Steam shared library locked error – How to fix

Steam offers the option to share your library of games with other Steam users. This can be achieved through the Steam Family Sharing feature. The feature lets users you’ve approved access your games library. They will be able to play the games available in your library.

Alternatively, you can gain access to another user’s library and play the games available there.

Sometimes errors can occur when using a shared library on Steam, such as the locked error. This will prevent you from accessing shared Steam libraries. There are many reasons for why this error occurs, some of which will be covered here.

Steam shared library locked error

We’ll go through a few issues that could be causing the Steam shared library locked error, along with ways to solve each issue.

Firewalls

One reason the error is showing up could be due to a firewall block. Firewalls can sometimes block certain files or programs, which could be interfering with your ability to access shared Steam libraries. In order to fix this issue, open your firewall program and ensure that it allows Steam past its defences. There should be a setting for allowing an app or feature through the firewall.

If you’re using the default Windows firewall (Windows Defender Firewall), open the application. You can access it by searching for it in the search feature available on the taskbar.

After opening the firewall, click ‘allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall’.

You should now see a list of programs. Next to each program, there is a check box for private network connections and public network connections. If a box is checked, it means it has permission to bypass the firewall. Find Steam and see if the boxes next to it are checked. If not, click the boxes to check them. Both boxes should be checked.

Now, try accessing your Steam shared library to see if the error still occurs.

Restart the program

Another method for remedying the locked error is to simply restart Steam.

Log out of your account on Steam and close the application. Ensure that it’s not running in the background by opening the task manager. You can do so by pressing Windows-Key + ‘x’, and clicking ‘task manager’.

Check to see if Steam is on the task manager. If so, click on it and click ‘end task’ to completely close the application.

Finally, open Steam again and log in. Try accessing your shared library to see if the error pops up.

Close Steam on other devices/accounts

The locked error could be due to another Steam user currently using the library. To remedy this problem, try closing Steam down on all devices and accounts that have permission to access the shared library. Then, try accessing the library again on your account/device.

Check Player Status

Your shared Steam library could be inaccessible due to another user playing the same game as you at the same time. Multiple users playing the same game simultaneously can cause errors to occur, so ensure that other users that have access to the library are not currently active.

Block the Internet

Another method for solving the locked error is by blocking Steam’s access to the internet.

First, open Windows Defender Firewall. You can find it by searching ‘firewall’ in the Start Menu.

Click ‘advanced settings’.

Click ‘outbound rules’ in the left tab, and then click ‘new rule’ on the right tab. A window should pop up. Ensure that ‘program’ has been selected, and press ‘next’.

Click ‘browse’ and find the Steam application. This should be in This PC>Windows (C:)>Programs (x86)>Steam. Scroll down until you find the Steam app and double-click on it. Then, click ‘next’.

Ensure that ‘block the connection’ is selected and click ‘next’.

Ensure that the boxes for domain, public, and private are checked. Then, click ‘next’.

Finally, you’ll be asked to name the new rule. After naming it, press ‘next’. Now, try accessing your shared Steam library again.

Customer Support

If none of the solutions above worked, try contacting Steam’s customer support for Family Library Sharing. You can access their request form by going to https://help.steampowered.com/en/wizard/HelpWithSteamIssue/?issueid=803. Make sure you’re logged into your Steam account on your browser before trying to access the form.

Alternatively, you can go to the discussion forum for Steam Family Sharing and post your issue there. You can get answers/feedback from other users. You can access the forum by going to https://steamcommunity.com/groups/familysharing/discussions?snr=.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several things that could be causing your shared Steam library to be locked. The issue may be that other users are currently active on the library, which can sometimes cause errors to occur. In this case, it’s best to ensure you’re the only active member. Or, the issue may lie with the program itself. There are several ways to remedy this, such as restarting the program or blocking its access to the internet. If none of the solutions in this article worked in solving the locked error, try contacting Steam’s support service for shared libraries.

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Jenny

I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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