This “Content file locked” error is a common problem when you update the steam game. We must find the reason why steam content file locked, then get a solution. Maybe uninstalling steam and deleting the folder from program files, then you reinstall the game from scratch is the most effective, But this seems a time-consuming task. but not anymore. This short guide should walk you try troubleshooting.
Before we proceed, we want to remind you that running steam as an administrator didn’t help. The game worked earlier that day, we reinstalled it to try and fix a glitch, but it refused to run, says download paused, and gives the content locked error.
Why it show “Content File is Locked”, this means that Steam can’t write update files to the hard disk. Now there are different ways and methods to solve the issues, and you have to give it a try and check which one works for you.
How To Fix Steam Content File Locked
There may be many solutions for this error, please choose the one that suits you. Learn what you need to do in order to begin fix below:
Repair Corrupt System Files
Download and run Reimage Plus to scan for corrupt files from here, if files are found to be corrupt and missing repair them and then check if it fixes the issue, if not then proceed with Solutions listed below：
- Visit the steam directory after quitting the Steam.
- Go to the folder named “logs” and click on “text.”
- Go to the lowest part of the page and search if any errors are logging your device.
- Then you can search for the folder named “root.”
- Now you can restart the steam and move on to your downloading folder.
- When you get the update option, and then click on it.
- On update, all the blockage and issues that was causing errors will be resolved.
Method 1: Reset Winsock
- You have to open “Command Prompt (CMD)” as an administrator. To open Press Win Key and type cmd on the search box. Then you will see the command prompt, just right click on it and then click on “Run as administrator”.
- Now type “netsh Winsock reset” on the command prompt and press enter.
- After doing this restart your PC and check whether it is fixed or not.
Method 2: Antivirus software is causing the problem
When you updating the Steam game, your antivirus maybe set the Steam files as potential viruses and quarantine them. In many situations, your antivirus may be causing the problem. So before update your game please try the way below to disable the antivirus.
For example 1: McAfee Antivirus
McAfee has no way to exclude certain files from its real time scanning. The only way is to disable the antivirus entirely until the game is updated. To do this, open McAfee and select “Virus and Spyware Protection”. Here you find the option of “Real-Time Scanning”. Click that option and turn it off.
Please check the following steps by instruction to verify integrity of game files.
- At first, you need to restart your device, and it is better for you to click on prelaunch steam.
- Then you will find the library section and so click on that to check what the problem with your antivirus is.
- After you see the file’s properties move on to local tab and then select it.
- On the game files, you will get an option for verification. Then your problem will be solved.
Example 2: Kaspersky AV
- Please head over to ‘threads and exclusions’.
- Navigate to ‘trusted zone’ and add Steam.exe as a trusted application.
- Remember to change the settings to Do not restrict application activity as well as Do not scan opened files.
Follow the ‘verify integrity of game files’ method listed above and restart your computer.
Example 3: ESET NOD32
Maybe the NOD32 antivirus software is set the application files as malicious and will most probably quarantine it. This often results in the error while updating a game. Browse to your current Steam directory and copy the address. The default location for the Steam directory is
After copying the address open ESET NOD32 and paste the location in exclude from real time scanning.
Follow the ‘verify integrity of game files’ method listed above and you will be find your game can update successfully
Method 3: Relocate Steam Installation and Game Files
This method is broken down into two parts. In the first part, we try to relocate Steam and hope that it will launch and run as expected. If during the launch, an error occurs, we have to reinstall Steam. The entire process is listed below. Please note that any interruption during the copying process may corrupt the files hence you would have to resort to reinstalling the client again.
- Navigate 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 (default is: C: \Program Files \Steam).
- 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 you encounter any problems while moving the steam folder or after launching it, follow the steps listed below.
- Close your Steam.
- Browse to the location where you relocated Steam.
- Relocate the ‘SteamApps’ folder from that directory to your desktop.
- Uninstall Steam (this is done to remove your old Steam settings from your PC).
- 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
Method 4: Repair Corrupt Files
If these two methods don’t work for you, we can troubleshoot which file went corrupt/missing and try re-download the entire file again.
- Exit steam and navigate to your Steam directory (C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam). If you have chosen a custom location for the installation, navigate there.
- Move to the folder ‘logs’ and open ‘txt’.
- Move to the bottom of the text file and search for recent errors.
An example of an error is this:[2017-04-12 12:47:31] [AppID 346110] Update canceled: File commit failed: failed to move unchanged file “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\workshop\content\346110\570371714\LinuxNoEditor\NPC\Female\Assets\Nude\Nude_Human_Female_Body_D.uasset.z.uncompressed_size” (Disk write failure)
The number written first in the URL is your APPID, in this case (346110) is the AppID for ARK Survival Evolved.
- Navigate to the root folder of the mod, in this case, it is 570371714. It has no specific file size as the root folders of different games may vary.
- Restart steam and move to the downloads folder. Here you will notice that Steam will be asking for an update for the game. Update the necessary files and you’ll be good to go.
Method 5: Run as Administrator
Some times, run the steam game must need special permissions to access certain folders and files, if not, maybe will show the “Content File is Locked” message. Please try to running “Steam” as Administrator, the step below:
- 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“.
- Run Steam and check to see if the issue persists.
Method 6: Hard Drive corrupted or contains bad sectors
While you install the game into the bad sectors at your Hard Drive, maybe will meet the same problem, because the install file can’t accessed certain areas of the hard drive. To fix the error, please try to run a “Disc Check” scan to check the drive for bad sectors.
- Press the “Windows” + “R” keys simultaneously.
- Type in “cmd” in the dialogue box and press “Enter“.
- Typing in “cmd”
- Type in “chkdsk c: /f” and press “Enter” to initiate it.
- Initiating the Disc check
- Press “Y” to confirm the scheduling of a disk check scan.
Wait for the Disk Check scan to complete and check to see if the issue persists.
Content file locked steam error fix video (youtube)
Content file locked: step by step fix
Engage with us
After we proceed, we want to remind you that if you have new solutions to fix Steam Content File is Locked issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.