Steam Content File Locked

STeam Content File locked

Have you just finished updating one of your games to then only come back to:  An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked)?

The chances are you have come across this little error, and it basically means Steam is struggling to write update files to a hard drive.  There are a couple of fixes for this with re-installing Steam being the most effective. Re-installing Steam can be really time-consuming and irritating, so let's go through a few alternatives.

Disable Anti-Virus

If you have anti-virus software installed, it could be what is causing the issue. It isn't uncommon for anti-virus software to peg Steam files as potential threats to your computer.

Once disabled you are then going to want to restart Steam and verify the integrity of game cache.

  1. Right-click on the game that won't update/ is giving you issues and select "Properties"


2. Select the "Local Files" tab in the properties menu and then click "Verify Integrity Of Game Cache"


Verification may take a few minutes, but hopefully, it will fix your issue and you'll be back gaming in no time!

It may also be worth trying this even if you don't have an anti-virus client installed.

Run Steam As Administrator

steam admin

Some scenarios mean that Steam can require special permissions to access a specific folder or file. Without this permission, it can be blocked by Windows, which can lead to the message " Content File is Locked" being shown.

For a one-off, you can simply right-click on the Steam icon and "Run as Administrator", this will prompt you, asking if you are ok with making changes. Click "yes" and that's it.

Relocate Steam Installation and Game Files

If the easier methods failed you, then we can try relocating the Steam files. If this process is interrupted a file could become corrupted, and you may have to reinstall Steam entirely.

  1. To relocate, first go to Steam settings
  2. When in the settings page you want to click on the "Downloads" tab
  3. Click on "Steam Library Folders" and then "Add Library Folder"

steam library folder

The folder you pick is going to determine where your future downloads go but let's assume it's your new SSD.

4. In "Properties">" Local Files" you will now see an option to " Move Install Folder" at the bottom. Click this.

Hey, presto! Your files should now be in your new folder. If all else fails, you can always try a full re-installation, but no one wants that.