How Do I Unlock Preloaded Video Games?

By Ryan Heiser

Updated September 22, 2017

Registered users can download preloadable content through EA's Origin and Valve's Steam online stores.
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Electronic Arts' Origin and Valve's Steam online stores offer preloading services that allow users to download encrypted game files before a game's official release date. This reduces download traffic on the official day of release. Encrypted files cannot be opened and do not respond to decryption attempts until the content's official release date. Users are not charged for encrypted content until it becomes available for decryption.

Go to the preloadable content's download page and download the encrypted game files. Note the game's official release date. This date is located on the download or purchase page.

Locate the locked, encrypted files on the computer's hard drive. They will automatically unlock on the official release date. Double-click to decrypt the files once they have unlocked.

Wait for the compressed files to unpack when the decryption process is complete. Double-click on the unpacked install file to run the installer. Click the "Install" button to begin installation.

Wait for installation to complete, then double-click the game icon to play the game.