How To Fix Steam Shared Library Locked Error — The Ultimate Guide

Any PC gamer is undoubtedly familiar with Steam, the most renowned PC gaming platform. In addition to being simple to use and compatible, Steam has an extensive collection of games under one roof. Steam shared library locked error is common among users, and this article will help you to resolve it.


Steam is also great for teaming up with others from around the globe to play PC games. However, many players run into the Steam shared library locked error with seemingly no solution. This issue can be a major problem for gamers who have multiple accounts and shared libraries that aren’t showing up.


If you’re struggling to understand this frustrating steam error, look no further — here’s your ultimate guide on how to fix it.


Below, we’ll examine what the Steam shared library locked error is and how you can bypass it. We’ll discuss various methods and their corresponding pros and cons to give you a better understanding.


What is the Steam Shared Library Locked Error?


The Steam shared library locked error prevents players from accessing their shared libraries. Those with multiple Steam accounts commonly encounter this issue and can’t seem to access their shared libraries, even when launching games on the account in question.


Shared libraries are an integral part of Steam and allow players to share their games with others. It allows users to access the same library from multiple accounts, reducing the need for buying the same game twice.


Without being able to access a shared library, gamers will find it hard to play or purchase games on another account that already has the same game in its library.


Causes & Solutions for Steam Shared Library Locked Error


Steam shared library locked error can have multiple causes, so you must identify the source before attempting a solution.


The most common cause of this error message for users is that the shared library cannot operate properly due to a firewall, antivirus, or other network security issues.


There can also be an issue with the Steam server itself that prevents users from accessing their shared libraries. This is another common culprit behind this error and is usually the case when multiple accounts are connected to one library.


Sometimes the problem can be fixed by just restarting your Steam client. Additionally, make sure you have logged out of all other devices and authorize library sharing within Steam.


We’ll go through a few issues that might be the root of the Steam shared library locked error and how to fix each one.


  1. Firewalls


The presence of a firewall block could be the reason behind your shared library locked error. Firewalls sometimes have the ability to block particular files or applications, preventing you from accessing shared libraries.


If you think this may be the issue for you, here’s what you should do:


  • Open your firewall application and make sure it lets Steam through its defenses to resolve this problem. An option should permit a program or functionality to get across the firewall.
  • Open the Windows Defender Firewall program if it is your default firewall. By using the taskbar’s search feature, you can find and access it.
  • After activating the firewall, choose “enable an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.”
  • Now, a list of programs should appear. There is a checkbox for public and private network connections next to each program. A box that has been ticked indicates that it is authorized to go over the firewall.
  • Check whether the boxes are checked next to Steam, Steam Client Bootstrapper, and Steam Service. If they are unchecked, tick them and click OK.
  • Now, try again to see if the error persists when you access your Steam shared library.


  1. Restart the Program to fix Steam Shared Library Locked error


Simply restarting Steam is another way to fix the Steam shared library locked error. To make sure everything is running smoothly, a quick restart of the application can help patches get installed properly and refresh its functionality.


Steam will ask you to log out and then disable the application. Open the task manager to ensure it isn’t operating in the background. You can do this by clicking Windows key + “x” and selecting “task manager.”


See whether Steam is featured in the task manager. If so, click it and choose “end task” to shut the application down. 


Finally, launch Steam again and log in to your account. Try to access the shared library again to see if the error persists.


  1. Close Steam on Other Devices/Accounts


Another Steam user using the library could be the cause of your Steam shared library locked error. That is why it is important to make sure the same library isn’t being used on multiple accounts at once.


You can often know whether someone else is logged in to your Steam account because Steam will  notify you that a game is running even if you haven’t launched it.


If this is the case, make sure to try shutting down Steam on all devices and accounts that are authorized to use the shared library. Then, try using your account or device to reaccess the library.


  1. Check Player Status


If another user on your network is also trying to play the same game, you may need help accessing any of the games in your shared Steam library.


Although this is the intent of a shared library, Steam has trouble with it, much as transferring Steam funds. When multiple users try using the Steam library in one go, this could show you the Steam shared library locked error.


Make sure no other users with access to the library are already active since having multiple players play the same game simultaneously might lead to glitches.


  1. Block the Internet


Blocking Steam’s connection to the internet is another way to fix the Steam shared library locked problem. Your Steam client might be trying to reach out for updates, causing the library to lock up.


To fix this, follow the instructions given below:


  • Start by launching Windows Defender Firewall. Search “firewall” in the Menu Bar to find it.
  • Then choose “Advanced settings.”
  • On the right-hand tab, choose “new rule” after selecting “outbound rules” on the left tab. There should be a window that appears. Make sure “programme” is chosen, then click “next.”
  • Search for the Steam application by clicking “browse.” Steam should be located under This PC > Windows (C:) > Programs (x86). Double-click on the Steam app after you’ve found it by scrolling down. After this, choose “next.”
  • Make sure that “block the connection” is selected, then click “next.”
  • Make sure the public, domain, and private checkboxes are selected. Then, choose “next.”


You can name the rule if you want, but it’s not necessary. Once this is done, click “finish” to complete the process.


  1. Contact Customer Support


Try contacting Steam’s customer service for Family Library Sharing if none of the previously mentioned fixes were successful. The Steam shared library locked error might be due to a technical issue, and Steam’s customer service should be able to help.


The best way to contact them is by sending an email or filling out the feedback form directly on their website. You can also consider looking for troubleshooting guides available on the web from other users who have had this error.


  1. Reinstall the Game


Still need help? Reinstalling the game from your shared library might be enough to fix the Steam shared library locked error.


  • Open the Steam client, then choose the Library tab.
  • Right-click the game you need help upgrading.
  • Click Properties to see its Settings.
  • Select Uninstall Game from the Local Files tab.
  • To redownload the game’s files to your computer, click the game you just deleted and then choose Install. The size of the Internet seed and files affect how quickly the game downloads.
  • Wait for the download and installation to be complete before checking to see if you have trouble upgrading the game on Steam.


A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating & Managing A Steam Library 


Now that you hopefully got rid of the Steam shared library locked error, it’s time to start creating and managing your Steam library.


Here’s how to do it:


  • Launch Steam and sign in with your account.
  • Navigate to the security of Steam Guard.
  • Click on Steam if you can find it in the top-left corner.
  • On your screen’s left side, choose Family.
  • Select Authorize Library Sharing on this Computer from the next screen that opens. You will then get a list of all users who have permission to access this.
  • Choose the people from the list with whom you want to share your library. Keep in mind that you can only add five people at once to Steam.
  • Save any changes you make by clicking “ok” when you are done.
  • Finally, be sure to check if everything is working properly and that you don’t have the Steam shared library locked error anymore.


Conclusion: Steam Shared Library Locked Error [Fixed]


The Steam shared library locked error is frustrating, but with the tips mentioned above, you should be able to fix it quickly. Make sure to check if other users are already playing the game and try blocking Steam’s connection to the internet.


If none of these methods work for you, consider contacting customer service or reinstalling the game from your shared library. This should do the trick!  Good luck and happy gaming.


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