If you are not familiar with Steam, it is a game distribution service by Valve. Users of this software can play, discuss and create video games. Steam provides automatic updates for their games and third-party published games too. You can create a Steam account for free, and there are 150 million users currently. It caters to all tastes and offers discounts, making itself one of the best places to get games. Another advantage is that it uses minimal space on your device.
A common issue reported by the users of Steam is content file locked. This is an error that usually creeps in when updating files. It simply means that Steam is unable to write files to the hard drive. This problem may be caused due to corrupt files or corrupted hardware that contain ‘bad sectors’. These bad sectors can slow down the functioning and certain areas of the hardware may become inaccessible. Your Antivirus or the
Windows API might also be the reason behind Steam content file locked. Opting for beta for games on steam has also led to the same problem. This can be difficult to deal with if you aren’t well versed with the fixes.
Ways to fix Steam Content File Locked Issue
Following is a curated list of the most preferred ways out of this error. These fixes are reliable and easy to execute, with a step-by-step explanation. Go through the list and try out these methods patiently to resolve the issue of Steam content file locked.
Method 1: Mend corrupt files
A file may get corrupted if there’s a problem while saving. In case the power goes off or your device crashes while you save the file, there’s a chance that it will get corrupted. Viruses and other malware can also lead to corrupt files. Corrupted files can seriously harm the functionality of Steam. Missing files cause the same problem. You can follow the given steps to fix corrupted/missing files and treat steam content locked error.
Step 1 – Go to ‘Steam Dictionary’ that you chose while installing Steam on your device.
Step 2 – Through the Steam Dictionary, go to the ‘logs’ folder and click on ‘txt’. Move to the bottom of the text file and look for any recent errors in the file(s).
Step 3 – Find the ‘root folder’ of the mod. It may be of any size, as size varies with the game. Make sure you update all the troubled files.
Step 4 – Restart the application and an update will pop up. Update files to fix the problem!
Method 2: Retune Winsock
Winsock is a programming interface that deals with input and output requests for internet applications in a windows operating system. It works on sockets that help in connecting and exchanging data between two programs of the same device. Update failure may be caused by the Winsock catalog. Winsock reset doesn’t cause any problem to your system but helps it recover from any errors that arise while downloading files. Resetting the Winsock recovers the device from errors that occur when you install any unknown files. You can follow the given steps to retune Winsock.
Step 1 – Press Windows+R key on your keyboard. Make sure that you run it as administrator.
Step 2 – To go to the Command Prompt window, type ‘cmd’ and click the OK button.
Step 3 – Type ‘netsh winsock reset’ in the Command Prompt window and press the Enter key. Restart your device and launch Steam.
Step 4 – Try updating games to make sure that the problem has been resolved.
Method 3: Reposition Steam Installation and Game Files
If the above two methods prove to be futile, you can try moving the steam installation and game files. First, you can try relocating steam and it will launch and run without errors. However, if this doesn’t work, you will have to reinstall the application. This process is listed below. Make sure that there are no interruptions that might cause corrupt files.
Step 1 – Choose ‘Settings’ from steam client.
Step 2 – Select ‘Add Library Folder’ from the settings menu. Then, choose where you want Steam to be relocated.
Step 3 – Now, exit steam client and move to the steam dictionary. The default location of the Steam dictionary is C:\Program Files\Steam.
Step 4 – You must delete all files from here, except StreamApps and UserData Folders. Delete the ‘exe’ too. Cut all folders and paste them in the new location.
Step 5 – Open Steam and login to your account. After verifying the integrity of the games, check if you can update games.
If the problem of Stream content locked files persists, then follow the below mentioned steps.
Step 1 – Close the Steam application.
Step 2 – Move to the new Steam Location, that you had selected using the ‘Add Library Folder’ option. Relocate the SteamApp folder from the directory to your desktop device.
Step 3 – Uninstall Steam and then reinstall it to the new location. This is done to remove the old Steam settings from your device.
Step 4 – Move back the SteamApp folder to the Steam directory. This will copy the game content and the saved games.
Step 5 – Open Steam and login to your account. Verify the integrity of the files and continue playing!
Method 4: Disable Antivirus
In many cases, it is the Antivirus that causes the problem. Your antivirus software might mark Steam files as potential viruses and stall the updates. In this case, disabling the antivirus until you update the games can help. If disabling the antivirus doesn’t work, you might have to uninstall the antivirus software or switch a new one. ESET NOD32 is an antivirus software that might mark Steam files and quarantine them. To deal with this, you need to copy the address from your steam dictionary. Paste this address to exclude from real time scanning. This will resolve the problems faced while updating games.
Another antivirus, Kaspersky AV May mark the Steam application as an intruder and prevent it from writing update files to the hard drive. This can be solved by putting Steam in the trusted applications zone. The change in settings will lift restrictions and you can continue updating your games! For users of McAfee Antivirus, there’s no algorithm to exclude certain files from the real time scanning. Thus, you must disable the antivirus software until the game is updated. To do so, you’ve to find the ‘Real Time Scanning’ option under ‘Virus and Spyware Protection’ and turn it off. Then, you must verify the integrity of the game.
Following are the generalised steps you can follow to disable the antivirus.
Step 1 – Go to the Windows notification area and look for the antivirus icon.
Step 2 – Right click the antivirus icon and Close/Shut/Shut down the application. Restart your device and open Steam.
Step 3 – Move to the library and select the game which is having update issues. Use the properties window of the game to select the Local Files tab. From here, you must verify the integrity of game files.
Step 4 – Once you’ve checked the integrity of the game files, you can try updating again!
There are other different methods that can be tried like running as the administration; checking your hardware via MiniTool partition wizard; and checking disk scan. To run as administrator, you’ve to select the ‘Run As Administrator’ option from the Steam icon on your desktops. You can also download MiniTool Partition Wizard and run a surface test, which will identify good and bad sectors. To run a disk scan, press Windows+R keys simultaneously. Type in ‘cmd’ and enter. Then, type ‘chkdsk c: /f’ and enter to initiate a disk scan. You can also try opting out of beta tags. You’ll find the beta tags in the properties list of the library. From here, select ‘NONE- opt out of all beta programs’
These methods can be resorted to if the above explained don’t work. You can also try a combination of two or more methods! There are a number of potential resolutions and you can choose the one for yourself. Hope that you’ve found the right solution to your problem. Follow every step and you’ll definitely reach your desired result. Remember that it’s magic if you don’t know how to do it but technology if you know how to do it!