How to fix Steam Content File Locked

‘’An error occurred while updating *game title* (Steam content file locked)’’ is one of the rare Steam errors, though if you come across this problem it might be quite hard to fix it on your own. So here are all the tested fixes for this error that are known to work.

Steam Missing File Privileges

Run Steam as administrator

There are several reasons why Windows can be at fault for this error because it can block Steam from updating a game in the client directory. If this is the case for you, then you need to run Steam as admin.

  1. Close Steam by right-clicking on the Taskbar and then selecting Task Manager, next click on Steam Client Bootstrapper and then click End Task.
  2. Then depending on how your system is set up, right-click on the Steam client icon on Taskbar or on the desktop.
  3. From the list that drops down as you right-click, select Run as administrator
  4. Now try to launch Steam and download/install the update to see if the error is still there.

Opt out of Beta

Often gamers come across this problem while opting for beta games on Steam, though it still is a mystery why it happens it often causes content file locked error. Though, I have to say that this fix will work for some games and won’t work for others.

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Look at the options running at the top of Steam client window and choose Library.
  3. Find the game that is causing this error and right-click on it and choose Properties from the list.
  4. Go to Betas tag.
  5. Then click on the drop-down menu below Select the beta you would like to opt into, then select NONE – Opt out of all beta programs.
  6. Now try running the update for the game.

Add Game to Steam Directory as an Antivirus Exception

  1. Close Steam.
  2. Open your antivirus software, for this example, we will use Avast software. Right-click on the Avast icon in the system tray, then click Open Avast user interface.
  3. Find the Menu icon in the top right of the Avast window and click on it, then click on Settings from the listed options that you will see.
  4. Go to the General section and then select Exceptions.
  5. Then click on the button titled Add Exception and type in or browse to the location of the folder that contains the game files (usually it’s – C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\*name of the game*)
  6. Click on Add Exception.
  7. Then repeat the same actions for the Steam.exe executable usually located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\.
  8. Open Steam and go to Library then right-click on the game and select Properties.
  9. Find the Local Files tab and click on it and hit Verify integrity of game files.
  10. Now the client should check for any files that are missing or corrupted and retrieve them to complete the update unbothered by the antivirus software.

If these steps listed above confuse you, try doing this:

  1. Right-click on your antivirus software icon, in this case, Avast icon and hover over Avast shields control.
  2. From the time periods offered select 10 minutes.
  3. Then open up Steam and let the update complete and then don’t forget to switch the shield back on. If you can’t run the update it could mean that you need to verify the integrity of the files that are associated with the game as shown in the steps above.

Winsock Catalog Reset

So, basically what Winsock is is a Windows API that is designed to dictate how the OS interacts with network protocols like TCP/IP. And this is another thing that might be causing Steam locked file error. To fix this you need to reset API which needs resetting once in a while anyway. So here’s how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start menu icon and select Search from the list that will appear.
  2. Type cmd into the empty field and then hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch as admin.
  3. In the black Command prompt window type netsh winsock reset
  4. Then hit Enter to launch the command.
  5. When a request pops up telling you that You must restart the computer in order to complete the reset, restart the computer.
  6. Open Steam and then the update.

Here’s how to fix another common Steam error Steam Missing File Privileges.