How to Fix Steam shared library Locked Error

Do you get that steam shared library is locked error when you believe that it should not be running? This error is due to a conflict with certain applications like Adobe Photoshop cs3, cs4, cs5, and cs6.

Many users have reported the problem only after installing Photoshop. It turns out that this is not a one-time incident because there are many other programs such as Autodesk 3DS Max 2015, Maya 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 that can cause your steam shared library to be locked in error.

What Causes the Shared Library Locked Error on Steam?

This library shared error is caused by the presence of conflicting programs. The codecs which are provided by these applications can interfere with steam, blocking it from opening a dynamic link library that may be needed for it to work properly. Which are known to cause the steam library to become locked in error include Autodesk 3DS Max 2015, Maya 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

There are other apps that can also create this conflict which is not limited to graphics applications or programs. This includes web browsers like Google Chrome 44.0.2403.157 m and Mozilla Firefox 41.0.2, so be sure to close it if you are experiencing a problem launching steam or opening a game in it.

If the issue still persists even after closing these programs then try to update your graphic card drivers and DirectX for a possible solution.

Also Read: How to Fix “Steam Needs to Be Online to Update”

How do You Fix Steam Shared Library Locked Error?

Following are some of the ways you can try to fix the steam shared library error:

Method 1: Delete All Steam related files and Reinstall it

The first thing that you should do is delete all of your Steam apps as well as their cache folder.

The cache folder can be found in C:\Program Files\Steam\ as well as other installation directories depending on where you have installed Steam.

Deleting the files will fix a corrupted installation but you can consider reinstalling it instead if you believe that there is a problem with your current installation.

This will ensure that there are no program conflicts or bugs that may cause this steam shared library is locked error to occur again.

Method 2: Change Compatibility Mode Settings of steam.exe

The steam shared library error can also be caused by the compatibility mode settings of steam.exe.

You can change these settings by right-clicking on the executable file and then going to Properties>Compatibility tab.

From there, try to run it in either Windows XP or Windows 7 compatibility mode. This is because programs that run on these versions of Windows usually have fewer files and registry entries.

If this does not work then try checking if Steam is using a 32-bit or 64-bit architecture. If it is the latter, consider running steam.exe in Windows 95 compatibility mode instead for a possible solution to your problem.

You can check by going to Properties>Compatibility>Change Settings and then select “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and pick either Windows 95 or Windows 98.

Method 3: Run Steam as an Administrator

Try right-clicking on the steam executable file, going to Properties>Compatibility tab, and checking the box next to “Run this program as an administrator”.

You can also try running it with administrative privileges in the compatibility mode settings instead.

Method 4: Run As Different User

Another possible solution that you can try when encountering issues with steam shared library is to run it as a different user.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del>Switch User and select a different account from your list of users.

Once you have logged in, go ahead and try running steam again. It should work properly on the other account without any problems.

Method 5: Update Everything

Updating all of your software including Steam, Windows, graphics card drivers, and DirectX is also a good idea.

This is because some components may be designed to work with specific versions which can cause issues when they are not up-to-date.

Updating the components will ensure that your system is running properly and can resolve any problems you have been experiencing. This is especially true if there are updates for DirectX as they usually come with crucial fixes for various issues in games.

Method 6: Reinstall Steam completely

If none of the above methods worked then it is possible that you have installed Steam incorrectly or that some of the files are corrupted.

To fix this, simply uninstall steam and its games completely by going to Control Panel>Programs and Features.

Once this has been done, check if there are any remnants in your installation directory (C:\Program Files\Steam\) or registry entries. Delete anything you find and then reinstall Steam again.


If you have tried all of the methods for fixing this steam shared library is locked error then it’s likely that there are files in your system that are corrupted.

Before contacting Steam support, try checking if there are any remnants of your installation in the registry or installation directories. If deleting the files does not work then consider reinstalling Steam. If that does not work then you could consider deleting your whole Steam installation and account itself and start from scratch.

This is the only way to ensure that there will be no issues with your current directory or registry settings as they may still contain remnants of your old problems.

If this problem persists after reinstalling it, try checking the integrity of the Steam service using this guide.

If you have done everything correctly and it still does not work then consider getting a backup or a replacement for your operating system.

Finally I hope these solutions helped you in fixing the steam shared library is locked error.

If it did not work, please comment below so I can further assist you. Good luck!

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