Steam Error: Content File Locked


At some point of time, while updating Steam – a multi-player online game platform, you could get an error indicating a content file has been locked and update cannot be completed. The error also indicates full path to a file, typically one located in the SteamApps directory.

Download the Diagnostic

There are certain situations when missing entries in your registry and registry corruption causes this problem. Try running a registry scan to identify if there are any such issues.

  1. Click the button below to download and install the Diagnostic
  2. Perform a Registry scan and fix any problems detected.
  3. Restart your computer.

Estimated Download Time: 10 Seconds

Quit All Open Games

Steam files are shared across various games. Try attempting to close all open games in order to avoid file lock situation during the Steam update process.

Release Modules Using a File Unlocker

Steam encounters an error while altering/ updating contents of a file in use.  FileAssassin – as the name suggests, is a free tool from one of the much reputed anti-malware vendor, MalwareBytes , that unlocks files in use. It forcefully releases and terminates any modules, programs, processes and components that are using the file, so that you can safely update Steam again without encountering any glitch.

1. Grab free MalwareBytes FileAssassin from the official MalwareBytes website.


2. Run or double-click the downloaded file and follow the installer wizard.


3. After the installation is completed, launch the product.


4. Type the full path of the file displayed in the Steam content file lock error. Or simply click Browse and locate the file.


5. Select the option Attempt FileASSASSIN’s method of file processing.


6. Check-up the boxes named Unlock locked file handles, Unload modules, and Terminate the file’s process.

7. FileAssassin will unlock the file and display a successful completion message.


Change File Permissions

Windows lets its users change the security permission settings to grant or deny access to certain files and folders. Permissions can be granted to certain users logged-in to the same computer, a group of users, or a remote computer connected over a network. You encounter file lock issue when Steam is denied access to certain files stored on your computer.

1. Double-click This PC icon on your Desktop.

2. Go to the root directory that contains file in question.

3. Right-click the file, select Properties.

4. Click the Security tab.


5. Click Edit.


6. Check-up the Full Control box under the Allow column.


7. Click OK twice.

Restore WinSock Configurations

Your WinSock network configurations might have been changed. You might want to restore them using an elevated Command Prompt.

1. Press Windows Key + X.

2. Select Command Prompt (Admin).

3. Execute the following command:

  • netsh winsock reset
  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /renew


4. Reboot your computer.


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