How To Fix Steam Corrupt Update Files [Multiple Solutions]

You can fix Steam Corrupted Update Files error by clearing Steam's download cache, scanning your hard drives for errors, and adding exceptions to antivirus.

Steam is by far the biggest gaming client for PCs and has revolutionized how players enjoy their favorite games. However, Steam can sometimes give rise to issues such as the Steam corrupt update files error due to various reasons such as internet hiccups, server issues, etc. This Steam error can disrupt the smooth updating of games. This leaves the player frustrated. 

When you encounter this error, a message will be displayed: An error occurred while updating NAME OF THE GAME (corrupt update files) : 

System Directory“\NAME OF THE GAME

The error message for steam corrupt update
Error message (image by eXputer)
Key Takeaways

You can try multiple troubleshooting solutions to fix Steam corrupt update file error:

  1. Clear Steam’s download cache.
  2. Repair Steam’s download folder.
  3. Scan your hard drives for errors.
  4. Delete/Rename the download folder.
  5. Verify the integrity of the game file.
  6. Add exceptions to Windows Defender.
  7. Change the download region and reinstall the game.

Repairing Steam’s Download Folder

Repairing Steam’s download folder helps to ensure that the folder and its files are in good working condition. This may be why you are facing the corrupt update files error.

To repair the Steam download folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam > Go to the top-left corner of your screen and press “Steam.” > Settings.
  2. Next, from the left side of the window that opens, select Downloads > “STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS” > More Options > “Repair Library Folder”.
    Repair Library folder to resolve steam corrupt update files
    Press the repair library folders option (image produced by eXputer)

Clear Steam’s Download Cache

This method has also been successful among players who face this error. The download cache stores temporary files used during the games’ downloading and updating process.

This cache can become corrupted or outdated as time goes by, leading to this error. So, by clearing the cache, the corrupted cache is removed, which may fix the error.

Clear download cache to solve steam corrupt update files
Clear download cache (Image by eXputer)

Scan Your Hard Drives For Errors

Scanning your hard drive for errors is an important troubleshooting step that can identify and fix any issues there may be in your disks. By scanning the hardware, you can isolate and remove these issues to ensure the smooth functioning of Steam.

Faulty hard drives can cause not only the Steam corrupt update files error but also the Steam content file locked error

Here’s how you scan your hard drives for errors on Windows:

  1. Press the Windows key, and type cmd.
  2. Then right-click on the Command Prompt option > Run As Administrator.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk C: /f (you can replace C with the drive letter of the drive you want to scan).
    check disk command to scan your drive for errors
    Use the chkdsk drive scan command (image owned by eXputer).
  4. Finally, hit the Enter key and wait for the scan to complete. 

Delete/Rename The Download Folder

Renaming or deleting the downloading folder can help if there is a conflict or corruption in the temporary download files. At times, Steam can’t recognize the game files in the folder, which can cause incomplete or incorrect download of updates.

To rename Steam’s downloading folder, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps. You can do this by copying the path into your File Explorer search bar. Make sure you know which drive your program files are stored in and change the path accordingly.
    Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps using the File explorer search bar
    Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps (image copyrighted by eXputer)
  3. Finally, find the folder named “downloading” and right-click on it to rename or delete it.
    rename or delete the downloading folder
    The downloading folder (image by eXputer)
  4. After this, update the game again to create a fresh downloading folder.

Verify The Integrity Of The Game File

Verifying the integrity of game files is incredibly useful for this error, as corrupt or missing files cause it. This troubleshooting step can identify and repair or recover missing and damaged files. So, always verify the integrity of your game files when an issue with Steam arises.

Verify Game Files
Verify game file integrity (image taken by eXputer)

Add Exceptions To Antivirus

Antivirus software can sometimes mistake important tasks and files as dangerous and stop them from harming your computer. This interference can cause the Steam corrupt update files error.

By allowing Steam to bypass Windows Defender, Steam skips the verification from Windows Defender and can utilize all its files without any outside interference.

Manage Settings to add exceptions to windows defender
Select Manage settings under Virus & Threat protection settings (image by eXputer)

Change The Download Region And Reinstall The Game

Steam’s servers are set globally across different regions. The server you’re connected to might sometimes face issues, leading to errors like the Steam corrupt update files.

Changing the download region can help connect you to a different server, allowing you to use the application on a properly functioning server. 

Here’s how you can change the download region:

  1. Open Steam and go to Settings. You can do this by pressing Steam on the window’s top-left corner.
  2. Then, in Settings, select the Downloads option from the left.
  3. Now, press the arrow under Download Regions to open the drop-down menu.
    change steam download regions to solve corrupt download files
    Change your download region (Image by eXputer)
  4. Select any region you like and then press OK.
  5. Go back to your Library.
  6. Locate and right-click on the game you’re facing the error with.
  7. Then, press Manage > Uninstall.
  8. After the uninstallation, re-install the game.

My Thoughts On Steam Corrupt Update Files Error

The Steam Corrupt Update Files error is as old as the platform itself. It’s not a widespread issue or something that’s currently occurring at a higher frequency. However, it’s been showing up to users occasionally, at least from what I’ve gathered through forum posts on Steam, Reddit, AskUbuntu, Funcom, and Gaming Stack Exchange.

To help players resolve this issue, Steam has put out an official guide on fixing the updating issue and tons of other issues related to downloading game data. You can check it out and see if you can try any helpful fixes that I might have missed in my guide.

Since the issue isn’t new or suddenly occurring for all players, there’s now an official statement from Steam Support on their Twitter account

Even if you can’t find any resolution through my fixes, you can always contact Steam Support directly. They’ll be able to analyze your problem in-depth and provide you with the best solution possible.

So stay hopeful, as I’m sure they’ll be able to solve this error swiftly.


How do I update corrupt content files on Steam?

You can do this by verifying the game files. To do this, open Steam Library, then go to the game you want to update. Right-click on it and select Properties. Finally, go to Local files and click the button that says “Verify Integrity of game files…”.

How do I know if my Steam file is corrupted?

Unusual behavior can easily show that your game file is corrupted. These behaviors can range from crashes, glitches, and error messages to long loading times.

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Ayyoun is a Senior Writer & Editor for Error Fixes, and Game Settings guides on eXputer. He’s been passionate about games and technology since he got his hands on the PlayStation 1. He has a software engineering background and loves to play games from a technical perspective. He has a knack for uncovering solutions for the latest games and presenting them in easy-to-follow guides for his audience. You can keep up with his gaming activity on his Steam profile.

Experience: 7+ years || Worked For VeryAli Gaming and IGN || Education: B.S Software Engineering, Google IT Professional Certificate, Editing Mastery from Udemy, and Digital Journalism.

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