Fix Steam ‘Content File Locked Error’ With these 7 Steps

Fix Steam 'Content File Locked Error' With these 7 Steps 1

Just like users face problems with Windows, there are times when users face problems while using Steam as well. One of the most common problems faced is when the Steam content file is locked.

It may sound as something minor, but just imagine that you’re in the middle of a quest and are about to win the war but just when you are about to proceed to the next level, you face this error.

Moreover, things get a bit irritating when you spend a lot of time on the internet surfing for ways to fix this error. A gamer can face this error in the middle of the game – they get locked out while uploading a game or while downloading a game.

Here are some of the most common reasons why this problem is caused:

  1. When administrator rights are not specified
  2. Due to an error in Windows Sockets API
  3. Corrupt file location
  4. Strict anti-virus functionalities set in your computer
  5. Emergence of a malware or a virus at the time of downloading Steam

This is precisely why we have compiled all the solutions in one article which you can use to fix the error in no time.

However, the solution that you apply to your system depends on a lot of factors, such as system administration, user rights, permissions, etc. So, without any further delay, let’s jump straight into the tutorial.

Method 1- Change the Steam and Game Files Location

Starting with this simple formula, you might possibly be able to straighten the problem in a jiffy. Follow the steps below to try it:

  • Open the ‘Settings Menu’ from Steam client.
Steam Settings
  • Click on ‘Downloads’ and go to ‘Steam Library Folders’.
Steam Library Folders
  • On the bottom of the page, click and open ‘Add Library Folder.’
Steam Add Library Folder
  • New window will open up, in there select the new location/ folder where new new games will be stored. Close the program and go to Steam directory.
Select Folder Location
  • You will need to go back old Steam directory C:\Program Files\Steam (Depand on your PC).
  • Now, delete all the files except for SteamApp, UserData folders and exe files.
  • Move these files & folders to new location which you slect some times ago.
  • Retart & Open the Steam and Log in again.

Method 2- Clear Steam Cache

Before trying everything else & hardcore part of these tricks, only try the clearing cache option, even if your steam application not opening. I personally tried this method on every application/software, it’s very easy & less time consuming.

  • Open up Run Window & Now type steam://flushconfig in the run dialogue box. And hit enter key.
steam flushconfig
  • A new window will popup, in there click on “Ok“ to clear all steam download cache.
Clear steam download cache.

Now all things are done, you have cleared steam download cache which might solve Steam Content File Locked.

Method 3- Re-install Steam

Just in case the method listed above doesn’t work, you can re-install steam using the steps given below. However, there are two methods for doing the same. You can opt for the method best suited as per your needs.

Step 1- Data Backup

  • Open the new Steam Location which you have created just now.
  • Click on the ‘SteamApps’ folder and move it from the directory to your desktop.
SteamApps Folder
  • Now, simpley uninstall form where ever.
  • Install Steam again but this time in the new file location.
  • Move the ‘SteamApps’ folder from the desktop into the Steam directory.
Move SteamAppsv
  • This way you can uninstall steam without delating system data.
  •  Open Steam and re-enter your log-in details.

Step 2- Complete Wipe Out

  • Open the windows search and type in ‘Control Panel.’
Control Panel
  • Click on Programs> “Uninstall a program”.
Uninstall a Program under control panel
  • In the search box, type ‘Steam’ or Locate Steam from the list of applications.
Steam uninstall
  • Right on Steam and click on ‘Uninstall’.
  • A window would be presented with a set of instructions, follow the procedure to complete the process.

Download Steam again from its official website.

Steam download
Steam download

Re-login using your credentials.

Another Problem:- Fix Steam Missing File Privileges

Method 4- Launch Steam using Administrator Rights

A lot of users have found success by launching Stream via Administrator Rights. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Navigate the Steam folder location on your laptop/PC.
Steam folder location
  • Once you locate Steam, right click on it and click on ‘Properties’.
Select Steam Properties
  • In the popup window, head over to “Compatibily” & tick “Run this program as an administrator”. click on “Apply”.
select Steam Run this program as an administrator
  • All fo doing this open up Steam. A ‘User Control Window’ shall pop up.
  • Click on ‘Yes.’
  • Now, download the update/ game where you faced the error and run the same in Steam.

Method 5- Restart the Winsock

Sometimes to fix an error like this, all you need to do is restart the Windows Sockets API or Winsock as this is the technical specification that defines the workings of Windows sockets with Access network services, specifically with TCP/IP. It’s not jargon, all you need to do is-

  • Serch Command Prompt in windowsn serach bar & “Run as Administrator”.
Command Prompt Run As Administrator
  • Now, type “netsh winsock reset” & hit enter.
netsh winsock reset
  • Reboot your system.

Method 6- Check your Antivirus

We download antivirus for security reasons and for the smooth functioning of our laptop/PC. At the time of download, we set certain permissions which prevent the entry of any kind of malware or anti-virus into the system. Sometimes, these permissions are harsh for some of the software and games that we download.

AVG Antivirus Disabled
AVG Antivirus Disabled

All you need to do is Open the Antivirus installed in your laptop/PC and disable it at the time of download. Alternatively, you can also locate the Steam folder and disable the antivirus for the particular game in which you are facing the error. This will disable the blockers which were preventing the update or download of the game you were trying to use on Steam.

Method 7- Run the Check Disk using Command Prompt

It may not draw our immediate attention, but there may be a hardware issue that might be preventing the Steam content file lock issue. To clear this error, all we need to do is-

  • Search for ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘cmd’ in Windows search.
  • Run the Command Prompt as administrator.
Steam Run as administrator
Steam Run as administrator
  • Type the command ” chkdsk c: /f “and press enter.
chkdsk c f
  • You may receive an error stating that volume is in use. Fill in the space with letter Y and press enter to continue.
chkdsk confirmation
  • But, wait there are not only one parameter. It has multipule parameter, which are used in different conditions. you can check by typing chkdsk /? in cmd or look out the below.
chkdsk conditions
  • Restart your pc and the check disk will be performed.


Q: Is there any particular pathway or method I can follow to re-set the permissions in Antivirus?

A: No, because each anti-virus comes with its own set of features and unique interface. It is advisable to read the manual from the official website of the anti-virus which you use.

Q: How can I delete the cache files from Steam?

A: Go to Steam> Setting> Download> Clear download cache.

Q: Why is there a lot of buffering and slow download on my Steam?

A: Check your internet plan with the internet provider. Gaming usually requires high speed internet with less PNG. Once you switch to a better plan, you will not face this problem anymore.

I hope the above solutions will help solve the error message tha­­­t pops up on Steam regarding content file lock.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.