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.

Update Your Drivers

Drivers are a group of files that allow communication between your computer’s hardware and operating system.

It is more likely that the outdated system or peripheral drivers may have caused this issue.

Manually Update Drivers

One way to update your drivers is to check the website of your manufacturer and go to the Drivers & Downloads section.

At this point, you’ll have to select your Operating System name, OS type (32/ 64 bit), device model and other configurations.

Follow the same procedure for each device installed on your computer.

Automatic Driver Update (Recommended)

Quite frankly, it may seem to make sense to update all drivers at once using a Driver Updater than manually searching them online.

And not to mention if you manually download a wrong driver version it can ruin the entire system or cause frightening data loss.

We’ll see below how to update your drivers with just a few clicks:

1.Click the button below to Free Download iObit Driver Booster.


Estimated download time: 5 Seconds

2. Double-click the Setup to run and install the product.


3. Please wait while the program is being installed.

Installation Status

4. After the installation finishes, the driver scan should take place automatically.

If it doesn‘t, click the Scan button.

Driver Scan

4. Looking ahead, you’ll have a comprehensive list of all outdated drivers on your screen.

Automatically Update Drivers

5. Click the Update Now button to update all outdated devices automatically.

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.