if the error still occurs.

Method #4 Disable Antivirus

Sometimes, there are certain anti-viruses that go to a lot of extents for the safety of your computer. If none of the above provided solutions work, then it is highly possible that the anti-virus you use is causing the problem. It is very likely to restrict any updates from installing on your computer as an attempt to restrict all foreign data from attacking your files. In this case, what you need to do is find a way to disable your anti-virus. Of course, every anti-virus has a different procedure to go about disabling it, so you need to find yours accordingly. You need not worry; you only need to disable it until your game updates are over. Once they finish, you can go ahead and enable it to further ensure your computer’s safety.


One or the other of the above mentioned solutions should be able to rid you of the Content File Locked issue in your computer. This error is very minor, and can be resolved by adapting to quite easy solutions. Nobody likes interruptions in their gaming, so you should go ahead and resolve the error as soon as you can. After all, keeping all applications- even games- up to date is very important, as you do not want to be missing out on new features and be outdated with the software. All updates are brought to you by the best, and you should install them for instant as well as smooth gaming. Although, always be mindful of what you download on your computer.


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