Steam Content File Locked Error [Solved]

Steam Content File Lock issue is an error that disables game files from being written or accessed on the local hard disk. The anomaly may be caused by issues on the local machine (your computer) or due to connectivity issues with the Steam servers as a result of Winsock failure. This a common issue that’s prevalent across the global user community and has a couple neat fixes to it. Below are 4 methods that’ll help you eliminate this error.

How to Fix Steam Content File Locked Error

Method 1: Mend Corrupt Files

A common issue that can lead to this error is the presence of corrupted game files within the root Steam Directory. The games files may be red-flagged by the install verification system, and this further updates may be blocked. Re-downloading these files might get rid of the problem.

Steps to be followed:

Step 1: Exit Steam completely (from the system tray if necessary). Head to the “Steam” folder in the location where it is installed (Usually found in C:\Program Files\Steam\).

Step 2: Open the Logs Folder within \Steam and click on ‘Txt’.

Step 3: At the bottom of the text file, look for recent errors.

Step 4: If the error is due to a Mod folder installation, go to the path of the Mod’s root folder and delete it.

Step 5: Restart the Steam application and go to downloads and look for your game and click on ‘Update’.

Step 6: It will automatically begin re-downloading the necessary game files.

Method 2: Retune Winsock

Internet intensive applications like Steam require Winsock to handle input/output requests, and the corruption of which can lead to issues like Steam Content File Lock. To reset Winsock, follow the steps bellow:

Step 1: Run Command prompt (CMD) as Administrator. This can either be done by pressing the Windows Key on your keyboard, searching for CMD and running it as administrator or simply by using the combo ‘Windows Key+R’ and typing “cmd”.

Step 2: Type out, or copy paste the command “netsh winsock reset” and hit enter.

Method 3: Reposition Steam Installation and Game Files

Sometimes the root destination folder for Steam and the downloaded game might go corrupt, as a result of which it faces errors in writing game files to the disk.

Relocating the Steam library to another folder might just pull you out of the grime. To relocate Steam installation and game files, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Open the Steam Client and head over to Settings.

Step 2: Under Settings, click on Downloads and select Steam Library Folders.

Step 3: Select the Add Library Folders option and browse a new path where you want to relocate the Steam Directory.

Step 4: The above step with transfer all Steam files and its constituents to the desired folder.

Step 5: Exit Steam completely (from the system tray too).

Step 6: Go to your original Steam Directory (Usually found in C:\Program Files\Steam\) and under that delete everything except “SteamApps and UserData” folders.

Step 7: Cut and copy both folders into the new desired Steam Directory.

Step 8: Launch the Steam Client and login to your account.

 Method 4: Disable Your Anti-virus

The anti-virus application on your computer may not allow Winsock and Steam to access their servers by blocking them as a safety measure. Temporarily disabling your anti-virus and restarting your game file download may allow it to update the files without a hitch.

While permanently disabling your anti-virus is not recommended, a temporary pause to its functionality will not harm your computer and might just get rid of the Steam Content File Lock issue.


The Steam Content File Lock issue has been plaguing computers for a while now. Annoying due to its obstructive nature, users often find themselves in a fix. While the internet is sprawling with solutions and answers, the above mentioned methods are tried and tested solutions to rid the computer systems of this error effectively.

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