Fix: Content file locked steam while updating Game

If you are a Steam user then there are strong chances that you might have faced “An error occurred while updating [game] (Content file locked Steam).

While there is no confirmation on why this error occurs but after several feedbacks it is pretty clear that this error occurs only while updating a game or file in steam.

This usually happens when steam can’t write or modify new files and changes on your HDD or SDD. In this guide, we will show you the best solutions to solve this issue on your PC.

The best fix for content file locked steam is by uninstalling and Then installing the steam application again, For most of the users a fresh installation of Steam fixes the issue, But if you are still facing the same problem then you can move further to our troubleshooting guide.

Reinstalling steam Might not be the first choice of many users as reinstalling Needs a lot of Time and data, So before you Reinstall the app on your PC make sure that you go through the other Solutions.

Repair Corrupt System Files

Sometimes the files on your system are corrupted and as a result, you might face error While using Steam. To check if everything is Perfect Just navigate to the following Path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Deceit\bin\win_64\Deceit.exe

In the above Address Path, X86 denotes to the Bit of your OS, So it may vary with your OS. Now just check using any Scanner if all the files in that Folder are working properly.

Solution 1: Check Antivirus

It is No wonder about Antivirus causing problems for apps, Sometimes this may be a False positive case and sometimes files of Steam may interfere with the Files of Antivirus.

We have seen Pattern of Antivirus to mark files of Steam as Harmful and Block them from operating, So if you have also installed Antivirus then you should check Settings of your antivirus for issues.

Below are some of the Popular Antivirus troubleshooting Methods you can follow to solve the issue:

McAfee Antivirus

Mcafee has no such feature to Exclude Any game or application in its Cleanset, The Only thing you can Do to Update Steam is by first uninstalling or Disabling the Entire Antivirus and then Updating your steam app.

Alternatively, you can also turn off the Real-time Scanning feature of Mcafee Antivirus and then Update the Apps in Steam. You can Turn off Real-time scanning by following the steps given below:

  1. First of all Open Mcafee Antivirus
  2. Now Select Virus and Spyware Protection
  3. Now Turn off Real-time Scanning
  4. Now Update your Steam Apps

Now you need to verify the integrity of game cache and files, To-Do that Follows the Steps given below:

  • First of all Reboot your System, Now Open Steam
  • Open library section then right-click on the game showing you issues.
  • Click on Game’s properties and select Local files.
  • Click the verify integrity of game Cache and Files
  • The Verification process will take around 2-3 minutes to Complete

Now again check if you are facing Content file locked error in steam. It is Recommended to again make a reboot of the system after Verifying the integrity of game files.


Eset NOD32 also known as Nod32 has a bad habit of marking files as Virus and Harmful, If it detects your file as harmful then it will block the file from operating.

So when you try updating any of the apps or games in steam then NOD32 will block it and you will get content file locked steam error on your System.

To solve this issue in NOD32 you can follow the steps given below:

  • Open Directory of Steam
  • Usually, Steam directory by default is C:\Program File\Steam\SteamApps\common
  • Copy Address path, Now open Steam and paste the Above path in the exclude from real-time scanning.
  • Now reboot your PC, And see if the issue is solved or not.

Now you need to verify the integrity of game cache and files follow the steps given above in 1st method to Verify the files. After verification make a reboot of your PC and see if changes took effect or not.

Kaspersky AV

Kaspersky is another popular Antivirus. Sometimes it flags Steam as a suspected app and blocks all the permission of Steam, when steam is blocked by Kaspersky then it is not allowed to do any kind of modification on your hard drive.

To Solve content file locked steam error you have to add the app in Exclusion list and Trusted Zone. Follow the steps given below to fix the issue.

  • Open settings of Kaspersky.
  • Now Click on Threads and Exclusions
  • Now tap on Trusted zone
  • Now Add Steam.exe as a trusted app.
  • Now change the settings to “Do not restrict application activity”, And after that enable “Do not scan opened files”

Now Verify the integrity of game cache and files and after that make a reboot of your PC, After that check if the issue is resolved or not.

Solution 2: Reset Winsock

Sometimes Winsock utility may also cause this issue, To Update and reset the Winsock catalog we need to execute a command. Follow the steps given below to Execute command and reset Winsock.

  •  Open run window and Run it as administrator by Pressing the ⊞ Win (windows) + R Key Simultaneously.
  • Now type ‘netsh winsock reset’ in the bar, Make sure you execute the command without ()
  • Now type on Ok and Let the changes take effect
  • Once Process is completed Restart your computer and see if the issue is solved or not.

Solution 3: Repair Corrupt Files

Repairing Corrupted Files is another great way to fix Steam Content File is Locked,  In this step, we will investigate which file is corrupted and then we will replace or repair the entire file.

  • Force Close Steam by Pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE, now open task manager and force close Steam app.
  • Now open Steam directory present at (C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam)
  • Open “Logs” folder and find “txt” file
  • Now Go through the full file and search for errors (usually present at the bottom)

Usually, the error looks like below:

You can Decode the Corrupted Files by decoding Error log in the following format:

  • APPID is the ID of App, In the image above 346110 is the App which is causing issues.
  • Update Cancelled is the reason why Steam is showing errors.
  • The Number before \Linuxnoeditor is the name of the folder you have to Navigate.
  • Delete the Corrupted file.
  • Now restart steam, After the restart Steam will ask you to Update the game.
  • After Updating all the corrupted files will be repaired/replaced.

Solution 4: Relocation of Steam Installation and Game Files

For most of our Users, The above method worked but if in case if you are still facing the issue then you need to relocate steam installation and Game files.

We may Split this method into 2 steps, In First one, we will just relocate the location and will see if it solves the issue. Doing this will save a lot of time because the fresh installation of Steam takes a lot of time as we have to download all the files again.

In the Second Step, we need to Download and Install Steam again. This will solve the issue but as mentioned earlier that this process may take longer than usual because we need to Download all the installed games again.

Before you proceed to this step make sure that you understand the consequences of Relocating steam. If anything goes wrong then you have to install the full app with its data again.

  • Open Settings on the Steam Client
  • Now from the Steam Library folders, Click on “Downloads”
  • Now Choose where you want to Install the new Steam Client.
  • When the location is finalized tap on “Add Library Folder”
  • Now all the files will be installed on the New location Path which you recently Chose.
  • Now Close Steam Client
  • Open the Existing Steam directory,  default is: C: \Program Files \Steam)
  • Format the entire folder (except 3 main files. SteamApps, UserData folders, and steam.exe)
  • Now Paste the 3 above Files in the new folder you just created
  • Now Open the steam app, Make sure that you log in to the app again.

Now check Again if the issue is resolved or not If the issue still persists then you need to perform a fresh installation of the Steam app. Follow the steps given below to reinstall steam on your pc.

Reinstall Steam App

  • Force Close the steam app
  • Navigate to the location where you relocated Steam
  • Now Copy the SteamApps’ folder to any location you prefer. ( This file is important as it stores all the important data related to your Games)
  • Uninstall Steam completely from your PC, You can also reboot your PC to remove the Cache of App.
  • Now install the steam app again to a new Location
  • Now copy the Steamapps folder you copied from the Old installation
  • Now reboot your pc.
  • Thats all! Launch the steam app again and log in with your credentials.

Thats all !! Now check again if the issue is solved or not.

Solution 5: Check Disk Scan

This may sound Weird but sometimes a specific partition of Hard disk gets corrupted, Now if the Steam app is installed on corrupted Hard disk partition then you might also face Steam Content File is a Locked error.

To check if a hard disk is corrupted or not you can run Check disk scan and find possible reasons behind the error, Below are some of the steps you can follow to fix the issue:

  • Launch RUN box by Pressing Windows+r
  • Now type “CMD” and hit enter
  • Now in the Command Prompt execute the following command
  • Type chkdsk c: /f”  and Hit enter to run Check disk
  • Now confirm the Scan by typing “Y” in the command prompt
  • The disk check will take some time to complete the scan.

Thats all! now make a reboot of your PC to clear the cache. After the reboot check if the issue is solved or not.

Solution 6: Run as Administrator

There are some apps that need Administrator privilege to work properly. The apps which get Admin privileges can easily operate on a system without interruption of Windows defender and Another antivirus.

So to solve this issue we can also Run steam as Administrator and update all the apps without getting the error.

Once you Run steam with administrator Privileges then you won’t face the “Content file is locked” pop up while updating game and apps in steam client.

Follow the steps given below to Launch Steam client as Admin:

  • Locate Steam on your desktop and Right Click on it. Now Click on the Properties tab
  • Now Click on the Compatibility tab under Details Tab.
  • Now enable “Run as Administrator”
  • Click on Apply and then click on OK

Now again Reboot your device to Apply the changes.

Now launch the steam App again and see if the issue is solved or not.

So this was all about How to Solve content file locked steam, We hope these methods worked for you. As feedbacks are always appreciated so please write which method worked for you. Also, in case if you have any doubt feel free to Write in the comments section below.

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