I recently had a friend share his library so I could play middle earth shadow of war. I downloaded it fine, but the button to play is only showing "Buy" instead of "Play". the current sharer is offline, and all people he is game sharing with are offline. Whenever I press "Play Game" from Right-click menu on the game, it says "An error occurred while updating Middle-earth Shadow of war (Shared Library Locked)" What is my problem?

This isn't a duplicate to This Post Because His problem consisted of the original sharer being online, mine is offline and nobody else he is sharing with is online.

2 Answers 2


The Knowledgebase says:

Shared library locked

This is an error indicates that someone else is using the shared library. A Steam library can only be used by one user at a time to play one game at a time. The same is true if that library is being accessed by another user via Family Sharing.

Most likely someone is playing in Offline mode and does not appear to be using it, but is. Not 100% sure if it's possible to be offline on chat and playing a family-shared game, but I'd guess so. Your friend who is sharing their library could launch a game and wait 2-3 minutes before exiting to kick them off in case it's running in the background accidentally or from a bug.


I've seen this bug multiple times; in every case, restarting Steam has fixed the issue.

It's also possible that he's "online but invisible", or that another family member under a different username is using the shared library.

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